Monday, 8 February 2016

The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield

We had the marquees, the vintage art deco clothing, the pearls, the flapper dresses, the fringing, and the cloches and turbans, the white gloves, the Mary Jane shoes. The men wore straw boaters and suspenders, they polished their vintage cars and there was a band playing the Charleston. Shall we dance?

The roses were in bloom, and the weather was fine. No life or death situation occurred to disrupt the festivities of our day on this occasion as it did in Mansfield's short story, it was all simply lovely and decorous, and extremely civilised.

I think I shall live in the 1920s as an upper-class flapper girl for I have the frame for it and the haircut. And I love garden parties. I think every party ought to be held in a garden, forget discos, nightclubs and bars in warehouses and raves in parking lots. This is my style..

There are simply so many styles of garden to choose from at the Hamilton Gardens, we went and walked around nearly all of them. One that looked stunning, especially for this time of year was the flower carpet garden in the Indian section. It was like an Indian Summer which had us sporting parasols and ducking for shade in the heat of the day, and bedazzled by the bright colours of heliotrope, marigold and salvias, all in full bloom. If you had bought instant potted colour and massed them all together that would be the effect you have of a grand persian rug glowing before you. Amazing. It surpassed even the herbaceous border in the English flower garden that looked past it's best with clumps here and there.

The other garden that was looking its best in the heat of the day was the tropical garden which was colourful and inspired, and only lacked a hammock strung between two palms to really call it a tropical paradise.

My friends voted the Italian Renaissance Garden as the cream of the crop though, and started spontaneously gesticulating in Italian once we reached the portico, wondering where our vino and pizza was. (It was back on the other side of the lake, where all the food stalls were). We didn't know the number though for the pizza delivery guy.

I would say all in all an enjoyable day and thank you Hamilton for inviting us to your Garden Party. Something to escape Auckland for! All the best for your planned Katherine Mansfield Garden, I don't know what you'll have in it, but I suggest maybe a dollshouse/treehouse for little Kezias, a giant aloe, forget-me-nots, and you simply must hold garden parties regularly every year.