Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Prickly characters

The next part of our tour of Pisa Botanical gardens is a visit to the greenhouse where a wonderful collection of cacti live. I just love them. I love them for their comical appearance (without stating the obvious), the images of dusty Cowboy & Western films that immediately form in my brain box (can you hear the Ennio Morricone music in the background?) and the fact that it is almost impossible to resist putting out a finger and "ouch!" discovering that those invitingly furry little creatures are dangerous and will hurt you! If I lived in a very hot country I could easily become a cactus collecting addict. Oh, and we saw the most amazing sight in a tiny garden next to the hotel's courtyard, hidden away in the heart of the surrounding apartments; the biggest cactus I have ever seen. It stretched all the way up the side of the five storey building as though it was determined to climb the high wall to reach the sun. The owner thinks it's the biggest cactus in Italy. I believe him. He had all sorts of rigging in place to hold the old giant up. I didn't get any photographs because I didn't want to intrude. It was a very magical garden with little pools that had lots of tiny turtles lounging around and another enclosed area for a couple of very cute rabbits. Just goes to show you don't need to own acres to create a little piece of paradise. My son wanted to visit this garden every time we went back to the hotel.

I am so incredibly busy at the moment and I'm sorry I've not had time to visit all of your blogs recently. I really miss them and look forward to catching up when I have a bit less on. I'm making a few new textile pieces to display in a cafe in the beautiful Alexandra Park and I've organised a Pom Pom Bomb for this Saturday. A lot of people look at me bemused when I say this. It just means making pom poms and decorating the park with them. Other news: the council did an inspection at the allotments. I'm still waiting for the summons to get my finger out but no letter has come. Does this mean my "messy", healthy, rather unconventional allotment/nature reserve has passed?!? I've got my second batch of elderflower champagne brewing in a bucket next to the washing machine; what a drama and a half that has turned out to be...deserves a whole post of it's own.

Hello to new followers and wow I'm blown away by the number of people visiting my blog these days. Enjoy!


  1. What a great pictures! So many tips! Looks hot :o)

  2. Love your Pisa Botanical series.

    Living stones without the prickles are a great alternative to cactii for kids.

    The elderflower champagne has been a pain for me too. Had to do a second batch.
    First time I let the flowers float and got mould, second time I placed them under a submersed cooling rack with weight on top, no mould, bottled, super fizzy, waiting a few weeks to taste.

    Bon weekend.


  3. It was lovely and warm Natalia which was lovely since there's not been much of that this summer in England!

    I love living stones too Paul and could easily be a collector addict of those too given the time, space and money. Your second batch of fizz sounds like it's going to be fantastic and will taste all the better for all the effort



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