Much as I love being here in Ireland there is only so much rain I can stand. So I am off for a week to what I hope are sunnier climes. Of course it is nothing to do with the relentless rain of the past weeks; the holiday was booked last summer. But I am hoping the weather will be a bit better than here.
A week in January in Tenerife has become something of a habit, which always worries me. But it has much to recommend it. Although it is so close that it is easy to take this and the other Canaries for granted, you only have to think of what it has to offer a gardener and you realise that there are gardeners or tourists in the USA or New Zealand that would jump at the chance to visit. After all, these islands, isolated in the Atlantic, have evolved a unique flora, found nowhere else in the world and, while not quite on the scale of Madagascar, have much to excite the botanically inquisitive. Add in an active volcano, tourist attractions and a climate that is springlike in winter and it all sounds the place to go.
Though Tenerife is not as popular with gardeners as Madeira there are some interesting, small gardens but there is a buzz to he had just waking around seeing houseplants doing what they do naturally. Hire a car and drive up Teide and you pass through different climatic zones from the subtropical at sea level, through temperate with orange groves, then cooler with almond trees, potatoes and grapes, then cooler with forests of Canarian pines with wild erysimums and argyranthemums in the clearings and then above the treeline where the giant echiums grow wild.
Anyway, I will be away and there will be no posts for a week. But if I have whetted your appetite, here is a plug! I am hosting a garden holiday with The Travel Department in February to see the gardens of Tenerife! It will be a mixture of gardens and relaxation so, if the weather is decent, which it should be, it should be fun.