My Majorcan experience

Breathtaking seaside and crowded with tourists

this is what I will remember.

I enjoyed swimming in the clear sea that white sand would offer us eventually after a little walk from the hotel.

I loved traveling to Porto Cristo, enjoyed the little restaurants and quiet cafés in the back streets up the hill.

I only wish I could travel off peak really. Bt as long as I am a teacher, it is not an option!

At hotel - View from terrace lording over the swimming pool, in the morning light

At hotel – View from terrace lording over the swimming pool, in the morning light

setting sun

At hotel- view from dining area at sunset

View onto the creek near the hotel

View onto the creek near the hotel

 

Don't forget to grab a tasty bite and a cooling drink!

Don’t forget to grab a tasty bite and a cooling drink!

busy beach at Porto Cristo

busy beach at Porto Cristo

 

the view onto the creek at Porto Cristo

the view onto the creek at Porto Cristo

 

Porto Cristo Church

the good life

We enjoyed the cooler back streets and the charming cafés & restaurants

From inside the church, the view is stunning!

From inside the church, the view is stunning!

Sep 6, 2016

my trip to Corfu

It has been a most exquisite and hot experience, I shall certainly go back to the City of Corfu some time!

setting sun in Garitsa Bay

setting sun in Garitsa Bay

view from the Venitician fortress

view from the Venitician fortress

busy night life in the Old City

busy night life in the Old City

This beautiful construction marks the emplacment of the fresh water cistern built by the English some 800 years ago

This beautiful construction marks the emplacement of the fresh water cistern built by the English some 800 years ago

gardener busy on the roof garden of the hotel

gardener busy on the roof garden of the hotel

view from the hotel onto Garitsa Bay

view from the hotel onto Garitsa Bay

Aug 15, 2015

this is May, and the Barcelona experience

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that’s how I feel today…. tomorrow is bank holiday Monday you see !

 

there has been some time since I last posted a message, the mood was not right to tell you all… The weather is partly responsible : mid May and we managed to eat out only twice for this year.

So I took my daughter for a short break to Barcelona – we have so many bank holidays in May, it is the time or never ! Again, the weather was so so, but our stay could not be spoiled just because of the colour of the sky. We loved eating at the Ola tapas restaurant, very classy and tasty 🙂

we stayed in a funny kind of “hotel meet guest house” called the Vasanta hotel… I can highly recommend it for its standard and uniqueness !

Here are the few pics I’d like to share with you :

funny bottle-shaped palms

funny bottle-shaped palms

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last one from the lobby of the Vasanta hotel

10. lobby del hostel vasanta, ultima foto

and that’s all folks ! I was about to say “old sport” but that’s because I saw The Great Gatsby at the movie last night, and I absolutely loooooooooooooooved it !

What’s new with you ?

 

May 19, 2013

a zen garden ‘le sentier du chimonobambusa’

The Chimonobambusa garden takes its name after a type of bamboo which is planted in it. The name sounded nice – said Martine, the owner.

It is located in the suburb of Lille, in Hellemes, nestled at the back a city house, flanked on all sides by brick walls. It is a narrow strip divided into three rooms, and the display of plants reveals true mastership in the art of plant association and pruning.

The visitor is welcomed by a smiling face – Martine invites you into the entry hall, and then you realize you are entering a private house, Martine’s house. It is a surprise, I feel like wiping my feet even more carefully as that day was a rainy day… But Martine is not fussed, and takes you in further a loooooooong corridor, past the two noisy dogs, that I couldn’t resist patting. That was the kitchen, then the dining-room, all in a line ; lovely decoration, all in the Japanese mood, you feel you’re getting transported into a different place, and eventually : waouh, the view onto the garden through the French window :

 

in the sun

The pond takes almost all the space, and you need to walk on the deck bridge to go across. It is 25 cubic meters, 1.5 m deep, with sides made of breeze block and a layer of resin.

All around the planting corresponds to the Japanese theme : pruning in the shape of clouds, alliance of leaf shape and colour.

opening view onto the garden

 

 

 

 

 

feeding time

 

 

The carps looked impressive,

and it didn’t take them long

to gulp down the pellets

Martine threw in the water

for the show !

 

 

 

 

multi layer edging

 

The planting is staged on different levels,

even around the pond.

 

 

 

ground cover planting

 

 

 

 

You think green is just green ?

A plant is like any other plant ?

Think again !

 

martine in situ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the pond, a winding path made of stones and gravel leads you to the second room. I love the bamboo canes stripped bare and the rustle of the soft leaves above my head.

the art of staging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back, I can’t help noticing the clever art of staging which is displayed : every bit of the space is filled with a feature or a plant with a goal to serve.

planting in shades and stages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the back, a raised terrace is lording onto the plot.

More stones and wood, trees kept at man’s height,

grasses and bushes invited to raise,

but in a controlled manner.

Unity is truly achieved here.

 

And then, I couldn’t resist capturing shots of the heads that are scattered all around :

often in twos or threes or more, never alone, they seem to be deep engrossed into  a conversation that no visitor can perturb !

That’s all folks ! Hope you enjoyed the tour. One thing is sure : I will go back to see the magnolia in bloom !

Oct 7, 2012

a taste of the tropics, made in Miami

Back from my trip overseas, I’ve got some photos I’d like to share with you, dear readers.

It was a great experience to visit Miami with a keen eye for the plants. Some areas are truly beautifully planted, like the Historic Spanish district :

We had a real feel of the Mediterranean here, if it was not for the pervading humid tropic air that would enter every pore of our skin ! We walked through the lovely quiet streets in the day time, then we had fantastic meals at night in a much more animated atmosphere. Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Brazilian… make your choice, the food is excellent.

 

I wish I lived here !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I especially liked the use of  large pots to mark the edge of the street – they provided privacy as well as a sense of coolness.

They were abundantly watered mornings, before lunch clients  and afternoons, before dinner clients. Of course, there was the mosquito factor to take into account, but then we were initiated to the fabulous ‘off’ spray.

 

The art deco district was also rich in planting : lines of palm trees of course, but also walls, roofs, dunes. The result is a softened environment, which despite the prevailing forceful heat keeps on a welcoming appeal.

dune at South Beach, Miami

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sharp contrast north of the city !

like in the movies !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also visited the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, the Miami Botanic Garden and we had a tour in the Everglades. And I believe I’ll manage to show you the planting side of the famous Miami Seaquarium !

So more colourful tropical posts to come, keep in touch !

Aug 19, 2012

work experience in New Caledonia

Quentin, 20,  undertook a trip to New Caledonia and stayed for 5 weeks in Noumea last November. He worked for a firm specialized in the maintenance and creation of gardens. They do various jobs like creating ponds, planting (palms, flamboyant, herbs, fruit trees – mango, litchi, banana, corossol, frangipanis…), fencing and the usual maintenance tasks : pruning, mowing, weeding…

Quentin worked more especially on fencing :

– one was a wooden fence : it surrounds the town sports field at Dumbea sur Mer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– the other one was a wire fence for a public garden, still at Dumbea sur Mer   

 

 

 

 

 

 

He worked in a team of 3 people from 6.30 to 11 am and from 12 to 3.30pm. At lunchtime, he would have a sandwich which

was kept in a coolbox and wash it down with a lot of water – the heat was intense for a recently imported zoreille !

After work, the day was spent with family and friends, strolling on the beach, or through the town. A few pics of what life was like over there…

 

splish splash splosh

scuba diving in a natural pool on the Pine Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

natural pool on the Pine Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 11, 2011