Saturday, 2 November 2013

Nice France: new public garden and escaping cold England

So last weekend we escaped to Nice in order to check out my parents new flat and have a break. Our visit coincided with the official opening of their new redeveloped park which was a very exciting affair complete with sultry teenagers in traditional dress and lots of important speeches about reclaiming open space from cars and buses.

It was very exciting to see how they thought open spaces should be done and there were a few surprises such as the misters, scented with Jasmine (tres bien!) casting clouds of spray across the park. The double surprise was how quickly a small child standing on a sensor would get soaking wet.

Fountains were the big thing and they seemed to have something hypnotic in the water as the locals were all transfixed as they popped up and down to the music.

They also had these seats which were all in the new stylee (ie individual seats randomly placed around like an informal sitting room) however these only had one leg fixed to the ground so that you could follow the sun, or ignore your neighbour.

The planting was loosely continental...Africa being nice witht his lotus type flower and Australasia being a sea of tree ferns (Dicksonia and Cyatheas don't you know!) nice modern swathes of grasses and loose planting. Generally all the municipal planting in Nice is so much better than English ones as it is all so varied and exciting rather than our abused shrubs and samey bedding. In the middle of the roads were Tetrapanx and planting very reminiscent of my own, and around tree bases there were swathes of Miscanthus and Garuda.

The children's play stuff was also rather fun big monsters of the deep.

Interestingly the whole park was actually built over the old river which used to dissect the main town with big bridges over the other side. In Victorian times the ladies would wander amongst the boulders with people washing their clothes in the river. This was all covered over about 100? yrs ago and was built over in various ways from open space to a bus station. Now it is a park and a rather good one, I approve!

Also a fun thing to do was go to Villefranche...a village round the bay which was great for gawping at the locals and wandering its medieval streets. There is nothing at all wrong with a 2 1/2 hour lunch on the quayside in the sun. There was also much admiration of the plants and looking forward to returning

 It seems that the designer of the town bands uniform was also a fan of the Thunderbirds...

Nicotiana glaucum growing out of a crack!

 Loquat flowers

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