Posted by: christinelaennec | May 13, 2013

Restoration at the Duthie Park

And now for something a bit more cheerful!  Last Monday the Dafter had a Good Day, and as a bonus the weather was very nice.  We went to the Duthie Park – Aberdonians often add the definite article, for some reason – and thought we would show you some of the work that’s been happening there, restoring original Victorian features of the park.

We went for what we call a “wheelchair walk”.  This means that the Dafter walks for a bit, rests in the chair while I push her, walks for a bit more if she can manage, and so on.  She was perfectly colour coordinated with her wheelchair on this day:

Going on a wheelchair walk with the Dafter in the Duthie Park, Aberdeen, 6 May 2013.

Going on a wheelchair walk with the Dafter in the Duthie Park, Aberdeen, 6 May 2013.

I may have said this before, but the wheelchair is like a friend to us.  It makes all the difference.

The City of Aberdeen has restored granite posts at a new entrance to the park, along Riverside Drive.  The river, which is tidal because we’re very close to where it joins the North Sea, was very low that afternoon.  You can see the pebble beach of the riverbank.

You can also see the white and yellow daffodils on the other side of the river (the white daffodils almost look like a wall, or a road, sloping up below the houses).  One of the hallmarks of spring in Aberdeen is the vast drifts of spring bulbs planted in parks and roadside verges.  I believe this was the work of David Welch, who was in charge of the public gardens and green spaces for many years.  The Winter Gardens were renamed after him.

New entrance to the Duthie Park along Riverside Drive, Aberdeen.  6 May 2013.

New entrance to the Duthie Park along Riverside Drive, Aberdeen. 6 May 2013.

I didn’t notice until later that a person seems to be dunking their head in the fountain!  Well, for Aberdeen, it was a particularly fine day.

The series of ponds, stretching from the top of the park down to the road, has been restored.  I like the wee island full of daffodils:

Restored ponds at the Duthie Park, Aberdeen.  5 May 2013.

Restored ponds at the Duthie Park, Aberdeen. 5 May 2013.

Here is a view of the uppermost pond, looking across to the bandstand:

Ponds

Upper pond, looking towards the bandstand.  The Duthie Park, Aberdeen, 6 May 2013.

And here is the view from in front of the Winter Gardens, looking towards the river again (with the white drifts of daffodils evident behind the obelisk).  The obelisk originally stood in Marischal College, where the medical school was located for many years.  It was paid for by medical students and is to honour James McGrigor, who founded medical studies in the city.

The Duthie Park, Aberdeen.  Looking towards the River Dee and the obelisk in honour of James MacGrigor.  6 May 2013.

The Duthie Park, Aberdeen. Looking towards the River Dee and the obelisk in honour of James McGrigor. 6 May 2013.

In front of the Winter Gardens is this fountain, which memorialises Alexander Taylor, Merchant of Aberdeen.  The verse on this side says:  “He prayeth best who lovest best / all things both great and small”.

Memorial fountain in the Duthie Park, Aberdeen.  6 May 2013.

Memorial fountain in the Duthie Park, Aberdeen. 6 May 2013.

I have to say that I’m sorry they took all the roses away from the rose mound.  I used to love to go there and be amongst masses of roses.  The mound has been restored to its original rose-less shape, with an Aberdeen City Council flag flying high from its crest:

The Mound at the Duthie Park, Aberdeen.  6 May 2013.

The Mound at the Duthie Park, Aberdeen. 6 May 2013.

As you can see, they are still redoing parts of the flower beds.  There may indeed be some roses by the time they’re finished!

Wishing you all an excellent week –

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Responses

  1. I remember the swathes of daffs as you come into Aberdeen from the south – glorious – and those roses were beautiful, I hope they bring some back. They’ve done a lovely job on the gateway. What a beautiful day out in The Duthie Park, and the Dafter looks full of health and vim! If only that sunny weather was still with us, but alas it feels as if we’re going into winter again. My sister’s got snow in north-west Perthshire.

  2. I’ve noticed Aberdonian’s putting the definite article in, and I’ve even caught myself doing it sometimes! I sometimes hear myself saying I’m going to The Asda or The Sainsbury’s.
    To my shame I have lived in Aberdeen for a year and a half and have not yet set foot in the Duthie Park. I must go, whenever there is another nice day for it!

  3. Please ignore the stray apostrophe in my last comment please … don’t know how that slipped in 😦

  4. What a beautiful day, Christine – looks like the weather cooperated completely. The Dafter looks so happy there, showing off her beautiful smile! ❤

  5. Beautiful views of your lovely park, Christine! I do love seeing all the trees leafing out (and there are some very magnificent trees!), and the swathes of white daffodils are just amazing! It looked a lovely day for you and your sweet daughter to enjoy the sunshine! We do have to take advantage when we can in fickle springtime, don’t we? Today we are having thunder, lightning and gales that are bringing down trees is some places! But that is nature, she has her own personality! Thank you for the tour. It is nice to see the city taking good care of it’s beautiful green spaces, and nice to see you both enjoying it! xoxo

  6. Thanks for the beautiful walk, Christine. I understand a bit about your appreciation of your wheelchair. I have a bit of arthritis in my knees and find that a cane or walker are great friends, helping me to walk more smoothly. I mainly use the walker when walking outside around our yard and ponds where the ground is very uneven. The walker has a seat on it so that I can rest for a bit if necessary and most recently I was able to sit by the brook behind the pond to listen to the water rush by and the birds singing in the trees…so lovely 🙂
    Blessings to you and yours,
    Gracie

  7. what a lovely park! when I see pictures of your daughter, I often think what fantastic sense of color and fashion she has. she definitely has an artistic flair.

  8. Blue skies, sunshine, and wide open spaces. Such a tonic, Christine.

  9. What a lovely Park and I am glad that money was found to restore some of the features.
    How lovely to see the Dafter looking jolly and able to spent some time outdoors.
    Love to you all xx

  10. Very pretty photos, happy to see the lovely time you had. I love that the wheelchair is a tool to help the Dafter and you enjoy such a beautiful place and day. Many blessings to you for sharing this with all of us.

  11. What a nice post! Tell the Dafter I LOVE her style! 🙂 xxx

  12. I just blogged about this too! I really like this park, glad you also had a good time admiring the “new” things 🙂

  13. My goodness, what a bright and colourful Dafter! Does this reflect the fact that she was in a good mood when dressing, or does she dress to put herself into a brighter frame of mind?

    White daffodils are totally foreign to me. I have never seen other than yellow. Am I just ignorant or is there something special about Aberdeen (or indeed Scotland, the UK, or the northern hemisphere in general) that is responsible for this phenomenon?

  14. Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments. I’m so glad you enjoyed our visit. Thanks particularly for the compliments to the Dafter. Yes, she does have a flair. When she was hideously ill last year she mostly just lived in yoga trews and hoodies, but now she is very determined to wear “actual clothes”. She’s always loved colour and when she started high school she found the black uniform so oppressive that I made her a kind of rainbow sweater to put on after school. (https://christinelaennec.co.uk/2011/03/11/wrapping-my-daughter-in-colour/ and https://christinelaennec.co.uk/2010/11/19/children-in-need-of-colour/) In answer to oldblack’s question – does she wear bright clothes because she’s in a happy mood, or does she wear them because they put her in a happy mood? – I think these days it’s more the latter.

    Sarah – apostrophes seem to be a law unto themselves, don’t they? I’ve done the same thing.

    Gracie – you’ve expressed the relief that a helping aid gives so well!

    oldblack – How interesting that you’re only familiar with all-yellow daffies in Australia. Thanks for giving me the topic of my next post!


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