Friday, October 5, 2018

The Sunken Gardens

Being rather foolhardy, unused to hot weather and keen on flora and fauna, we went for a walk in our recent time in St Petersburg. Being outdoorsy types with big dogs we are well used to walking around. 

It’s our favourite method of exploration and gives raise to that phrase ‘Oh I wonder what’s down here?’ which all writers, especially crime writers looking for a deposition site, are so inordinately fond.

So we walked, in that heat for forty minutes, carrying emergency water and chocolate to find the sunken gardens of St Pete’s. And it was worth every minute (there was lots of looking in folk’s windows etc. on the way as it took us through a bit of St Petes where the normal people lived. It was well worth it)

In 1903 George Turner, a local plumber decided to buy six acres of land and water, and he then set about turning into a worldwide tourist attraction,

He drained the pond to give him access to the nutrition rich soil and then set about his favourite hobby; gardening.

He made a very good job of it, and his neighbours kept popping in to see how it was doing. By the 1920’s he was charging them money to come and have a peep.

The next three generations of the turner family kept the tradition going, working hard to create his vision of rare plants, beautiful flowing water features... and the odd very annoyed cockatoo…or three.
The City of St. Petersburg bought the Sunken Gardens in 1999 and the garden now exists to educate, entertain and now, to rehabilitate animals that maybe have not had the best starts in life- see cockatoos

And before you go in, there’s a sign that tells you where the nearest coffee and cake shop is.

this wee guy was having a good lookabout.

the entrance, quiet and unfussy
but just off one of St Pete's busiest roads 

MIE research taken seriously
emergency fluids and carbs

one of the rescues

this cockatoo was completely bonks
 I've never met one who wasn't

beautiful birds

 i am going to use that word more often

using close portrait shutter /aperture

flamingos fed up being photographed

fascinating plants

 an anole doing his thing

quiet gardens in the city

elephants foot palm

 redoing the place for the community

this will be the new aviary


trained roots forming the roof of a bridge


more camera experiments

                                                   it got noisy here when the small ones arrived
quiet small people

really weird plants

huge tall trees

anole paying attention

bridge over serene water
apologies  to messers simon and garfunkel

water features

why can't i grow these

or these

fish - small and large

nobody about 

huge trees overhead

quite lovely

and underfoot too

some things just look poisonous

or venomous

the lower pond


my garden should look like this

and this

i do have a butterfly garden

borders like this gladden the eye

and doorways like this


even he was finding it hot

there was a multicultural wedding going on.
 the couple were married by this time and were going off to get some pics taken.
much prettier than anything I've seen on say yes to the dress!

Caro Ramsay


  1. A fascinating place, Caro! I was afraid from the title that the story would end with the pond winning in the long run. But then there would have been no story!

  2. It was a haven of peace and tranquillity. Next to it is a children's discovery centre so with all the kids next door (and indoors!), the gardens are very quiet.

  3. Caro, next time we are in the same place, can I take a walk with you? PLEASE. Thanks so much for this vicarious one.

  4. Alternative title for this tale of a mystery writer's jaunt into the unknown: "Midday in the Garden of Good and We-evil."

  5. St Pete was a pleasant surprise - what with your garden and the Dali museum. But not the heat and humidity.

    1. Coming soon on a blogsite near you, Dali. Glasgow style!

  6. AM?, this could work to our advantage. I'll do the walks and you can find the coffee houses on the way.