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Posts by Sylvia Ismail

The Wonder of Trees

I wonder: does anything in nature surpass the astonishing variety and beauty of her trees?

Bauhinia purpurea1At this time of year in Egypt, as elsewhere, many of them are putting on a stunning display. I’m astonished: Trees habitually take my breath away. Read more

Springboard for the Senses

Shape – colour – texture – fragrance… The spring garden has them in abundance. You can add to these: sound, from birdsong; and flavour, from the produce in the raised beds or the herbs planted all around and bursting with essential oils.

Osteospermum 2

Every year I am surprised by spring. It comes so suddenly: One minute the garden is quiet, full of potential, biding its time. The next moment, it has burst into exuberant life, as with the trailing daisy, Osteospermum ecklonis (above). Read more

The Honey Flows

We have just extracted the first batch of honey this year: deep golden to light brown, with a distinctive and quite mellow flavour, it brings a wonderful warmth to the throat and a pleasing taste to the tongue. Nothing thin, bland or self effacing about this honey: it is as full-bodied as it is full of Egyptian sunshine.

Invalid food It arrived just in the nick of time: I have been floored by a very nasty bout of flu, unable even to get out into the garden – imagine! Emergency supplies of lemon juice, from our tree, and honey, kindly donated by our bees, have helped to pick me up. Read more