Technology is a wonderful thing!
It allows me to be the face (as in book) of the Public Gardens though I am 5 time zones away. This does not come without its challenges. You have to be relevant to your audience, therefore current with your topic… difficult, but not impossible to do from afar thanks to technology.
I read the local papers, keep in touch by email, read tweets and posts and even spy from webcams. All so that I can inform people what is going on at the Gardens…while living in Mallorca.
What I can’t do is what I love to do best. Photograph nature and the passage of time in this wondrous place we are blessed to have. That you can’t do from afar. I return home next week but until then…
You’ll have to forgive me if I fill this post with a tour of another places’ ‘public’ gardens. Palma de Mallorca. All the gardens I have pictured here are public spaces and except for two, all are funded by the public purse.
I found this garden by happenstance (not a rare occurrence I’m happy to state). I had taken friends to the huge cathedral for a visit (something I’ve done more times than one would want) and on the way out I was rewarded by stumbling into the Jardí del Bisbe. This garden is maintained by the city and open to the public free of charge. Being the dead of winter it was mostly devoid of flowers but lovely and peaceful nevertheless.
Bougainvillea is the next most populous plant. Actually make it the most. These cascade down a huge retaining wall which fronts an old, incredibly quaint fishing village and overlooks the bay in the centre of town. The old windmill isn’t functional anymore but it gives you a hint about the availability of wind on the island. There are old windmills scattered all over the island.
S’Hort del Rei Gardens an Arabic style garden below the Almudaina palace was once the site of the Kings ‘hort’, where fruit groves and food was grown. Many of the gardens here have a moorish influence from the 200 years they were conquerors of the island. Most important, they brought irrigation to this parched island and harnessed what little water was available in the most aesthetic way.
Technically this isn’t a public garden. These geraniums are cascading over the wall of Banys Arabs, one of the few remaining buildings from the Moorish occupation of Mallorca in the 10th century. Pelergoniums (Geraniums) are a perennial plant here.
Torrent de sa Riera, collects the excess rainwater that pours down from the mountains on one of the 60 rain days per year, and drains it into the ocean. Rainwater is collected for later use, but torrentes are necessary to protect the land from erosion. Who said functional couldn’t be beautiful?
Osteospermums (African Daisies) grow everywhere here. They love the hot dry climate of Mallorca and are used wherever a tough, carefree plant is needed. The coast of Africa is a mere 314K due south of here, so many of the plants migrated from there as well as the brown dust that falls like rain and originate in the Sahara.
I came to this island to cycle, and cycle I do (1300K in the last 3 months). Aside from the joy I get from being outdoors in the sunshine and all those endorphins flooding my system, I also discover beautiful places without meaning to.
This little collection of houses sit on two perpendicular cobbled streets, in the middle of agricultural fields, with a church and well at its crossroads. The public face of it is literally a garden. I can only imagine what the gardens behind the walls look like.
Like other drought tolerant plants, Aeoniums (Houseleeks) thrive here. Many of my house plants, and many of the plants in the Display House at the Gardens, are common plants here, sometimes verging on being ‘weeds’.
My favourite find. I was riding down a road and spotted a riot of colour coming from what turned out to be a cemetery. This walled garden acted as the forecourt to the cemetery. I have never seen so many flowers in one place here….not even at the botanical gardens.
Not a public garden but a gift from the Gods… and the owner of the orange grove.
Oxalis stricta (Yellow wood sorrel) grows beneath the trees lighting up the field. When you walk (or ride) by, the scent of the orange blossoms can only be described as heavenly.
The season is picking up its pace and there are lots happening at the Gardens (both socially and horticulturally).
We have many events coming up which promise to be a great success.
Victoria Day Tea Party at the Lord Nelson Hotel on May 19 from 2-5PM. This event sold out last year so if you don’t have your tickets yet, don’t dither. Tickets $15 available online or at Horticultural Hall at the Gardens. Make it an extra special day by coming to the Gardens at 12:30PM beforehand to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales as he plants a new tree next to his grandfathers’ Oak.
Our 5th Jarvis Lecture series will take place on June 2, at 7:30PM at Sacred Heart School Little Theatre. Featuring the Senior Curator of the Denver Botanic Gardens, this lecture is co-sponsored by TFPG and the Atlantic Rhododendron and Horticultural Society, and is free of charge.
There are many other things happening at the Gardens including the Open House at the Greenhouse and Open City at Horticultural Hall featuring garden writer Niki Jabbour.
For more information on these and other events please visit our Calendar of Events.
All copy and images copyright © Serena Graham-Dwyer, 2014. If you wish to use any part or whole of an image, in any manner, please contact us.