Wednesday, 17 April 2013


Good Morning to you,

When it is very sunny and your feeling very hot.... what do you need?

Why a very cold Kiwi Cooler and a Lime Soda Cooler to quench your thirst.

As you can see from the photograph it was a very hot day when we decided to go for lunch at Amethyst. What am I saying, every day was a very hot day.

......and what a glorious place it was.  We were surrounded by the most luscious gardens, which I fell in love with. The sun was shining quite brilliantly, but we were sat underneath the canopied shade, with  a ceiling fan, gently circulating the air, to keep us cool. 

I did not take photographs of our lunches, because to be quite honest, we ate and enjoyed the lunch and it never occurred to me to take a photograph until after we had finished, and as lovely as our lunch was, it was the gardens which I wanted to show you.

Can you see why?

The pink flowers, on what I think is an Orchid Tree are  just so beautiful. Maybe you can tell me  if I am wrong, because to be honest I am not really sure.  What I am sure about is that the flowers are stunning.

....and what is there to say about this is an African Tulip Tree.... well there are so many words I could use, to describe the beauty of the flower, but I will just say, the beauty took my breath away. The colours of the flowers are so vibrant and with the blue backdrop of the sky....just perfect.

Now, I do know that Tulip Trees are grown in Atlanta, because the Sugar Hill Gang had a beautiful tree in their garden.  I had mistakenly thought it was a magnolia tree, because there is a similarity, but the Sugar Hill Gang's Tulip Tree was a beautiful shade of pink.

This fascinating plant is known as the Bird of Paradise and I grew the yellow version when we lived in Cyprus.  

A friend gave me some seeds which we planted in the ground in October, when we knew the rains would be arriving. The first year of planting, the seed was "settling in" and was finding it's roots, the second year, it grew quite quickly,  and produced lots of fern like, delicate leaves, which resembled a Maidenhead Fern, but the third year, it seemed to grow a mile a minute. The third year the plant  blossomed and was covered in these beautiful flowers. As I said, I grew the yellow version, so the flowers were yellow and the stamen, as in the photograph, were red....just so beautiful. The intriguing part about this plant is how it reseeds itself. Do you see the black  seed pods, well I shall tell you a tale.

George and I were sat in a shady part of our Cyprus garden, reading our books and just relaxing as it was siesta time, so all was quiet.  We heard what sounded like a ping, with something hitting the soil. This was during August, when the soil was very hard and cracked, so you could hear the sound of something dropping. We both looked up, but decided it could be anything, when we heard another ping and a few minutes later another.  We went to investigate in the vicinity where we thought the sound had come from, and there on the hardened soil, were seed pods, which were empty, so we looked around and discovered seeds which were quite a distance from the main plant.  This very clever plant, waits for the seeds to dry, then the pods open and the seeds are catapulted as far away from the main plant as possible, so as not to inhibit the growth of the mother plant.  Then all the seeds have to do is wait until the rains come, hopefully in October, to allow it to amazing is that.  

Now this little fellow tickled my you know what it is.....yes, a baby pineapple.  Maybe you have seen pineapples growing before, but I certainly had not..... it is fabulous. I would love to own a pineapple plant to watch it grow, but the weather here, is certainly not conducive to growing sun loving pineapples.

Chennai is a very humid climate which is perfect growing conditions for the palms.

I grow this type of palm, planted in a pot, in my house. The trick to caring for these palms is not too much water, but they will thank you for  a fine mist of water to create  humidity around the plant.  

As you can see these palms can grow to enormous heights and because the conditions are just right they grow in abundance.

The colour of the flowers on this Crown of Thorns is just so beautiful. If you look closely you will see the spikes growing out of the very careful when touching this plant.

Now this is a plant which I grow in my garden the Solanum Jasminoides or potato vine as I know it as. I love how the plants intermingled with each other to form canopies of shade.

......and this fellow, the Flaming Dragon Tree, is a plant I have grown on numerous occasions, as a house plant.  

Reading that sentence back it sounds as if I am always buying these plants, because they do not survive in my house, but that is not so.  I love growing plants, whether it is in the garden or in the house, but when you move as often as I have, plants cannot travel with you, so they were always given away to friends, who I knew would take care of them.

It is fascinating visiting hotter climates to discover just how many plants, which we grow indoors, are  grown outdoors......and we wonder why they do not survive without specialist care.

Gardening is such a large part of my life, I look forward to May, when I can start gardening again in earnest.  For those few short months, when the days are longer and much warmer when  I can lose myself in my garden for hours..... it makes me so happy..... and that time is almost here.

This week I shall be joining,

Take care and I will see you later in the week.

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