Flashback Friday #22

Garden Portrait: St Michael’s Mount

I have traversed to St Michael’s Mount several times over the years and even climbed up to the castle itself a couple of times, but I have never been to the garden as it is only open for a short time from the end of April until September. But this year I was there on the first open day of the season at low tide so that I could walk over the causeway connecting the island to the mainland at Marazion.

View back to the mainland and Marazion

It is the most remarkable garden exposed to gales and salty winds, but the Gulf Stream keeps the frosts away and the granite rock acts as a giant radiator – absorbing heat by day and releasing it at night creating a micro climate in which all sorts of  plants flourish from Mexico, Canary Islands, New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa.

The Laundry Lawn

The gardens are on the rocky slopes and are not easily accessible with the steep and narrow paths, steps and terraces and require constant maintenance and conservation to keep them in good condition. As you enter the garden on the east side  you follow an avenue of Cordyline australis with views over Mount’s Bay towards the Lizard. The Laundry Lawn is a place for relaxing, playing and picnicking. The steep bank to your right (see header photo) is part of the defences during the English Civil War and on your left is a Pill Box from the second world war. And as you reach this point, you see ahead of you the dramatic East Terrace, rearing up above your head to the east wing of the castle.

Now comes the difficult part. To reach the upper slopes you have to scramble up the steep paths where aloes and agaves rear out of the bedrock and exotic succulents cling to every crevice imaginable. Some paths have steep drops, some have handrails, others do not. Aloes flourish and on the top you reach The Tortoise Lawn where you find a Victorian well. Another pathway takes you into the Walled Gardens. Not only do you need good footwear, but also a head for heights as below you is the dizzying drop to the sea and above you rises the sheer sides of the castle.

Lower Terrace

A profusion of colour greets you as you move into the West Terraces. South African Osteospermum spread over the granite walls. I am taken aback as I only know these as late spring and summer flowers and it is still only April. Geraniums, pelargoniums, Leucondendrum argenteum and Aeonium rise up amongst Agave and Aloes.

Walls, Railings and Mount’s Bay

The planting on such steep slopes is overwhelming. I am lost for words as I look around me, not knowing which pathway to take. I have never seen a garden like this and I am stunned to think what I have been missing all these years.

And all the while you are aware of the great expanse of the bay, the endless sky and the incredible clear light and all the hard work that must go into creating and maintaining such a wondrous garden. It is magical.

View towards Newlyn, Mousehole and the Minack Theatre

A separate post will appear with close-ups of some of the succulents in this garden. It was just too difficult to decide which of my many photos to leave out!

And this is a birthday post for the OH who unfortunately was unable to access much of this garden due to the nature of the terrain and his vertigo. But he was very happy to test a bench for me and look out over the bay towards the Lizard peninsula whilst I meandered. (Between you and me I think he was grateful to have a rest )

Contemplating and bench testing in the former gun emplacement area

We first visited this unusual garden in late April 2015 when we just happened to still be in Cornwall on holiday when the garden opened up for the season. Usually we were either too early or too late. We have been back since, but this is my first impression. Originally written on my flower blog for my OH’s birthday at the end of May, this post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

Life in Colour

Bonus Pinks

I couldn’t finish this month’s colour challenge without one of my favourite April flower – the tulip.

This is a late flowering tulip called ‘Greenland‘ – an orchid rose-pink with green stripes.

(Coincidentally, this month is ending with a pink super moon which occurred on the one night that we had cloud cover! I did see it floating in and out of the clouds looking nice and big and not in the least bit pink! Apparently named after a native herb known as creeping phlox is coming into its pink bloom. (Native American))

This is the last week for the colour pink so get yours in before Sunday.

Life in Colour

To find out more about this year’s photo challenge here on Travel Words, please read this post.

This month we will be looking for Yellow. A bright and happy colour and often associated with spring. The sun in the sky, heat and light. What yellows can you find in your world?

Field of bright yellow rapeseed in flower (canola) under a blue sky near Ludlow, Shropshire. Rapeseed is grown for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption, and biodiesel.

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Field of golden sun
A dazzling azure blue sky
Heat up the summer

The last time I saw this golden field was in 2015. Four years after I first set eyes upon it. A good example of crop rotation. Growing above head height I had to hold the camera above my head to get some of these shots. As the pollen caused my eyes to water and my nose to sneeze, I think it was worth it…

Titterstone Clee Hill in the background

This is the last week for the colour yellow so if you have any left then please join in now. Next Sunday we will be looking for a different colour to jazz up the month of March.

Flashback Friday #8

This is an old post from my flower and garden blog Earth Laughs in Flowers which was posted on this date in 2017, the first time I saw these appear in my new garden, and it is rather appropriate that these same little lightbulbs of colour are flowering once again.


And all the woods are alive with the murmur and sound of Spring,
And the rose-bud breaks into pink on the climbing briar,
And the crocus-bed is a quivering moon of fire
Girdled round with the belt of an amethyst ring.
~ from:  Magdalen Walks by Oscar Wilde

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A delightful and unexpected addition to my garden this month.


This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

Vancouver Revisited: Stanley Park

I have been fortunate to have visited the lovely city of Vancouver on Canada’s west coast twice and written several posts about both trips. This one which is about the beautiful Stanley Park (click link for a map of the park) at the tip of the downtown city has never seen much in the way of traffic so I thought I would reblog it as it truly is a magnificent area for discovering nature.  There are 27 km (17 miles) of trails winding through this lush rainforest of towering red cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir.

The park covers 1,000 acres and is a wonderful green space to have so close to a city. Trails and the seawall path take you around and through the park with so much to see. Stanley Park teems with an amazing variety of wildlife. Douglas squirrels, raccoons, river otters, beavers, salamanders, purple sea stars and Pacific Great Blue Herons—at least 500 species are known to live in the park. You could probably spend a week exploring this park, but if you only have time for a quick look then please join me on this short walk.

(just watch out for the cyclists and the inline skaters along the path! They are supposed to travel counter-clockwise so if you walk clockwise at least you will see them coming towards you!)

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