Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Break Travels - Part 5: Portuguese Front Yards

I was really intending to put up a more substantial post today but alas, school work has taken up much more of my time than I had anticipated. This post, therefore, is a simple one, though I think it is worthwhile nonetheless. One of my favorite activities when traveling is to look at the efforts of amateur gardeners, the plant and design choices made in private gardens and on balconies and terraces, and the often astounding horticultural skills on display in sometimes surprising places. As a result, I usually take an inordinate number of pictures of things I see along the way. These are just a few of the private spots of green which really caught my eye on this particular trip.

Front yard in Tavira

Door in the old city of Tavira

Freesias (Freesia sp.) in a front yard in Azinhal

A somewhat unusual assemblage of potted plants in the old town center of Azinhal

A front yard in Azinhal

A front yard in Tavira with tile work and a pergola covered in Lady Banks' rose (Rosa banksiae)

Front yard in the historic old town of Cachopo

A large front garden in Cachopo

Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) spilling over a garden wall in Cabanas

A potted garden in a small alley in the village of Entradas

Some of these splahes of greenery might not be the most beautiful from an objective Some of these splahes of greenery might not be the most beautiful from an objective perspective but I think they all attest to someone's love for gardening and are remarkable in their variety and creativity. Particularly for those of us gardening under rather constraint circumstances, I think some of these creations might be sources of inspiration, if not in form then at least in spirit.


  1. I agree that it's always a pleasure when traveling just about anywhere to look at normal people's gardens, both as a source of ideas and just as a fun motif for sightseeing. And in Southern Europe it's especially fun! Barbara

  2. Plaster peeling in Tavira: evocative, dreamy. Paint peeling in Anchorage, Alaska: angry neighbors, hate mail. The heat of Europe sounds nice right now.

    Christine in Alaska

  3. So very true. Many of the things that are charming under the glare of a Southern European sun are just not the same in cooler climes...and people somehow have less patience for imperfection.


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