Thursday, 15 May 2014

Travels, tulips and time zones

I have recently returned from a trip to New York and Washington DC. I was in the US just long enough to make my body believe it was time to wake up for the Northern Hemisphere morning when it was actually night time back home.

Then I came back, and had to reverse the process. All part and parcel of travelling.

What was special about travelling in April and May was getting to enjoy some of Americas best known tourist hot spots when they were (arguably) at their prettiest. Central Park in Spring? Yes, please. With cherry blossom on top.

We arrived to unexpected chilly temperatures. But below zero wind chill became a blessing to us. We headed in to Central Park to make the most of the dry, albeit cold, weather. We almost had the park to ourselves. No other tourists seemed keen enough to pop on a coat and get out and about. There seemed to be just locals, running and dog walking. And many Spring flowers.

I'm not sure I've seen so many daffodils in one
place before.

Or grape hyacinths.


And jonquils.

Conservatory Garden on the upper East side of the Park was particularly stunning. Every pathway seemed to be lined with cherry trees in blossom.

We busied ourselves taking what seemed like hundreds of photographs. None of which truly capture the incredible size and hidden treasures of Central Park. There is so much held within the park.

You could spends hours in there every day for months and still not experience everything the space has to offer.

It is such a sanctuary in the middle of a loud, bustling, forceful city.

The care taken over keeping the park beautiful, is in itself, a beautiful thing. On this particular morning, I'm beyond any doubt, the number of caretakers in the park exceeded leisure seekers. Possibly 2:1.

And the floral wonderland continued outside the park on the busy sidewalks. This (second bottom pic) street scape is 5th Avenue. Every garden bed, on every street, around every tree on the kerb was filled with tulips, daffodils, jonquils, hyacinth, and/or hydrangea. Not. Even. Exaggerating. The beautifying of the city for the Spring months was incredible.

Washington DC was similarly beautiful. All wide spaces, lush lawn, and warm sun.

I feel a little like I have brought a touch of Spring home with us. We have some stunning tulips in the bedroom this week. Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere feels a lot like Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The flower growers know this means it can be easy to trick Spring bulbs into flowering early. So, we lucky flower lovers get an early taste of Spring to keep us cheery as the weather becomes chilly.

I'll leave this post with some tulip tid bits.

Tulips continue to grow once cut.

And they grow in the direction of light, towards the sun if possible.

Tulips are not native to the Netherlands, tulips have their origin in what was Persia, now collectively the Middle East.

'Tulip' is derived from the Persian word 'tulban' which translates as turban.

Tulips have many meanings, including: True love, passionate love, innocence, forgiveness, perfect happiness, friendship, and desire. The colour of the tulip can alter meanings in subtle ways. As can how they are arranged.

The colour pink means perfect happiness. I'm very happy to have increased the levels of perfect happiness that already exists in our bedroom.

K xx

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