During the holidays, I spent lovely afternoons walks exploring the tiny alleys of the village of Capraia, looking at the carefully tended plants in people’s gardens or in front of their houses and I’ll share more about that soon.
But I especially fell for the wild plants growing in the hills or on the edges of the cliffs on our way down to the sea. Those plants really represent the island for me.
I love how their branches and spikes lightly scratched my legs as I walked by, reminding me of their presence, as if urging me to look down and observe them.
What the photos unfortunately can’t show is how the strong smell of the aromatic plants (like wild rosemary, erba gatta and elicriso) rose up in the air under the hot sun, titillating the senses as we walked by.
Depending on the hour of the day, the light would show up the colours against the backdrop of the sky in different ways, what a lovely sight.
The prickly pear cactus is one of the plants that is synonymous to me of hot summer days in Italy. When I see one I am immediately mentally transported to wonderful moments spent by the sea, feeling warm rays of sunshine drying the salt water on my skin and the joyful sensation of being on holidays and free:)
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One of the wonderful things of exploring Thailand was the quantity of plants everywhere. On many street corners, balconies, house fronts there were lovely plants. There were all sorts of frangipanis (which are one of my all time favorites since I lived in Australia) but the gorgeous colours on these ones shown above defy anything I’d seen yet.
This lovely lotus shot after a small rainshower is magical. Nature really knows how to combine colours.
How could I resist making a close-up of such a tiny furry leaf… it’s pure perfection!
There were also plenty of lovely flowers as decoration around the temples.
In Surat Thani as I was walking by the river, I came across this plant vendor’s shop on wheels. I admired the collection of luscious green pot plants for every taste, expertly squeezed onto every square centimeter of the cart.
This week Mirena sent me some cool pictures of her Peperomia ‘Happy Bean’ which is growing like crazy and rocking the windowsill in its colourful pot!! Thanks so much for the photos:)
Recently I found out that there is another botanical garden in Amsterdam and it’s less than a 10 minute bike away from my flat! So on one of my free Friday afternoons, in between 2 rain showers, I decided to go and check it out.
It’s free and you can just walk in, while volunteers mill around doing their thing. It’s a lovely place to relax and you don’t feel at all like you are close to the busy Zuidas.
The collection of succulents and cacti both in and around the glasshouses is spectacular, with hundreds of different species in every single available space.
Observing all the different plants, with their details and colours was a real pleasure as usual. There were very few visitors so I was undisturbed as I got in close to photograph the details. I think I’ll be heading back there soon for some more inspiration:)
Check out Botanic Garden Zuidas for the opening times (it’s near the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam Zuid).
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A special shout-out today to the universe for making star-shaped plants! Aren’t they simply beautiful?
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When I saw these tiny succulents it totally made my day! Looks like they are having an awesome party, dancing away and throwing their hands up in the air, like they just don’t care!
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A couple of weeks ago, I went to Leiden to spend one of our ‘creative afternoons’ with my friend Eva (a.k.a. eating delicious lunch, talking about all sorts of things over coffee and cake, getting some creative inspiration and then enjoying more food for dinner and chatting further into the evening:)
We decided to go to the Hortus to observe plants and spark our imagination. It was so different from the last time we went in November! With the arrival of spring there were many lovely new plants, and we spent an amazing afternoon strolling through the sunlit gardens and then sweating profusely as we explored the tropical glasshouses.
The collection is so abundant, that there was an infinity of amazing shapes and incredible colour combinations to look at.
Soon we were completely in the flow, pointing out tiny details to each other and admiring the rich textures and striking shapes, orchids in retro-colours and wonderful bright purples and blues.
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In the last few years I usually try to flee Amsterdam on King’s Day to avoid the crowds of people dressed in orange who hit the streets to celebrate the King’s birthday.
This year I’m in town but I took the opportunity of this day off to chill at home and do some spring cleaning at home whilst listening to S-Town (I’m hooked!).
Neverthelsess with the sun shining so nicely outside, I decided to get out of the house and go for a spontaneous photo walk around my neighbourhood, where luckily there are no crowds.
Despite May being just around the corner, it was still pretty cold, practically glove weather. The flowers popping up on every corner, bushes growing shiny fresh new leaves of all different colours and trees in full bloom tell another story. Winter is over!
It was a pleasure to be mindful and take in all the colours and textures to be found on a short walk.
A few years back I took a photo course and the field trip consisted in spending an afternoon taking photos at the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam of plants and butterflies. My favorite section was of course the desert greenhouse with the cacti and succulents.
It was so much fun to look so close up at the plants and see their amazing details and patterns. I loved observing these gorgeous little flowers with such beautiful pastel colours.
The texture of these velvety purple leaves was amazing and a challenge to try and capture on camera.
I remember being so focussed on the details, I was totally in the flow and didn’t feel time pass by. I think I will schedule another excursion there soon.
In 2014 during our trip to Glasgow, Eva and I explored the beautiful Botanic Gardens and enjoyed being surrounded by colourful tropical plants while it was grey outside.
We spent several hours discovering the glasshouses, in particular the Kibble Palace, a huge 19th century wrought iron glasshouse which is amazingly beautiful.
As we wandered around, taking our time and snapping lots of pictures of the gorgeous plants, a gardener came up to us. He indicated a plant and told us with his thick Scottish accent to take a closer… He was pointing to a tiny camouflaged stick-insect which we would never have spotted (not featured here;).