Sun, Sea and Succulents…….(bet you were hoping for something different there). I love Mallorca for many reasons, not least for its wonderful climate, tapas, local wines and landscape, its great city, Palma, and of course its plant life.
Those towering Palm trees photographed for many a postcard, run along beach fronts, in gardens and line roadsides, their long shadows providing welcome shade.
Great big prickly pears, Opuntia, can be seen growing on the side of the road, often against tumble down abandoned houses, and I understand that these were planted by peasants because its distinctive smell kept away insects from the outside loo “facilities”! The fruit which ripens in summer is used as food for pigs or made into a jelly. Other road side plants are Oleanders, a colourful show of pinks or whites softening the infrastructure.
Olives, Almond, Carob and Citrus trees grow to proportions we can only dream about. Big Olive/ small car.
We were lucky enough to be given a crate of oranges upon arrival and used them to keep us supplied in freshly squeezed juice each morning. If only we could bottle that smell for the depths of Winter.
Bougainvilleas are planted along walls and scramble over boundaries all over the Island, their distinctive colour dazzles in the bright light. In the evening light, sheep got to work with a little light pruning, seeming to be rather partial to a pink snack.
Hibiscus are knockout show stoppers and as much as I love to see “Oiseau bleu” here in Blighty they really do not compare with these:
There is fennel, self seeded on the road sides wafting its liquorice like aroma in the warm air. Rosemary, Lavender, all wonderful, but my love is a Succulent. There is something really great about the way that they thrive in baking conditions, never asking for anything, putting up with little or no water. To me they look fabulous, shades of green, grey, terracotta, with or without a soft grey down, like velvet or peach skins.
Many inhabitants on the Island live in flats with perhaps only a small window box or balcony to grow anything in, some just use the space around the front door to satisfy the need for a plant or two.
Then there are the more architectural Agave and Cacti which in this setting look worthy of admiration rather than those dusty,somewhat sad looking varieties on chilly dark window cills of Suburbia.I love the way the spine of needles on a new Agave leaf leaves its imprint on the surface of its outer neighbour. And these Agave grow to mammoth proportions, this is quite a small one, broken off and placed next to crockery to show scale.
These pictures were taken on holiday and understandably will not make it into the family album, here’s hoping you like them.
I would be interested to learn the names of any of the succulents, so should you happen to be in the know, send me a message via the comments section.