Gardens? The Hesperides?

The Rock? The Strait of Gibraltar?
An illustration from a 1922 edition John Milton’s Comus, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

Myself, I went to North Africa once, and that was enough–too many people pressing in on me all the time–not my idea of a fun afternoon. I was more interested in nymphs, orange blossoms and golden apples in the Garden of the Hesperides.

Finding that garden though, has been one of those fun, but not really serious peccadillo challenges in my life. Good descriptions are hard to come by, what to speak of the garden itself.  I’ve never found it.  I’ve always come up empty. So this time, I figured since I was in the neighborhood–since I was in that hazy western Mediterranean–I figured I’d look for that garden again.

Read this entire short story, The Rock, for FREE on amazon Vella at this link: https://bit.ly/3Hv6p2p

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Health, good health

*Health, good health*

Everybody wants it; but can health, good health be seen?

I’m not talking about humans.

This is about plants. And it is not a discussion about the definition of beauty or the definition of good health.

It is rather about what our eyes can observe. See a beautiful plant. See a beautiful flower. We are accustomed to those.

But something happened to me the other day on a walk. Our local weather has been good: sunshine, warmth and deep gentle rains. Locally, one finds in many home gardens well maintained topsoil–mulched with animal manures and dug in every year.

What does that mean? Healthy plant growth. And even with very common plants, their health shines. It captured my attention recently. My photo shows that. I hope you can see it.

Unusual perceptions of plants and their flowers? That is what CJ experienced for the first time in my book, Tangier Gardens. If you like plants and their flowers you will like CJ’s story.

As it has for millennia–the rose

As it has for millennia…the fragrant rose…exudes a mellow sweetness that quietly and slowly penetrates the deepest corners of the heart and surreptitiously intoxicates…soothes all emotions. 

…the fragrant rose…

Get close to a fragrant rose today. It is a free pleasure. Let that fragrance enter your being.

When CJ was in Morocco, it was not scent so much as the sights and sounds of the plants that entered his being and took him to places never talked about at university.

Tangier Gardens

Lilac Sunday

Lilacs. Syringa species.

A long time ago–an embarassing number of years–more than you need to know, I worked at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Boston in the United States. Their specialization was woody plants. 

They have four hundred named cultivars, varieties and species of lilac (Syringa). Each spring they have a massive public event that huge crowds attend–Lilac Sunday. The event timing varied as climate related events do. Early warm spring meant early lilacs could be mid-late April. Cold and a late spring meant late lilacs could be mid May.

So we watched carefully each year to determine accurately when would Lilac Sunday be.

All that crossed my mind as I was looking and enjoying lilac fragrance everywhere in my home town today. So if I was to call Lilac Sunday, I’d call it this week–Mother’s Day in the USA. 

And the climate? A normal average year.

Go out and find a lilac. Enjoy the blooms and their fragrance. They go by rather quickly as May warms the earth.

For a virtual visit to the lilacs at the Arnold Arboretum, there is a 3 minute video at this link here (Mask not required).

The advertisement for this year’s Lilac Sunday celebration is here.

If you are really into the beauty and fragrance of flowers, please join my email list to get updates on the discoveries of my protagonist, Christopher Janus (CJ) and his discoveries in the landscape, especially the plant world.

Just Published again? No, this time it’s spring

Spring has been marching in–absolutely glorious!!

It dances. It sings.

The beauty of spring’s music hypnotises.

Don’t want it to ever finish–but it does.

And the magic is that it returns a year later. The more I think about that coming and going of beauty over time–the more I am inspired to write.

The first book I have written on the beauty of plants and the passage of time is Tangier Gardens.

Today is the last day that Tangier Gardens eBook can be picked up for FREE.

Tangier Gardens?

Original 17th century Wenceslaus Hollar view of Tangier harbour post-processed by flahertylandscape.

CJ was coming of age and he was lost. He had wanted to get absorbed in a different culture. The labyrinth had captured him. In his despair he turned to his oldest friend, a girl with whom he had been growing for the past six years. And she became his strength. Though separated from CJ by thousands of miles, she lit his path to clarity.

Tangier Gardens. Launching March 2022. Notification of details and discounts here.

Sun and sand: MOROCCO

CJ had visited Morocco once before. A long time ago . He was with his Mom. And he was only six. They spent three months on the beaches of Essaouira; but they never visited Tangier.

Now 20 years later he was on his way to Tangier. He thought he knew Morocco.

flahertylandscape is the root of Tangier Gardens.
Sun and Sand Morocco is a trailer that recalls CJ’s memories and some of his uncertainties.

Want more? Visit my Tangier Gardens Amazon author page.