Wednesday, 28 July 2010

the gardens of lisbon

I've been overseas for work in Lisbon where I was amazed at how many plants I recognised. Almost everything I saw was part of the "warm/dry" plant spectrum you see more and more of around Melbourne: oleander, palms, bougainvillea, agapanthus, lemon trees, jacaranda, olive trees, agaves, pencil pines and even gum trees and paperbarks. It's a Mediterranean climate so I'm not surprised, Melbourne's looking a bit more Mediterranean every year. The only place you saw the more temperate Melbourne plants, like hydrangeas and camellias, were out of the city up in the hills.

And I was intrigued by how people managed to squeeze gardens into the city where most people have, at best, a window box.  Here's a classic example of what I mean - look at all those plants on a tiny window box!  Often they were artificial plants.
Here's an example of the amazing bougainvillea - absolutely stunning.
These gardens backed onto a castle at the top of the hill. Imagine having a garden on three small terraces! But these must have been really, really expensive houses to afford this much garden.
This plant looked really familiar but I don't know exactly what it is. But it sure looked funny.
Here's another plant that I don't know, and this one I've never seen before.
These folks shared a little public courtyard which was filled with plants, including a little lemon tree.
And these guys wanted to hold onto their vine so badly they held together the broken pot with wire.
And finally, this sight absolutely inspired me. 10-foot-tall sunflowers growing out of pots on a window ledge. If they can do that, I can do that. Sunflowers are on the list this year.