Daily Flower Candy: Russelia equisetiformis

Wherever I wandered in Sicily there they were, the coral-spangled pony-tails of Russelia equisetiformis, cascading from the brims of elegant terracotta pots. I had admired this Central Amercian sub-shrub before, in the grounds of a monastery in Lebanon, where it tumbled over marigolds to reach the edge of a sandstone wall. Commonly known as coral […]

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Relaxing, Riviera Style

I am on holiday and therefore I must relax: at least that’s what Him Indoors keeps telling me. The problem is I don’t find sitting by pools or lounging about in the least bit relaxing. It’s not as if I haven’t tried it. I am a get-up-and-go kind of boy, and will be until my […]

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Bella Donnas

Amaryllis belladonna: Jersey lily, naked lady, belladonna amaryllis    We gardeners spend so much time and energy trying to cultivate plants which aren’t 100% suited to our gardens. We slave away, attending to our tender treasures’ every need, hoping and praying that we might be rewarded by a precious bloom, two if we are lucky. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Ceiba speciosa

Ceiba speciosa (formerly Chorisia speciosa): False kapok, floss silk tree, drunken stick, bottle tree We are in Sicily, Palermo to be precise, enjoying the balmy autumn weather, wonderful food, exquisite wine and eclectic architecture. So far the urban flora has been predictably Mediterranean – oleanders, palms, bougainvillea, lantana and cycads – but one tree has […]

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