VIEWS FROM THE BENCH
by Florence W Deems
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The Gazebo is a fun place to visit, especially in the spring, summer and fall. During these seasons, there's a snack bar open in its lower level, which serves beer and other cold drinks, ice cream, and hot dogs, etc. A restroom occupies another part of the lower level. A wooden deck is built around two sides and sits over part of the Lotus Pond. Three round tables plus metal chairs allow visitors to sit over the pond while they partake of their snacks. In this pond during the summer grow true lotus plants with white flowers and large platter-sized leaves. Below is a panoramic view of the Gazebo seeming to rise up from the autumn lotus leaves. Click on it to view a larger size.
Beside the Gazebo end of the pond is a stone-paved patio containing a wooden bench and several round tables and metal chairs. At one end of this patio sits a sculpture by J. Seward Johnson, titled "Family Secret." A couple of weeping willow trees shade and protect the patio during the summer. At the far end of the pond is a corkscrew willow with its interesting twisted branches.
Wooden steps lead around two sides of the Gazebo to the upper level which consists of two decks. A roof protects occupants of the upper deck from rain and snow while they enjoy the view of the Lotus Pond and beyond on all sides. These decks are accessible all year. The image below shows people leaving the upper part of the Gazebo. The out-of-focus green blobs are lotus seed pods.
From all decks, one can see two benches: one under a weeping cherry tree on the gravel road side of the pond; the other at the far end of the pond from the Gazebo. One can see this latter bench throughout the year. But only during the late fall, winter and early spring is the bench under the cherry tree fully visible. After the tree blooms and sends out its leaves, its bench is almost hidden from people strolling along the road. So during the summer I love to sit on it and peer through the weeping branches to watch people along the road and sitting on the Gazebo's lower deck or looking over the railings of the two upper decks.
Click on the images below to see a larger size.
All images were made before the recent upgrade of the patio.
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