Friday, June 17, 2016
On the West Heath, where I so often walk Olga, is a large structure known as the Hampstead Pergola. "A magnificent Edwardian extravagance," as the City of London calls it, the pergola was built by Lord Leverhulme in 1904, after he acquired an adjacent mansion, and finished by 1925.
I've always been curious about the Pergola, but until this week I'd never been, because whenever I'm on the West Heath I have Olga with me. And Pergola Management are quite firm about their feelings for those of the canine persuasion:
So on Wednesday, when Olga went off with her dog-walker (who we've kept on for the summer, even though Dave and I aren't working, for complicated reasons that I'll explain sometime) I walked over to the Pergola.
The main structure is an elevated, colonnaded walkway, with beams overhead and roses and climbing vines planted along its length. It winds along the back of Lord Leverhulme's mansion (now subdivided into expensive apartments) and out into a formal garden with sloping lawns, a shallow pool (top photo) and beds of iris and foxglove.
I photographed some of the plants, like these bleeding hearts (which we have tried to grow without success in our own garden).
But I spent most of my time at the pond, where I went a little overboard trying to get just the right shot of one of the many pairs of damselflies. I shot 83 pictures of damselflies!
I know -- crazy. I deleted all but about ten of them.
Eventually I narrowed those down to a couple that made me happy.
And then the skies opened and it began to pour rain, so I caught the bus back toward home, the Hampstead Pergola no longer so mysterious in my mind!