Feb 1, 2016

Other winters in February, from the Archive

Forecast:  sunny and around 18ºC for the next days!!!!  can you believe this is February 1st???? From my window today,

As tomorrow is already Groundhog Day, and this winter is nothing like a normal winter so far, and I miss so much cold and snowy weather, I have decided to go back into the archive and check on previous  Februaries to look for more wintery images!

February 2014, Horninan Museum and Gardens, London  My first visit to this museum and gardens, where I had a great time! 

February 2013, Vondel Park, Amsterdam

This image is from February 2010, is not on the blog since I did not started it until late that year, but I love it and brings good memories of snow from the terrace at home.

How about your February 1st, landscapes?

Jan 18, 2016

A secluded urban garden, winter portrait

Some days ago I was greatly surprised by discovering a renovated (I mean the architecture and the gardens) institution, the Fundación Giner De Los RíosAs it was Sunday only the exhibition halls and gardens were open to visitors.  These areas opened recently after a long renovation by architectural studio amid.cero9, and I really liked their approach to consolidate the old buildings with the new ones, creating a one solid architectural compound. I also enjoyed very much the gardens restored by landscaper Teresa Galí-Izar, who worked with the concept of respecting the original garden, maintaining the idea of being the garden the focal and meeting point, as well as conceiving it as a changing and evolving space.

It looks as a secluded garden, in the middle of a busy neighborhood and not very large. One interesting solution is that as there is not enough depth in the ground to plant climbers, trees, or species that would need good ground, as under the garden there are basements, they have used large planting bags especially for climbers that would cover the tubular walls of buildings facing the garden.

I really am interested in following this through the seasons and see how it evolves and what vegetation will be growing in the different micro areas kind of modern parterres. 

Jan 12, 2016

A Xmas trip to the Tropical Coast, Spain

Now that the Xmas holidays are definitely gone, in Spain are longer than in other countries -for the presents are brought by the ¨Three Wise Men¨ on the night of January 5th-, I am doing some recap of images of the days passed with the family in the south, the region so calle Tropical Coast for the mild, sunny micro climate that produces agricultural delicacies exported to all Europe, such as avocados, mangos, chirimoyas, sugar cane tomatoes, etc.

Here are some images of the Park of the Americas in the town of Motril, where you can find exotic and subtropical species native to different parts of the American Continent and the Pacific. such as Taxodium distichum in the small pond, in the image below.

or the Strelitzias in full bloom.

There are some apartment and hotel developments in the area and the vegetation is 
consistent with the climate.

And then here is the sea, Kms, of beaches that in summer are crowded, but my favorite moment is winter when you can walk and enjoy the mild weather.  there are some good spots with consistent winds for enjoyment of wind-kitesurf lovers have the most fun all year round.

And I cannot forget the agriculture, almost the most important economic sector in the area, this is where all the greenhouse cultivation started decades ago and has been the engine of economic growth in the region.  Most of is for export to Europe and other countries.  The controversy of growing down plastic has forced to change habits and now outdoors organic cultivation is growing rapidly.

My favorite: avocado and chirimoya orchards, hectares and hectares of them!

Living the are on the way back to Madrid, here are some snaps of the geography with the Sierra Nevada mountains on the background, just outside of Granada city. 

In this picture you can see how the landscape changes for subtropical to continental 
vegetation as the route heads North. 

I hope you have enjoyed the virtual trip!

Dec 10, 2015

Ghent University Botanical Garden, Gent ( BE)

The website Botanic Gardens Conservation International offers a very comprehensive information about a growing net of botanical institutions associated.  One of them is the Ghent University Botanical Gardens (Plantentuin Universiteit Ghent).

The gardens are associated to one of the university's research departments and its founding history goes 200 years back, in times of Napoleon when central schools were founded and had associated a botanical garden, for research and educational purposes.

After many troubled times and the independence of Belgium, the city of Gent received back the institution, but it was decided to relocate the gardens to a southern part of the city in order to have more space to house/ display the collections that were divided into several sections organized around the concepts of: an open air garden, a Victoria glasshouse, several experimental greenhouses, a palm house and a orangery.

Years later new additions were planned, such as the rock garden and extra greenhouses.  These were the main buildings until mid 20th century when some new sections were designed and there was a new addition: a modern glasshouse.

I have visited the gardens several times in spring and also at the end of autumn in December, because it is when is best perceived the design of sections and landscape and these are just some of the images in late fall almost winter season.

Dec 1, 2015

Nature always surprise!

Yesterday I published in FB this image with the next text: 

Let's start the week with a smile. I love surprises: our window little garden just gave this Monday a big one: the first potato!!!  And we found there are more on the way! This is our humble statement for the UN Climate summit starting today in Paris.
It's been a while since I last posted here, busy weeks with different projects, but there are days when you have to make room for a smile.   
We have windowsills but no balconies as we live in downtown.  We have been working for weeks after the summer to have our symbolic little garden, we planted some seeds to see what would grow.  
And we were lucky to see some flowers blooming herbs for our kitchen. 
We planted potatoes and sweet potatoes for greening the pots, and what a special treat to find those unexpected "jewels" late in autumn!!!
 Since we are experiencing a rather too warm fall, we believe we are going to have more surprises or at least, a green windowsill for a little longer. We need rain, but is unlikely to happen soon and that's a very negative situation. 
 Let's see what brings the COP21 Paris Summit 2015 in Paris to solve climate problems.  Let's hope for the best!