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…

Fruit Salad Sulawesi style

If you were making a fruit salad in Sulawesi right now it would have jeruk (a pale mild mandarin), mangosteen and longans, dragonfruit (fruit of a cactus), snakefruit (a palm fruit), soursop and jicama (root of a pea family vine). Today I had jeruk & snakefruit at breakfast. Snakefruit is sour/sweet not quite like anything…

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…

The realm of Hasanudin, Makassar

Botanic gardens are international networks and, at least us little players, help each other out when we can. People who work in gardens rock up at my work often & it’s great to show them round & learn what we have in common, what’s different & what can we learn from each other. So I…

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…

Getting around Ukraine

I have seen as many new and flash cars here in Ukraine as we do at home but for the record there’s also some relics of the soviet era that need to be recorded! Some of these I traveled in.

Flowers for the founder 

Taras Shevchenko is known as the Father of Ukrainian language. Many things are named after him, and this is his image in his square, in front of the Taras Shevchenko Uni and on Taras Shevchenko Boulevard. Today they planted the annual bedding around it. People place cut flowers on the grass beside him as a tribute….

Poplar snow in spring, Kyiv 

Kyiv is known as a green city and ‘the city of chestnuts’ (Aesculus hippocastanum) but right now it’s snowing poplar seed. The story goes that in 1842, in preparation of a visit for Tsar Nicholas I, they planted chestnuts down the road I am staying on.  But he didn’t like them.  So overnight they were pulled…