Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Beautiful Madeira

Hello everyone, I'm just back from a week's holiday on the gorgeous island of Madeira.
What an inspiration, the island is so rich in flora that at every turn you see colourful bursts of beauty.

Bird of Paradise flowers are so abundant they almost become mainstream and banks of blue Agapanthus line the roads.
Madeira belongs to Portugal but has strong ties with the UK  so there's an influence of English style in the formal gardens.
I spotted my first ever Monarch butterfly in the centre of Funchal, the capital, they are so big and quite difficult to photograph.
Madeira has a fairly mountainous terrain and some lovely steep hills to conquer. The landscape is dotted with 'levadas' irrigation channels which are now popular walks. Some are fairly gentle and shady whereas others are craggy and precipitous.
This beautiful Madeiran Spotted Wood was nestling on an Agapanthus leaf , found during our levada walk in Paradise Valley.
As you climb higher the landscape changes and becomes less verdant but very dramatic. Here we are at 1,000 metres overlooking the Nuns' Valley.
The air scented with Eucalyptus and Pine trees.  
We walked with a local guide who was so informative about the plants and their uses, pointing out Poinsettias, Hollyhocks, Dragon Trees.........
At the end of the walk he presented me with a little selection of bulbs and seeds,
'The British brought a lot of plants to my island, now you can take some back!'
So I will always have a small piece of Madeira in my garden.
In my next blog I'll show you the beautiful embroidery I discovered on my travels.