Tag Archives: Spain

Sun, Sea and Sand

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We have spent the last week enjoying a well earned holiday, lapping up some late summer sun in the south of Spain. Beautiful as you can see! The cobbled streets here, take on a whole new dimension.

Despite all this warm sunshine and relaxation, the “little green cells” were still working. Having been here before and taken albums full of the obligatory holiday snaps, I was still snap happy, on the look out for a horticultural gem, or an unusual slant. Most of these photos have yet to be downloaded (or should it be uploaded? I never know!) Some have led me to have fun with some puzzles!

SPOT THE BALL

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This was intended to be a “Wordless Wednesday”, while away, but a wonderful day spent far away from Wi-fi connections in the fascinating city of Córdoba, meant it was not to be be. This old city of narrow streets, keeps its horticulture a closely guarded secret, in beautiful courtyards, hidden from view. We did get a sneaky peak – citrus trees, fountains and walls covered in pots trailing with brightly coloured flowers. Apparently, once year in early summer, these courtyards are thrown open to the public. Make a date in your diary!

Have you spotted the ball? (Or is it a fallen orange?)

DID YOU KNOW….

….what La Biznaga is?

Well, for one, it is the tapas bar we were frequenting while there.

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As we perused the menu on so many occasions, it became obvious that the bar’s logo resembled a flower or seed head, so it led me to wonder what La Biznaga meant. Ah, the wonders of Google!

Biznaga

Biznaga

This is one. It is, in essence, a scented posy of Jasmine, which is a speciality of the Malaga region. The name comes from the Moorish, meaning “Gift from God”.
The starting point is what they term as a wild thistle, but was named as being Ammi visnaga, familiar to us as Bishops Weed, or Khella. They collect these early in summer, leave them to dry and then strip off the flowers, leaving only the skeleton. Later, jasmine flowers are picked early in the morning, before they open, and stuck on to each prong, giving a head of scented jasmine flowers. Each of these “posies” are stuck into the body of a cactus, which has been stripped of its prickles, to be carried through the streets by the sellers, or biznagueros.

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Sounds like a painstaking process! But what a perfume they must emit!
They feature strongly in Malaga’s culture, depicted in art and poetry, and they comprise an integral part of the city’s annual festival in August.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

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Home now, and time to assess the vase I did just before we left.
I was determined that a week away, would not be an excuse to forego a vase of flowers. I put a lot of thought into what I could use that would either last the week or die gracefully. My thinking was that the evergreen Mahonia leaves as a background, with their splashes of red, should last well, as would the Skimmia buds and Sedum flowers. The rosehips should dry out, the Persicaria create seed heads and the grass flowers fade beautifully.

One week on and what’s the verdict? I think it’s worked exactly as I’d hoped!

AND ONE I PREPARED EARLIER….

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…. the viola was the only casualty!

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