Invisible monkeys in the jungle

Our wonderful south Sulawesi government hosts took us to the jungle today.  It doesn’t get much better than an offer like this for me!  I was in Makassar 7 days wondering what was in the green hills on the horizon.  We visited the site of a future Botanic Gardens in Tompobulu in the Maros region…

Toko Bunga (garden centres) of Makassar

There’s a street in Makassar (jalan danau tanjung bunga) that is lined with many, many plant nurseries. Many almost hang over the adjacent lake on platforms. Popular plants are Norfolk Island pines & cycads. I am fairly sure I haven’t seen a native plant yet in urban Makassar (disclaimer palms are not my forte &…

Makassar’s alleyway (lorong) gardens

Today I visited the Lorong Gardens of Makassar.  The lorongs are poorer areas of the city with narrow (one way) streets (actually some are walkways). The project uses plants to beautify the alleyways and inspire pride, care & custodianship by the residents. It’s was so heart-warming to see local government in partnership with a community to…

Sulawesi (home) Gardens

Nothing like travelling to remind you that the love of plants and gardening is a universal thing. No matter where I’ve travelled people tuck plants in pots where they have no ground, or cultivate land with crops or beautiful gardens. This morning I wandered around some streets in Makassar to check them out.  It seems…

Somewhere in the French Alps

You know when someone drives you somewhere and you realise you chatted to them rather than looking where you were going?  So today I went into the French Alps on a field trip.  Luckily my phone records where photos are taken so it seems I went to the base of Aiguille de Loriaz in the Vallorcine…

Mosses to mini-mountains

A short train ride from the centre of Berlin is the 43ha Berlin BG.  It’s main draw card is the beautiful Victorian style greenhouses.  But it has more to offer including an expansive arboretum park, meadows, alpine garden (with its own mini-mountains), and a water plant collection.  My favourite is the moss garden!   The…

A castle in the forest

Ksiaz Castle (Zamek Ksiaz in Polish) is set in the Sudetan mountain beech forest. The dominant trees I saw were Quercus robur & Fagus sylvatica. Apparently there are yew trees too but I didn’t find them.  The outlook from the castle windows for 360 degrees is forest which must have been very nice for the…

An aquarium…for plants

The “Botanical Garden Of The University Of Wrocław” is a 7.4ha urban oasis in Poland’s 4th largest city.  Opening in 1811 it’s the second oldest garden in Poland (after Krakow). Like Krakow it’s set out for university teaching purposes.  The signage is wordy and probably not interesting to most visitors (even if you can speak…

The highest mountains of the Capathians

We are in the Tatras, the only alpine part of the Capathians which is in Poland (there is some snow here all year round).  There’s 12 peaks over 2000m (Mt Tongariro height). The vegetation tells the story: broadleaf forest, to conifers, shrubland then herbfield (2300m). Apparently there’s bears but thankfully/unfortunately we didn’t see them.  We…

A research garden

Botanic Gardens have a broad mandate (education, conservation, research, recreation & increasingly social and environmental purposes) and many gardens (like us) try and address the whole spectrum. Some choose to go strongly with one. If it’s a university paying the bills, like the Jagiellonian University BG of Kraków, then research is what it does.  The…