Last week we enjoyed the most exhilarating of walks in the Teno Mountains where we travelled through micro-climates that threw most of the seasons at us. One minute we were down to T-shirts and still sweating, the next we were ‘hooded up’ and leaning into winds that threatened to fling us off mountain tops – wonderful.
What was also a soul pleaser were the swathes of wild flowers, a sure sign that spring is peeking round the corner. Initially this blog was going to be about them but a red hot Sunday had me in the garden mowing the lawn. It suddenly hit me that in our humble garden there was a display of flowers to rival what we’d seen in the Teno Mountains. Admittedly the wild element is because we let it do what it wants but the variety made me realise that you don’t have to head into the hills to see exotic plant life in the north of Tenerife, it’s all around.
Here are some of the specimens that are looking fine and dandy at this time of year.
The Orchid Tree
I’ve only just discovered that this was called Cape honeysuckle. The birds and the bees love it and it makes for a good hedge. It’s also a hermaphrodite plant and the flowers can be either orange or yellow or both.
The hibiscus is the embodiment of exotic flowers in my book and inheriting a hibiscus hedge was a real treat. The papery flowers are just huge and swallow bees. We haven’t actually gotten round to making flower garlands out of it yet but have decorated our San Juan sand holes with them on Playa Jardín.
Bird of Paradise
Can you get more tropical than these? These ones aren’t at their best and come across as punky birds of paradise. It’s one of the most impressive looking plants, they do look like cranes, and birds of paradise are the official flower for the city of angels, Los Angeles.
Apart from the lavender, the herb gang aren’t as pretty as the exotic flowers but as we both like to cook, the mint, chives, oregano, lemon-grass, basil, thyme and parsley get far more attention than the rest of the plants in our garden.
As well as the above there’s avocado, geraniums, copper leaf hedges, peace lily, agave, ferns and a few others. It’s not a huge garden, plants simply grow like mad in this wonderful climate.
The next two to three months is a great time of year to visit Tenerife for people who like the places they visit to be floral wonderlands.
The blog about wild flowers will wait a month or so until the poppies and other wild blooms wake up a bit more.