Twice this week I’ve set off full of good intentions, and twice I’ve been confronted by a sign. On Wednesday Polin is closed for Yom Kippur: on Friday, the Orangery in Łazienki for a function. I know this before I even enter the formal garden, past the guardian lions. I can see the swirl of tablecloths being laid even from a distance.
It isn’t in fact an inconvenience. After a string of rainy days the sun is shining brightly, and I find myself in a garden full of unexpected flowers. The entrance path is lined with statues: two worn recliners, one faceless; the busts of Roman emperors, including an incongruously harmless looking Caligula; and a few graceful nudes.
But it’s the Dutch Garden that charms me. I’m astonished by the profligacy and variety of the flowering. I step gingerly onto forbidden grass to get closer to dahlias, and bend my creakiness towards the multi-patterned leaves. Colourful grass spikes remind me of blady grass at home: white walls provide a perfect background to show off cones and balls of pale pink hydrangeas, purple daisies and white cosmos.
As I’m leaving, a crowd of teenagers appears: they drape themselves over the fountain and sprawl on the steps, some of them glued to each other, some to their iPhones. My path leads me above them and gives me an elevated perspective on the Orangery and its beautiful garden.
At last! I finally have a post that I can link to Jude’s garden challenge. This month she’s looking for what’s special about a favourite garden. For me, what’s special about this one is its unexpectedness and unseasonal blooming. For other special gardens click here.