After six years of snatched weekends and odd days here and there the family have just returned from ten whole days away. Not for us Soggy Skegness or Western-Super-Mud, no, we went the whole hog and opted for the Balearics.
To make it a complete break smart phones and ipods were banned, left at home along with any thoughts of work. Instead books (of varying frothiness) were packed along with the Factor Gazillion to protect limbs of such dazzling whiteness they could put a Persil commercial to shame.
So thoughts of gardens were put to the back of my mind. The most challenging thing to think about, which bar to go to for cocktails?
However, as you wander about you cant help but notice the plants. More Bougainvillea than you can shake a stick at, grown as hedges or as wall shrubs, it’s everywhere! Cerise and purple with the odd splash of white.
Very few pastels in evidence in the planting with the noticeable exception of a pink Trumpet Vine (Podranea ricasoliana)
Roof top gardens shaded by vines with succulents and cacti in pots, verandas cool beneath palms and evergreens. In the old towns, as you walk through the narrow streets, glimpses of small secret courtyards can be spied through half opened doors.
Vineyards and agriculture are more evident on the plains and foothills, with the old windmills still in evidence. Although now redundant in the most part, electric pumps are now used to bring groundwater to the surface to water the crops, they are still numerous. Where land is derelict and parched, fennel grows abundantly amongst brambles like a weed on the thin limestone soil.
So there you have it, ten days in fabulous sunshine with no thoughts of gardens whatsoever.