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Blog 29 Sculpture Edition

Blog 29 Sculpture Edition

When we’ve reached the time of year when darkness is considerably longer than daylight it’s hard, sometimes, to stay cheerful.

Even on a very cold, damp day though, we really enjoyed the newest treats to arrive in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Sculptor Tom Harvey has created, thanks to Mission Invertebrate (funded by the People’s Post Code Lottery), sculptures using fallen or felled Park trees, to give us some wooden gems to search out and enjoy.

In Hyde Park in the Meadows area north of the nursery, there are two. One is a massive tree with a magnificent dragonfly set against a city skyline and another showing a variety of pollinators. Both are lying, as if just fallen on the grass. One is quite difficult to spot from a distance, so a happy surprise if you just come across it. The colour of the treated wood glows in the winter light.

Across the road not far away in the North Flower Walk in Kensington Gardens, four more were being installed on Friday. These are being settled onto firm bases and are all different shapes and sizes. They will surely be enjoyed by children who can sit or climb on them and be photographed on the tiny bench seat.

Those in Kensington Gardens (in order heading away from the Italian Garden’s ponds) are: Spangled water beetles, Detrivores (no not a lobster, a stag beetle)
Pollinator bench and the furthest west is a Centipede balance beam.

I interviewed Tom, who told me he only uses chain saws of many different sizes in their creation.

A fuller version of this with more photos will appear in the next edition of our newsletter.

Henry Moore’s wishes
Henry Moore left guidance about the settings of his sculptures. His Arch, in Kensington Gardens and looking over the Long Water towards the Palace, was to be set in grass, not long like a meadow nor mixed with wild plants.

For many months the ground around the sculpture was apparently scraped earth which was the only way to cope with the stubborn milk thistle which was hanging on grimly. By the autumn it had given up the fight and in November the area was seeded. Eyebrows were raised, surely the wrong time of year and the seeds a feast for the birds and so on?
This is when I was given a five minute lesson on modern methods of seeding by Manager Andrew Williams. But please don’t put me into the Mastermind Chair with it as my specialist subject.

The area was drilled and seeded so it is under the earth and not sprinkled on the surface. Modern varieties of seed have been developed to germinate much later in the year (in fact at any time except deep snow and frost). Areas of sports fields are sown and re sown all throughout the year using this method.

Annual General Meeting

It was a pleasure to see so many faces at our Zoom AGM on Monday this week. Three interesting presentations by our Park’s managers and Chief Executive made the business element (even though only about seven minutes of it) more palatable.

At our trustees de brief on Wednesday (also on Zoom) the following points were made:

Many more of you joined us than when we hold live AGM’s
We all missed being able to mingle and chat over a drink afterwards.
We missed catching up with all the Royal Parks staff who usually join us.
We missed the VIP’s who also come along and are happy to talk to us all.

We’ve been spending so much time this year managing our expectations that it can get depressing. Who knows what shape or form our AGM will take in 2021?

Our Mail Chimp maestro, Lynden Easton, photographer Paul Shelley and reporter / journalist me, Sue Price, are going to bow out next week with our Christmas Mail. We will be back in January after a break refreshed and reinvigorated

Sue Price

Friends of Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens
email: contact@friendshpkg.org.uk

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