Bucharest botanical garden in the spring, as viewed through a couple of camera lenses

April 23, 2018 by Lucian Mogosanu

So this Saturday I grabbed my camera and went to ye olde botanical garden1 to watch the beautifuls, smell the smellfuls and do the wannabe-photographer thing I do once in a blue moon -- this time with the easiest and most predictable target for a photographer ever, the flower. We begin with exhibit numero uno, a rare specimen of metallum modernus:

Yes indeed, the fucks built a thermal power plant right next to the botanical garden, so that the pollution-energy and the green-energy can cancel each other this way, notwithstanding the fact that the whole scenery looks like the Borg took a dump on Mother Gaia's voluptuous chest. And all that for what: to provide the University Politehnica of Bucharest (back in those days the Polytechnic School of Bucharest) with energy. Engineers, a fucking pain in the ass since day one.

Above, a chestnut flower, followed by a pretty view from the chestnut alley. Yes, the last photo is burned -- to my defense, I did say "wannabe".

The so-called italian garden (highly desaturated), hosting a metal monstrosity. What does it signify? Why thank you so much for asking, I myself would like to know.

The photo above displays two types of common flowers: the little yellow-white thing, known as matricaria chamomilla, also known as chamomile, in popular Romanian known as mușețel; the yellow one, known as taraxacum officinale, also known as dandelion, also known in Romanian as păpădie or bășina porcului (the pig's fart), y'know, the one that turns into a ball of spores that kids blow for fun. Since they're so common, they weren't specifically exposed and described, but they were there nevertheless, which makes them a legitimate exhibit.

In the first and second planes: two lips!

A bush of Japanese roses, kerria japonica.

I have no idea what species of tree this little beauty is, but yes, there are more tulips at the base.

Likewise, I have no idea what species these flowers are (some variety of mums?), but they emit a powerful and almost mesmerizing scent. And yes, they are beautiful as fuck.

Anyway, this might be the perfect moment to take a break for technical details. As the reader can see, I took two shots (three in fact, but I've published just the two), one focusing on the near-plane and one on the far-plane. I don't know which one is technically correct (I would guess both) and neither do I know which one is more aesthetically pleasing, so I've decided to just post both and let the pedants engage in the whole hair-splitting thing.

And since they might be asking: I shot these (and some of the other shots) with a fixed (manual focus) 50mm lens, while some of the other others were shot using the stock 18-55mm lens on a Nikon D5100. If you ask me, the camera is a perfect entry-level DSLR for wannabe-photographers such as myself, especially since it's old enough not to come with a motherfucking Android.

Above, a lonely plane wandering on the early evening sky.

"Pls to visit teh botanical museum", they said; "it'll be phun", they said. Well, next time.

Another one that I'm not sure of, but both the flowers and the leaves look very similar to those of a cherry tree, prunus cerasus I'd guess. Assuming this is indeed a cherry, notice how the petals aren't entirely open yet; as far as I remember from grandma's garden, cherries didn't blossom until early May. However, the recent heatwave here turned nature from barren to an intense green in just about a week, so who knows anymore.

Prunus serrulata, also known as the Japanese cherry, also known in this time of year as sakura. We'll get back to these in a moment.

Oh lookie, they got wood in the garden! For Romanian readers: what, you thought I'd miss the opportunity to reference this? Shame on you!

A Japanese garden lamp idling around in the Japanese garden, followed by another bunch of sakura flowers on a sakura (depicted in full in the last photo). And since we're into blooming flowers:

On the other side of the lake there was a fresh bride doing a photo shoot. In fact there were a bunch of those specimens roaming around in the garden that day, I guess doing photo sessions in green settings is some sort of a townly fashion nowadays. Not that I give a fuck, but the bride looked cute from behind.

From the local fauna: a bunch of gullible seagulls derping around. These mean guys repeatedly tried to cross the turf of a small flock of wild ducks, with no success. Below, the gangsters in question:

And finally, we leave the garden for a walk, to get a few views of the urban Bucharestian landscape.

Above: Casa Radio, a mammoth of a building, begun during the last years of the shoeman's republic and never finished. It was supposed to belong to the national radio broadcasting company, currently (and since its inception in the 1920s) headquartered a wee bit to the north at the aptly named Sala Radio, on Str. Gen. Berthelot2. Meanwhile it was sold to some guys who want to turn it into a mall or something of the sort. And since we're here, I don't give a damn about that either.

Across the street from Casa Radio lies Spitalul Universitar, i.e. the universitary emergency hospital, housed near the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, housed near the botanical gardens, etc. You get the general idea. It's a nice neighbourhood, by the way, one of the very few neat and elegant ones in the whole town.

A tad further down the road: Bd. Mihail Kogălniceanu, generally the source of much frustration for anyone driving through the town's centre during the week. Fortunately for me, this was Saturday, so I could take a stroll down to the Cișmigiu garden and... but I'll leave this story for another time. What can I say. Bucharest: at least it's better than fucking Paris.

P.S.: A total of sechs fucks were uttered in this post -- sieben if we include this last one, not including the damn.

  1. Established in 1860 by Carol Davila. Huh, who said medics don't like plants. 

  2. By the way, the showroom at Sala Radio has incredible acoustics, better than the Romanian Athenaeum, I'd venture to say. I've been there to many rock, jazz and classical music concerts along the years and they all sounded great, so my best educated guess, based on previous feedback on the workings of my ear and other musical organs, is that I know. 

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4 Responses to “Bucharest botanical garden in the spring, as viewed through a couple of camera lenses”

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