Saturday, April 20, 2013

Malta - scrubland or botanical paradise

Malta - scrubland or botanical paradise by Penelope S Hellyer

Excitement and anticipation was felt as my copy of The Hardy Plant Journal (Spring 2013) was pushed through the article about Malta.

Goats and sheep are as much at home on this terrain as the diverse number of plants found

My family are used to me lagging behind on a walk, even along a busy road, where my eagle eye will notice a gem often nestled deep in the grass. They find me touching a wall (where a stonecrop is growing) or fingering lichen. When we visited Malta for the first time, there were so many things that were attractive to my eye...the honey-coloured stone which is used in most of the house building.  The azure sea, endless blue sky, glorious sunny days - for the most part; though when the wind blows it tears at everything, your hair, your clothes, the trees - but almost as suddenly as it is there it is gone. We had driven to a sandy beach with family, flashing by scree; a myriad of colour to be investigated at a later date. We were taken to Dingli Cliff to see the only focus was on the rocky terrain. Stumbling in unsuitable shoes (a mistake not repeated since) across the small rocks and stones I couldn't believe the choice of plants, many already setting seed, hiding in the shade, growing from the indents in the limestone. Fortunately my enthusiasm was infectious as each of my family pointed out further little gems to be photographed. Each time I have returned to Malta, Dingli cliff is the most important point of call...I would like to visit once a month to see what is in flower. 

I will be posting the article here at a later date.

Dingli Cliff viewed from the sea - a boat trip well worth taking
Join the HPS (see page for more information). You can join a group local to where you live. Garden visits and interesting talks are arranged and all the members have one thing in common...a passion for plants.

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