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I’m just back from discovering new lands, and the garden has run away with me. Rosemary, lavender and jasmine are roaring ahead; other plants are sulking about the poor diet, no supplements, they are putting up with (tomatoes – they never change). The compost bins are festering (plastic version) or dried out (wooden one). What joy!

Then, on Tuesday night, a howling wind and torrential rain erupted from nowhere. As a result the bottlebrush tree has lurched, or been blown, forward and lost all her lovely flowers, and the powder puff seems to be having a bad hair day:


Borage and calendula are flattened; roses forlorn; and one or two potted plants are awash.

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The Power of (not quite) Flowers

Cascading bougainvilleaBougainvillea is a riotous plant, no question. It’s not so easy to get it going – being fussy about its roots and disliking disturbance down there – but once it’s off, there’s no stopping the shrub (if that’s what it is). Read more

Palm Tree Antics

All of a sudden the date palms are bursting into flower all around us.

You may have to crane your neck (and/or enlarge this image!) to spot the flower stalks as they emerge from among the fronds. But the signs are unmistakeable; in any case, the bees and the birds are leading us to them.

Palm tree flowering 3.18The date palm (Phoenic dactylifera) is truly a miracle of nature, its fruit so varied and filled with health benefits that one hardly knows where to start. And as a ratio of 50 female:1 male tree in cultivation works well, it seems the business of fertilising the female strands can be done pretty economically, from the trees’ point of view. Read more