On the Canaries, your garden or balcony can be a place of pleasure all year round. Here are some of the plants and flowers that bring guaranteed happiness and pleasure to gardeners.
With their slightly floppy, trumpet shaped flowers and delightful palette of pinks, purples, creamy whites and deep blues, petunias are a permanent pleasure – a plant that looks too delicate to thrive in the Canarian sun, but which keep on giving flowers and more flowers- a gift that never stops giving.
Crown of Thorns
Legend says that the cruelly spiked stems of this plant were used to weave Christ’s crown of thorns, while the red flowers are often said to represent his blood. Regardless of it’s symbolism, this plant is a favourite with gardeners everywhere – one of those tough customers that even beginners can’t kill. The leaves are a lovely green, and the flowers are gorgeous and seemingly indestructible. In fact, there’s a good chance that your crown of thorns plant will outlive you – they often reach a hundred years of age.
Lanzarote’s sunshine gives rosemary an even headier fragrance than usual, and it’s glossy evergreen leaves and delicate blue flowers are a favourite herb here on Lanzarote. At Christmas, of course, you might want to weave a fragrant rosemary garland, and the plant’s sweet resinous flavour is perfect for hearty winter stews.
Then, of course, there are rosemary roasted potatoes – perfect alongside your turkey and pigs in blankets.
The dianthus (divine flower) has a special place in Spanish culture. It is the country’s national flower, and a symbol of love, affection and adoration. It’s the blood-red flower a flamenco dancer wears in her hair, and the flower an adoring audience will shower her with.
Why is it so popular? Just look at it – whether it’s red, white, pink, yellow or pale green, the carnation is a star in the garden and in the home.
Along with the ornamental daisy and the Canarian palm, aeoniums are probably the most famous native Canarian plants. And it’s not hard to see why – these rosette-shaped succulents come in hundreds of varieties, yet all of them are fascinating and hardy garden survivors.
Whether they’re flat, stalked, variegated, fresh green or deep crimson, there’s always something a little otherwordly about aeoniums. They’re fascinating, quirky plants that do things you weren’t expecting them to do.
The strelitzia’s outrageous flower is like a magnificently crested bird-of-paradise – a shocking, flamboyant burst of vivid orange and deep purple. It’s also big and bold as you like. This is a plant that can really assert itself. So give it the space it needs and then just stand back – you’ll always play a supporting role when there’s a strelitzia in the garden.