Sunshine and Flowers.

We wanted to escape the damp and dismal days of November. Four of us all wanted sunshine and mountains and I wanted flowers. So we went to Madeira.

Madeira

We walked the levadas, which are canals bringing water to the crops planted on the precipitous mountainsides.

Levada

There were dramatic views.

 

And scary tunnels.

And the flowers fulfilled all my expectations.  There are so many beautiful flowers endemic to Madeira but there are also many garden escapes that thrive and spread in the sub- tropical climate. These Amaryllis belladonna were spreading all over the rocks.

Amaryllis belladonna

Gorgeous Aloe arborescens, an introduction from South Africa seems very invasive. I wish it would invade my garden.

Aloe arborescens

This next plant is a Ligularia. I have never seen one like this  before. It is Ligularia tussilaginea. I wonder if it is hardy.

Ligularia tussilaginea

There were some gorgeous succulents, particularly this Agave attenuata which comes from Mexico but grows everywhere here. It has huge arched flower heads.

Agave attenuata

This diminutive native marigold grows wild. It is so pretty, I wish I could get seeds of it.

Calendula maderense

I have never seen this plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus before with its huge seedheads.

Gomphocarpus physocarpus

I have no idea what these berries are.


The wild flowers everywhere were amazing but a trip to the Botanical Gardens at Funchal was the highlight. Specially as we arrived there by cable car.

I love this  huge Madeiran Scilla, I think it would look lovely in a pot. It is Scilla maderensis.

Scilla maderensis

I was intoxicated by the abundance of flowers. Here are some more beauties.

Madeira really is the island of flowers. Now I can’t wait to go back and see it at other times of the year. Meanwhile it is nice to be home. It would be even nicer if only it would stop raining,

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39 Responses to Sunshine and Flowers.

  1. jmac51 says:

    Unknown plant is thunbergia mysorensis

  2. Thank you for the beautiful tour. Seeing far away places and flowers is what I love about blogging. Some of the flowers are familiar and grow in my zone.

  3. The ( Gomphocarpus physocarpus) …we call it Hairy Balls Milkweed here. Monarch Butterflies love it and aphids as well, it was asked to leave the garden…would like to join you..

  4. Kris P says:

    What a wonderful trip! I’m surprised at how many of those plants are also grown here. The Gomphocarpus Amelia identified (often sold has Asclepias physocarpa “Family Jewels” here) grows in my own garden. The plant with the orange berries may be Auranticarpa rhombifolium (formerly classified as a variety of Pittosporum), which also grows in my garden. I think I’d feel right at home in Madeira!

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, the sub- tropical flora reminds me of the plants I have seen on your blog. The ‘Family jewels’ made me laugh. Thanks for the berry i.d. The plants of Madeira wouldn’t seem exotic to you but the mountains are beautiful.

  5. You have made me want to visit Madeira. There is so much still in flower! The perfect getaway for this time of year. I am very relieved to find some blue sky today – this week has been grim. I have definitely gone into hibernation mode, finding it difficult to motivate myself to go for a walk even!

  6. Fantastic. I’ve always wanted to go. Those views of the coast/levadas are so very similar to those on La Palma (where we lived for a while). What a good plan to swap Madeira for England in November.

  7. Christina says:

    I remember how much you hate November, I’m glad you managed to escape. I didn’t realize how many flowers there would be in November. If you do go again, let me know, maybe I could join you?

  8. Cathy says:

    A nice change from the November view out the window here! Thanks for sharing with us. 🙂

  9. Peter Herpst says:

    So glad you got a dose of sunshine, mountains, and flowers to brighten the soggy cold November gloom. Madeira is on my bucket list of places to visit. So beautiful!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Peter. I can recommend Madeira. The flowers are wonderful all year round and it never gets cold. The scenery is amazing, although driving around is a bit hairy.

  10. snowbird says:

    Oh my, all that sunshine has blinded me. What a beautiful place, just love the tunnels and the levada, and those views! Heavenly, well apart from the cable car part, I have a fear of heights! So many beautiful blooms, sighs. You have me wanting to visit!xxx

  11. Heyjude says:

    I have always considered Madeira for the dark winter months, but worried my OH might not cope with the heights. Is it possible to enjoy some of the island without venturing to places with vertiginous drops? I’d love to see all those flowers.

    • Chloris says:

      That might be tricky. The driving is pretty scary everywhere we went and the levada walks all seem to be way up in the mountains. Madeira has the tallest sea cliff in Europe and you can stand on a glass bottomed platform and look down. He might not enjoy that, it made my toes curl.

  12. krcc says:

    Beauties, indeed.

  13. OMG, I am so jealous…I don’t know where to start! Aren’t those Gomphocarpus seedpods fascinating?!

  14. tonytomeo says:

    I have no idea what that unknown flower is. It seems like it should be obvious. I just do not recognize it.

  15. Thanks for the relief from the dark, cold, wet day we are having. That Aloe is beautiful, invasive or not.

  16. Cathy says:

    The green balloons are amazing – would they dry, I wonder? So glad you managed to get away and indulge your need for blooms We are away in Cardiff, which doesn’t have quite the same sort of attraction…

    • Chloris says:

      I don’t know whether the green balls, Gomphocarpus physocarpus are hardy, I have never seen them here. The flowers are quite pretty too, a bit like hoya flowers.
      I hope you are having fun in Cardiff.

      • Cathy says:

        There will always be things we can’t grow in this country, and I certainly wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Yes we had a good w/e thank you, but of course it is good to be home

  17. I wondered where you had got to on your November getaway. It must have been the ideal destination for all of you – sunshine, mountains and flowers. I would love the sunshine and flowers but just looking at some of your photos has made me dizzy. Hope that the rain stops soon!

  18. rusty duck says:

    Madeira has always been on my list too and it looks glorious. November sounds like the perfect time to go, not too hot for exploring it all.

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