What are the main pleasures of the Łódź botanical gardens? Space is the first thing I relish, expansive views a relief to my rural eye after a few days of city streets and museums. Then there’s that dense northern hemisphere shade, giving me a visual image to match Marvell’s “a green thought in a green shade”: sometimes it’s created by an avenue of those grand trees designated monuments of nature. The special spires of conifers, so alien to the Australian eye, shape prospects and offer all the newly discovered pleasures of their fruit and flowers. There is room for admiring an individual tree: I sit in worship before one perfectly-shaped white-barked goddess for a long time as the sun offers warmth and the tree beauty. The gaudiness of tulips, bright in spiral beds, draw the crowds and can’t help but charm. And of course there are always miscellaneous delights.
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