Another garden scene from my day of walking around London last week. . .
This meadow-style planting is outside the walls of St. James’s Palace, along The Mall. The strip of ground outside the walls around Buckingham Palace (at least on the north side) is planted in the same way.
In addition to Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), there were some very dark red-purple tulips and pale blue Camassia.
Arrangement of tulips in the Tuileries Garden, Paris, May 8, 1925, by Auguste Léon, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.
These autochromes were taken at the Place du Carrousel, looking south to the Seine River. Today, there is a road and a roundabout (with a skylight for the underground shopping mall below) on this spot, which is just west of where I.M.Pei’s Pyramide du Louvre now stands.
It is also where Emmanuel Macron and his supporters celebrated his victory in the French presidential election runoff last night.
Today is La Fête de la Victoire in France. The public holiday commemorates the date of Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allies in 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
The images above are four of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.
This morning, I have arranged purple and red tulips in assorted small glass vases along the radiator cover in the dining room.
I found the large shells in the woods behind the house soon after we moved in. I guess a former resident had tossed them out there.
I have a new old salt-glazed pottery crock from the Stuttgart Saturday flea market — just the right size for a supermarket bouquet of tulips.
The market always has a lot of these pretty blue and grey pots, which were made in the Westerwald* region of Germany and range in size from egg cup to several liters. They are very affordable: normally about €5 to €12 for those big enough to hold kitchen utensils. I haven’t found anything particularly useful online about how to assess their age. The woman who sold me this one pointed out the circular ridges on its bottom as an indication that it was “very old.” But I’ve seen other pots labeled “antique” (late 19th century) on websites that have smooth bottoms. I think you just have to look for a pleasing pattern and patina combination.