Cheeky fellows – high atop a hill

Bismarckdenkmal

Bismarckdenkmal

Bismarck overlooks Hamburg — molded in cement, and standing on what looks like castle ramparts. I’m not sure what he think about the changes in the area since the statue was erected in the Alten Elbpark.  The hill overlooks the Reeperbahn area of the city. It’s an easy walk from a train station, and interesting to see, even though there’s lots of graffiti. at the base of the statue itself. Some of the graffiti uses English words in somewhat odd contexts.

Although Otto doesn’t look like he’s interested in a good time, there are always the guys hanging out at the base of the statue. Like this one:

Tell me he's not thinking about last night's party?

Tell me he’s not thinking about last night’s party?

The whole statue and base is an amazing collision of different styles. Can’t figure out if the nude statuary at the base of Bismarck’s perch are meant to invoke manly comparisons to Olympians of old….

As if...

As if…

Or a party in search of a nightclub. I’m not sure where in 1906 they would have found one.

Please don’t dye the baby blue

This has to do with knitting — honest! I was knitting the Sweet Norwegian Baby Cap by Gro (Ravelry link to the hat pattern) while traveling in Europe. I had chosen some lovely yarn — Spirit Trails Fiberworks Sunna in Beach Glass and some leftover sock yarn in Alpine. They were striping beautifully, and looked really nice together in the light as I knit on the train, with northern Germany passing by the window. And then The Gardener looked at me and said, “You’re knitting that for a friend’s baby?”

I nod. There have been a few recent baby showers.

“I assume you like your friend?” I nod again, and she says, “Please no blue foreheads…”

When I ask what is meant by that, I learn — the Alpine, while lovely and comfortable has always had a bleeding problem. And while this isn’t insurmountable in a pair of socks, now that they’ve been washed a lot, “you don’t want a to turn a baby blue.” I sat and thought, and knit. Then I asked about the Sunna yarn, which apparently doesn’t bleed at all. I sat and knit automatically, since I was halfway there. The train kept traveling closer to the airport. And then, on the plane, I tinked back to the first 6 rows. I’ll save the Alpine as trim for something — it’s still lovely, and beautiful to knit.

So — lesson learned: listen to people who have received gifts of wool.

Inspirations for a garden – rose trellises

When I was little, my Grandfather had a rose cutting garden that my Mom and her sisters kept up after he passed. The main grounds of the house had probably been done by a landscaper, with lots of grass, large rocks for interest, a large rain tree, and surprise lilies at the side where the small woods began. The space was large, grand, and open. The rose garden and small vegetable patch were on the side of the driveway, where they would get consistent sun, but tucked away. There might have been 10 or 12 small rose bushes tucked away in that intimate little postage stamp of land, and they were sheltered by a hilly berm from the danger of high winds and hail storms of Indiana, for the most part. If they had been focal parts in the yard, inclement weather would have destroyed them.

I’m always amazed by large arbors of roses, or whole rose gardens. The amount of work it must take, and carefully choosing what won’t be destroyed by the weather or bugs — it’s roseradissoninspirational. The latest place I’ve been to has been Planten un Blomen in Hamburg, Deutschland. Lovely gardens, including a waterfall with ferns. But the roses here are out in the open, not tucked away, and they contrast interestingly with the modern buildings behind them. This is only a small portion of the beautiful plants that were in the whole garden. There’s also an apothecary garden, Japanese Garden and teahouse (where we were offered tea), and a water fountain display (that we watched from the Seepavillion as we ate kuchen and drank coffee). Planten un Blomen is quite large. You can walk in the garden from the St. Pauli U-Bahnstation all the way to the St. Stephansplatz U-Bahnstation or further. I managed to get around 7 miles of walking in the day I visited, because we’d also visited Stadtpark Hamburg with a friend.

Vacation in lovely Bremen, Deutschland

rathsapothekeIf you’re lucky enough to be in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Norway, the trip isn’t too difficult. Hop a train, and you can quickly get to the heart of Bremen, not far from the historic area. Theoretically, the Chunnel allows people from the UK to travel to the continent, although I’m not much of a fan of long tunnels. Continue reading ‘Vacation in lovely Bremen, Deutschland’

Needlework in gilt frames – Berlin wool work

Whenever I’m at a museum, I look for examples of needlework, either etched in stone or part of a painting. At the Kunsthalle Bremen, I found a portrait of Frau Medizinalrat Nicolai, from 1830. The artist was Georg Friedrich Adolph Schöner, and he used oil paint to portray her in clothing from the day — pointed lace collar, fitted brown silk dress, carefully crimped black hair. At her side is a small sewing box, with bits of colored wool or silks peeking out. In her lap, artfully displayed was this:

Detail from Schoner painting, Kunsthalle Bremen

Detail from Schoner painting, Kunsthalle Bremen

 

Thousands of Berlin work patterns made their way over to the USA and England back in the 1800s, and I wonder if this pattern is somewhere in someone’s attic? I’m sure there is already a treatise on the artful display of “women’s work” for the leisured classes in paintings of wealthy women. But I like to think this was the work she was doing while she sat for the portrait, and the artist wanted to add the color to the picture or an excuse to show off her wedding ring (her husband’s portrait is nearby).

A view of the portrait from the Kunsthalle website can be searched for here: Kunsthalle. So, when you’re traveling (on vacation, or taking little 11 hour “vacations” over the weekend), what do you look for when you’re in a museum? More photos later from Bremen and a trip to a gorgeous garden in Hamburg.

 

Garden Inspirations, Hampstead

 We went to a lovely garden nearby, at an estate called Hampstead. Lovely place to walk.

This photo was taken from a hillside that overlooks a patchwork of plantings. I think volunteers must work doublet time to fill these in every year. But it’s a lovely postage stamp effect from above.

 

 

Garden inspirations from my morning walk

The early morning beauty of hostas, nodding gently on stalks. Even when they’re right next to the street, they’re wonderful to look at in the early morning sunshine, before the day fades their colors.

hostas


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