Sunday, September 23, 2007

Round and round the garden

A few weeks ago, we received an invite to a garden party with Prince Charles. It was being held at Alnwick Garden as a special event for the Friends and looked good. There were a couple of problems though- the date clashed with the Morley Musical Spectacular, you had to pay for tickets, and... our friends membership has lapsed. (You can't always justify a two hour trip to visit a garden at least three times a year so we decided to go pay as you go this year).

However, it was a timely reminder, so we headed up there today with a Grandma. The new entrance pavilion has been open for over twelve months now (the white roofed building) and gives a great view of the cascade as you enter. The building fixtures & fittings still look new, although we noticed some bent forks when we dined!

The treehouse is starting to mellow into the woodland setting. This is a big building and there can't be too many that boast a pair of spiral staircases.

(Eat your heart out, Dean Friedman!)

The bamboo labyrinth has now matured sufficiently to give you a fair chance of getting lost or disoriented

Designer sinks in the toilets gracefully change colour from blue to green.

The cascade continues to impress, although I noticed one or two nozzles not squirting. A new book informs on the eighteen large pumps underneath and you can even get a post card of the pump house (although it is closed to the public, the room I'd most like to visit of course).

David particularly likes the Serpent garden which has interesting water features. This is Waterglass - Two unbroken membranes of falling water in a circle that you can enter. (Unbroken when David isn't sticking his head in it, that is!)

This is Torricelli - A celebration of the intrigue of hydrostatic pressure. A firm favourite with children, even when 19 degrees and overcast.

From the Press Release:
Torricelli, an Italian mathematician of the 17th century was fascinated by the properties of hydrostatic pressure that is to say the pressure derived from the ‘head’ or distance between surface and points below. Using these principles a central mirror-polished stainless steel column and three smaller transparent, acrylic columns surrounding it fill with water from the overflow of an elevated pond nearby to a point where the central column overflows down over the outer surface of the cylinder. Once full, a motorised valve opens, releasing the hydrostatically pressurised water into a circular manifold that feeds ninety vertical jets which slowly subside in unison with the dropping levels visible in the acrylic tubes.

No comments: