Enzian Facing South

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Found at approx 1600 meters above sea level in the
Swiss Alps, Bernese Highlands, Jungfrau Region

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Gentiana acaulis
22May2018

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Hedge your bet

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Prunus laurocerasus has become very popular as a hedge to secure privacy for people in the small gardens around the houses of the Bernese Highlands.

This plant is evergreen, takes to trimming, makes a nice tall, thick hedge, and has a light but pleasant fragrance in flower. Bees like it and birds like it.

 

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But I have observed a huge amount of pollen gather on Lake Brienz while this plant is at and past its peak flowering.

 

 

Interesting no? Comments please?

Talk about a dream

The past quickly becomes a dream at best and worst–Dubai Dreamland.

Well, while I was dreaming about walking distance green and blue in local parks…

How does that shopping work if you don’t want to get into your car every day?

And what if I have to be driving through a neighbourhood and need to shop?

…safe at last…or…

Dubai urbanification–this is the Coastal Zone. In fact, it is the heart of a growing 200km long megalopolis connecting Ras al Kaimah in the north to Abu Dhabi in the south. And it was once…Empty Quarter.

The serviceable part of a lot of those hi-rise apartment neighbourhoods is that ground floor has retail space. I don’t want to turn this into some kind of planners manifesto; but if you must live in an apartment building, it is hugely practical to have retail on the ground floor of hi-rise–especially if your goal is to reduce numbers of local auto trips.

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600 m above sea level

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Swiss Alps spring pastures

At 600 meters above sea level, early May in the Bernese Highlands, grassland pastures are full with first wild flowers. Imagine in the air, the fragrance of fresh green pasture spring.

Teach, Teaching, Taught

I like to share things about plants, gardens and landscape. Things that can enliven and inspire.

But this set of photos is only about sharing perception in what I think of as teaching.

Every day I have mountains in my face. These photos how some of them. In particular, these photos tell a story that is quite visually apparent in early spring.

Here are the stories or rather the lessons learned:

  1. Spring comes earlier at lower elevations than higher elevations.
  2. Higher elevations have conifer only forests. Lower elevations have deciduous only forests. The two forest types merge in the middle elevations.
  3. And the last image is a close up of the glorious electric lime green at this stage of spring growth.
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Notice the green grasses in the lower elevations. Compare it to the brown yellow grasses at the higher elevations.

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Darker green forest trees are conifers. Spring green forests are deciduous.

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Electric lime green spring foliage on a mixture of deciduous trees.

Chocolate Gardens

This is about Moroccan gardens and landscape.

Earlier today, I prepared to record the revised draft of one of my novels to perform a sentence by sentence prose edit. To my surprise, as I set up a folder for the audio, I found an old .aif file entitled Chocolate Gardens. On that 30 minute file I heard myself reading what appeared to be a post publication recall of events.

Well, since my stroke I am finding quite a few things I had completely forgotten. That’s kinda fun. Maybe sad, but still fun. We all have imperfect memories, but as a stroke victim, I seem to have now a greater worrisome sense about forgetfulness. Oh well, time continues. No harm done.

The Chocolate Gardens tells the story of a Tangier, Morocco garden, as recorded by Christopher two decades ago. In order to visit the garden he was required by the garden’s owners, a Brit and a Ruskie, to undergo a special ordeal of chocolate and absinthe before walking at sunset in the garden. Christopher first had to visit the land of the green fairies before he could enter their Oval Garden. This is that story.

Readers…by now you know that my blog, flahertylandscape, is all about plants and people–landscape journeys. Sounds fair and safe enough; but what I am about to share with you goes beyond strange.

Anyone who has worked in a garden–suffered blisters and callouses in a garden for fruit, vegetables, flowers, medicine–knows there is something more in those gardens. This is for you.

Gardens? Chocolate? Yes, definitely…but I never thought to combine them until the email I received quite recently from an almost forgotten friend. Donkeys’ years ago when I was in Tangier, we worked together on the Baie de Tanger–it was a tourist destination development project.

Now, my friend’s still in Tangier, but as an antique dealer, using as an income cover, a store of second hand furniture.

I have attached a link to a 30 min. SoundCloud file that tells the rest of the story. I hope you like it.

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…for millennia…Tangier has been a nexus of Mediterranean, African and European cultures…a classic melting pot that is still on the boil.

This is in part a freshly edited re-post of  a 2015 post I made, entitled Chocolate, Gardens and Magic, which if I might say so, was well illustrated with Art Nouveau graphics.