Showing posts from August, 2018

Gardens of Madeira

Two gardens spring to mind with the mention of Madeira aka 'Gods Botanical Garden'; Jardim Bot├ónico and Monte Palace.   Both can be accessed by cable-cars.  Monte Palace is at the top of a diagonal  ride which carries passengers 3,200 metres up above the capital Funchal (the name has origins in Fennel).  The structure has a similar height to the  5th tallest building in the world!   Whilst  the angle of the dangle is quite extreme at times the whole experience is both smooth and exhilarating.   The construction is an incredible feat of engineering and one that I was totally transfixed on especially the tall green towers that hold the whole thing up.  I loved it so much that I dragged my height-challenged partner on it twice during our vacation :) Once at the top you are greeted with the entrance to Monte Palace Tropical Gardens. There are 4 suggested routes around the walled space taking between 20 minutes (Guided trolley service) and 2 1/2 hrs (Flor


Its been a mad few weeks, been on holiday, started a new job, got the builders in.  This means I have completely neglected the garden.  I must pull my finger out and get back on it.  One of my distractions has gone, Instagram has been deleted.   Apart from the purchase of a Cotinus and some orange Daylily's to contrast with the purple foliage of the shrub I haven't done anything outside.  In fact they are still in their gc bargain-corner pots waiting to be planted.   The Lavender is crying out for a good hair-cut, things need feeding and watering, grass needs cutting, hedges need tidying, the wildlife pond needs skimming, there are weeds that need pulling, plums that need picking, climbers that need tying in and flowers that need deadheading. However, there is plenty of time for all that, this weekend looks promising...famous last words.  Here are some pictures I took this evening after my run home from work, today is my Friday as my sister is getting mar

My commute

[This view is about 1km from Birmingham City centre & the bars & clubs of Broad Street & the Mailbox] When not running home from work along the Worcester and Birmingham Canal on a Tuesday and a Friday (officially the worst and best days of the week), I am usually siting/standing on a train avoiding eye contact. Commuting on one of the busiest train lines into central Birmingham used to be one of my biggest stressors.  Even now I occasionally fall back into that state of mind and begin to loathe getting on a packed train.   Over the last few months I have started working on a flexi-time basis which means my commute into the City is usually a breeze as I can either start really early or relatively late.  Even better I can give my eyes a rest from a screen, sit and take in the scenery out of the window. When day-dreaming isn't an option I combat the daily stress (and avoid the public transport sin that is eye-contact with another human-being) by swiping