In 1961, 101 Dalmatians, the 17th Disney animated feature film, was released. As per Wikipedia, “the film tells the story of a litter of dalmatian puppies who are kidnapped by the villainous Cruella de Vil, who wants to use their fur to make into coats. Their parents, Pongo and Perdita set out to save their children from Cruella, all the while rescuing 84 additional puppies that were bought in pet shops, bringing the total of dalmatians to 101.”
The story took place in London and in order to base the film on real-life places as much as possible, several famous London spots were included.
One of the more famous scenes is when Pongo, bored of being a bachelor dalmatian, decides to look for mate for both him and his bachelor owner, Roger. He spots his dream mate Perdita (as well as, coincidentally enough, her owner, a very single Anita), and drags Roger to the park to encourage a meeting with the female dalmatian and human.
That meeting happened at Queen Mary’s Garden in Regents Park, a very romantic and real place, and one that is possible to visit to this very day! The historic garden is home to London’s largest collection of roses ( there are approximately 12,000 roses of 400 varieties planted in the gardens), along with a Delphinium border that has full National Collection status. The Mediterranean Borders are well established as well, and the Begonia Garden ( 9,000 begonias, strong) is planted with seasonal bedding twice a year. Along with these, shrubberies are said to be strategically designed and located to add a sense of mystery and privacy to the gardens.
Named after Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, the garden was opened to the public in 1932, and completed by the park superintendent in 1934. It’s a favorite garden spot of busy Londoners (and, perhaps, their dalmatians), who come to the garden to literally take time to smell the roses.
To see the best blooms, visit during the first two weeks of June. There are lots of benches available, so grab a seat and maybe you’ll see a budding romance between a man, a woman and their two dalmatians. 😉
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