Nan Lian Garden, 南蓮園池, Hong Kong

  “A classical garden in a modern city. serenity in the midst of urban hustle and bustle. Ingenious imitation of nature by man” The English language printed guide for Nan Lian Garden is so interesting and comprehensive that I was almost tempted to repeat the text word-for-word rather than describe this lovely place in my […]

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Chi Lin Nunnery 志蓮淨苑, Hong Kong

  Three cheers for British Airways! Why? Because without them charging £1000 more to travel on a Friday night versus a Saturday night, I would not have been able to enjoy a full day off in Hong Kong. And, thanks to a double dose of good luck, I was upgraded to a very swanky hotel […]

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On The Moove

I’m on the road again. Or rather I’m in the skies and generally racking-up the air miles. It’s buying season and there’s no rest for the wicked. In another life I must have been a very bad person! Having departed a red-hot Delhi at 01.10 this morning I’m now in damp and dreary Hong Kong. […]

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A Walk in the Park

  They say “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. In order to avoid falling into the same trap as Jack, I endeavour to get out and about whenever time allows during my stay in China. So far this has been hardly at all, thanks to work commitments and two typhoons that […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Megaskepasma erythrochlamys

Megaskepasma erythrochlamys: Brazilian red cloak It must appear to those less familiar with the plant world that botanists sometimes take the mickey when it comes to naming plants. Why else would we end up with trees called Lyonothamnus floribundus subsp. asplenifolius, or Metasequoia glyptostroboides, that no-one can pronounce, let alone remember? On the day that […]

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Kowloon Park, Hong Kong

I am very fortunate to be able to travel as much as I do, but when I am away from home I miss my gardens and daily contact with my plants. I miss them in the same way I miss my family and friends. I like to imagine they notice my absence too, although frequently I think they quite enjoy […]

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Beautiful Dreamer

I took this photograph today in Kowloon Park, Hong Kong. A girl sat artfully at the edge of the water, shaded by a graceful Chinese pavilion. She gazed nonchalantly, sometimes at her magazine, sometimes at the carp gliding beneath her. The picture was serenity itself. A modern-day willow pattern scene.

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Daily Vegetable Candy: Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum: bingcai, common ice plant, crystalline iceplant, ice greens. When in China, my general policy is to eat every food I am presented with: after all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I am rarely disappointed and often dazzled by the wonderful flavours, colours and textures that are shared with me. The Chinese […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Balanophora harlandii

My knowledge of parasitic plants is limited to say the least. It extends no further than dodder (Cuscuta epithymum) and toothwort (Lathraea clandestina). But now, following my walk around Hong Kong’s Peak, I can add a third, Balanophora harlandii.  Parasitic plants seem to share little in common apart from having been knocked out in the […]

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Plants and Peace on The Peak

One of the many wonderful things about writing this blog is that I am slowly building up an invaulable record of what I did and when. Before I set off this morning for Hong Kong’s highest point, I looked back at my post ‘A Walk Around The Peak’ published in October 2013. I recalled then […]

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