Some artworks in London's Kensington Gardens
Abutting Hyde Park to the east, Kensington Gardens extends westward to notting Hill Gate and Kensington Palace. Once the home of the Museum of London back in the 1960s, the palace has been home to royalty for many centuries.
The Palace was the birthplace of Queen Victoria. A staue of her as a young woman stands in front of the Palace (see above illustration). This statue was sculpted by Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise (1848-1939). Louise lived and died in Kensington Palace.
Here are a few more pictures of Louise's depiction of her mother:
Notice the words on the base of the carving on the illustration above.
Not too far away from the young Queen Victoria sculture, you will come across the Diana Playground, constructed in memory of another of Kensington Place's inhabitants, the late Princess Diana.
Near to the entrance of the Diana Playground, there is what looks like an old fashiond zoo animal cage. It contains something that attracts many people to go up close to it to examine it.
The cage contains a dead tree, the stump of an (apparently) 900 year old oak tree. But, why is it in a cage?
Go close to it, and you will see something that is both kitch and enchanting. The folds, nooks, and crannies of the tree are filled with tiny carved figures. These figures depict insects, birds, animals, and people.
The figures were carved from 1911 onwards by the illustrator Ivor Innes.
In recent years, the commedian Spike Milligan financed the restoration of this curious attraction.
It's amazing what can be done with a tree stump. Someone ought to get to work get to work on this one:
Kensington Gardens is filled with artworks by various sculptors including Henry Moore and George Frederic Watts (see illustration below).
However, the eccentric but charming Elfin Oak is the one that I enjoy most.