outside in the garden

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Astragene, with thanks to Garden web

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Hibiscus: the Extrovert
My friend M. says he will share his gardening observations in this space now and then. Well, I suggested he start a garden blog, but he demurred, as follows:
As a matter of fact, I have always enjoyed the 'agricultural' side of life. What is commonly called Gardening. I do keep an eye on the local vegetation, what is flowering, how it is doing and so forth.

Unfortunately, my personal territory is reduced to a rather small balcony. True, it is crowded with plants on behalf of which I go to certain lengths to keep healthy and happy. I certainly do not have enough 'ammunition' to run a blog on Gardening.

However, apart from keeping an eye on my local area vegetation - Monaco has some Very Good Town Hall Gardeners
who do a Marvellous job around Town in the numerous little parks and spaces in this now semi-tropical climate - I pretty much always check out the Weekend Financial Times Gardening Section. Okay, that concerns the North -
British climate. But it is interesting and the guy knows what he is talking about : probably, about the only person working on the Weekend FT who has ever had any experience of the Real World in any shape or form!

To say, I would indeed be Happy to contribute occasional - even regular remarks to Your Garden Blog - when I have something to share, as it were. I really do enjoy reading about and mentioning Gardening Stuff - plants and
flowers, the weather and so on. Is is also such a pleasant change from my Regular Beats ! So, if You do not think it too absurd, I shall try to pop in a few observations.

I can tell You right away, that down here along the Mediterranean Coast this year, all varieties of hibiscus have done very, very well indeed ! Possibly about the only plants - and certainly Flowering Plants - to have thrived on the 100 degree Summer. As You know, hibiscus have large, individual, highly-coloured, trumpet-shaped blooms. And Boy ! When they Bloom, they Bloom ! They are full-bodied, extrovert and proud of it ! Normally each bloom lasts only about a day. These plants of tropical origin, I surmise, really come into their own with the heat and new blossoms appear daily in abundance for months. All the colours are very luminous and saturated: reds blues purples pinks yellows. Having one or two of these shrubs around, which can grow very large, it like being on Copacabana Beach : You get Your eyeful all the time and there is no false modesty ! They are, also, very cheerful, good-natured flowers to have around. They are what they seem: generous. If Global Warming is here to stay, my advice would be to joyfully check out the hibiscus folk ! :-)
--Big M.