Monday, 30 May 2016

Green Spaces

In England we probably take for granted our public parks, recreational areas, and the gardens created for us to enjoy within our cities and towns.  Across the centuries the great parks and gardens designed by such people as Capability Brown, Repton, and William Kent were privately owned by the aristocracy or the very wealthy and were for their use only. Only common land was available to the public on which to walk or graze some sheep or cattle, but today we also have the right to roam across moorlands, valleys, hills, and along footpaths through the countryside

The very first green space to be made especially for the public was Derby Arboretum which was gifted to the people and the town in 1840 by Joseph Strutt, a member of a prominent local family of industrialists. It still thrives today making it now not only the first but the oldest public landscaped area in any town or city in this country. Strutt was a noted philanthropist and was grateful to the working people of Derby for the part they had played in helping him and his family amass their fortune. He wanted to convey his thanks by providing a much needed recreational facility for the rapidly explanding and urbanising area. He commissioned John Claudius Loudon to design the park, but Loudon adapted Strutt's original plans for a botanical garden with pleasure grounds to his own vision using landscaped high banked walkways creating the impression of undulating countryside. It took 15 months to complete and in September 1840 the opening was marked by a parade from the centre of Derby to the new park. 


In 1859 the Arboretum was visited by Frederick Law Olmsted while on a research tour of Europe and it is thought that he incorporated features of Loudon's work into his design for Central Park, New York.
A statue of Joseph Strutt presides over the entrance to the arboretum

'Green lungs' a place for town and city dwellers to walk or jog, meet friends and relax away from the hurly-burly of everyday life
(I am aware that the green colour in this post looks unrealistic, but following the wet, slow, Spring this is how our countryside is looking this year. I have used picmonkey to try and lower the tone of the greenl)

50 comments:

  1. England is wonderful in the spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know whether or not this year is exceptional, but trees that don't normally have much blossom are weighed down this late Spring

      Delete
  2. I am sure it is a beautiful park. Everything sure looks lush and healthy. I would love to see the English country side.

    I sure envy the way things grown there. Our summers are so hot most of the flowers I plant don't survive. We often have days of over 100 F. The nights don't cool off very much. It is also very humid, so much so you wish you had an oxygen mask.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We often wish it was warmer, but when it is we usually complain that it is too hot. However, our weather offers perfect growing conditions for most of the time.

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful ocean of green, Rosemary. Those are the sort of photographs I wish I could take, but mine are always disappointing. Are you able to share with us what kind of camera you have, what exposure, etc? I keep feeling I should try to do better with the photos.
    Thanks for a visual feast of a post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jenny for your extremely generous comment - I have written to you separately re: the camera.

      Delete
  4. Oh, those huge trees! How beautiful. The busiest, most packed public parks I've ever seen anywhere were in Japan (in Tokyo specifically). Space is at such a premium there that any public green space gets used to full (almost to overfull) capacity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my Japanese followers has just today done a post on the first public park established in 1891 in Osaka, what an incredible coincidence is that.

      Delete
  5. Green spaces are the only thing that make big cities bearable to me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your photos are gorgeous, Rosemary! Here in Montreal, Canada, we have many green spaces and I just love to take a nice long walk in those areas...so much beauty! Green is also my favourite colour. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the moment I am loving this fresh green too - thank you for your kind comment and visit Linda. It was nice to see you here.

      Delete
  7. I just love the greenery of your photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Northern Europe appears to be very very green this late Spring, I have noticed that your country is looking very green too on your photos.

      Delete
  8. Love the collages of trees - the light is gorgeous

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was shortly after breakfast that we visited the Arboretum on a bright sunny morning just over a week ago.

      Delete
  9. I love England in spring and according to me there is no other country with so many public footpaths on private lands.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are very fortunate that today we have so many public rights of way and footpaths on which to roam.

      Delete
  10. Be still my beating heart - such beautiful greenery - we are so lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dearest Rosemary,
    Love this kind of green lungs, it is refreshing in many ways and so healthy for people to walk and refresh their mind and spirit.
    Beautiful arboretum and the young green in the spring always shows its very best color and I LOVE it.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mariette - I love the new green colours at this time of year too. The green renewal each year is like watching a little miracle happen.

      Delete
  12. There is just something beautiful looking at greenery over a road as in an arch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Natures archways are some of my favourites.

      Delete
  13. Thank you Rosemary for taking us on a stroll through this lush green park. It looks amazing! I love the green! Especially on this grey, gloomy, wet, windy, spring-but-feels-like-autumn day!
    Marian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marian - hope the sunshine soon comes to you - as usual the weather is behaving in a mercurial manner in this northern European spring.

      Delete
  14. It is indeed greener here too, I noticed, thanks for your explanation. You made very nice photo's of the park.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It all looks far prettier than when the land is parched.

      Delete
  15. Hello, Rosemary. Your photos showed us the most beautiful and luminous shades of green. I felt like that I’d be dyed in green by the dripping fresh green essence while being in those green space. I’m so happy about this coincidence of our post, the first public park. Nara’s first public park is Nara Park which you’d feel familiar now. A huge wasteland area was made in to a park in 1880 with special integration of history and nature including temples, shrines, museums, primitive forest, mountains, deer, and so on.

    Yoko

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was such a happy coincidence Yoko, I was so surprised when I visted your blog.

      Delete
  16. Lovely captures.
    Green spaces are so important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is surprising how relatively new these facilities are for us all to enjoy - thank you for your kind comment Rick

      Delete
  17. Dear Rosemary, So lovely to see so much green. I would love to take a walk through your forests and parks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Gina - I would have loved it if you had been able to join me for this walk too.

      Delete
  18. Fantastic green color. all these trees are so huge.
    Lovely series.
    Greetings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that the trees have loved all the rain this Spring even if we haven't

      Delete
  19. That is interesting that this was the first public green space. We really do have cause to thank certain Victorian philanthropists like Strutt for the arboretums/parks/community buildings etc we still enjoy today. This Arboretum certainly looks lovely at this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although I grew up in Derbyshire I did not know this fact myself until I saw the Arboretum featured on one of Monty Don's programmes. That is the reason why I made a point of visiting it durng our recent trip and acquainted myself with the history of these green spaces that we enjoy.

      Delete
  20. It's the same green of our Spring in New Zealand Rosemary - nature showing her true colours!
    Joseph Strutt left a beautiful legacy to the people who helped him - a true gift to be enjoyed forever.
    There is no match for England in Spring. I can imagine the bird song is a joy to hear too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the moment I feel as if I want to stop the clock but tomorrow June will be here bringing with her new things to see and admire.

      Delete
  21. Thank you Rosemary for taking us on a stroll through this lush green park. It looks amazing! I love the green! Especially on this grey, gloomy, wet, windy, spring-but-feels-like-autumn day!
    Marian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was a week ago Marian, but today is wet here also, no wonder our world is so green this year.

      Delete
  22. Hello Rosemary,
    Once again you share some wonderful photographs ... the green of our fair land is majestic, and I never tire of it.

    May June be another glorious month for your wonderful photographs.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jan - I am reluctant to let May go, but all good things come to an end. Thank you for visiting and your very kind comment.

      Delete
  23. It seemed, here anyway, as if the trees burst into leaf overnight after one particularly heavy shower of rain. The green was just amazing to see. Worth the wait after all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The greening of both gardens and countryside along with the blossom this year has been spectacular and I love it

      Delete
  24. It might be easy to dismiss the generosity of the man who commissioned the first public green space, but it was really a great (and daring) thing to do.
    The green? It is one of the great pleasures of early spring, that over-the-top green of the first unfurling of leaves. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it too, and don't want to let go of it as the year grows older, but at least I will still have the photos to look at.

      Delete
  25. That looks a wonderful park, IO'm sorry we didn't come across it when we visited Derby many years ago. What a shame that Joseph can't see it now! Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That very same thought crossed my mind too Sarah

      Delete

❖PLEASE NOTE❖ Comments made by those who hide their identity will be deleted

“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them sometimes”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh