Earlier this week, Jeanne and I went to Pensenhurst Place and Gardens. It’s one of those stately manors that didn’t get bought up by the National Trust, so it turned itself into a “family fun destination” including tours of old, musty rooms in the house full of old musty faux artifacts, a carnival for the kids, overpriced food and drink, a giftshop that’s responsible for a sizable percentage of the trade deficit with China and a professionally managed garden done up in the Tudor style – very geometric and orderly with several pools and fountains.
In other words, not the sort of place I’d normally go. But the gardens were supposed to be amazing and it’s something to do that got us on our feet and into the sunshine. I declined to pay the extra couple of quid to tour the house – No Photography Allowed, and I’m not a fan of old, musty crap anyways – and went straight to the gardens. Which were disappointing. I’m sure they’re much more exciting in the spring, when the fruit trees are in bloom, but when I was there hardly anything was blooming. I’m not a fan of the “walled garden” concept; I like gardens that are more organic with a variety of plants working together in proximity. I felt like I was walking through a series of rooms that didn’t go anywhere, almost like it wanted to be a maze but failed. Jeanne and I later found we’d both independently come to the conclusion that the garden felt like it was designed by committee – a little bit of everything and all of it bland.
I had my 5D2 and 70-200 + 500D magnifier, and I got some AWESOME shots of bees. Then my batteries ran out – oops! – and I switched to my G15. The G15 does macro reasonably well, but there’s no way the tiny little CPU in that camera can keep up with bees on a hot day so I wandered around for a while. Because the G15 is so small and light, I can operate it one handed. I made all the Proper English Folk frown disapprovingly while I laid down on the grass next to a couple of the pools to put the camera down to water level to get photos of lilies.
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