Friday, August 21, 2009

58 ~ The Orchid Garden

sitio litre entrance(click to enlarge)
The garden at Sitio Litre in Puerto de la Cruz, built in 1730, is one of the oldest gardens on the island of Tenerife. The privately owned estate is known for its collection of tropical and subtropical plants as well as a famous orchid garden which is open to the public.

entrance garden
near koi pool
koi pond Once a monastery, the estate was purchased by an Englishman, Mr. Archibald Little, who lived in the villa with his family. It became know at that time as 'Little's Place' which in Spanish evolved into 'Sitio Litre'.

villaMr. Little reformed the villa and garden, turning it into a guest house with beautiful surrounding gardens.

pampas grass
humboldt garden Alexander Von Humboldt bonsai garden

It was sold in later years and the present owner, who purchased it in 1996, opened the gardens to the public.

the aviary The Aviary

the orchid bower The Orchid Bower

orchids 1
orchids 2
orchids 3The garden contains one of the oldest dragon trees in Puerto de la Cruz and the orchid garden with the largest collection on the island.

white orchid
fountain long view
plumeria alba Frangipani (Plumeria Alba)

fountain closeAmong the well-known people who stayed at Sitio Litre when it was a guest house are Alexander von Humboldt, Oscar Wilde, Marianne North and Agatha Christie with her daughter Rosalind.

garden steps
estate patio It was here that Agatha Christie was inspired to write 'The Mysterious Mr. Quinn'.

luncheon A luncheon for the charity group 'Friends of Tenerife' held amidst beautiful surroundings at the outdoor cafe in The Orchid Garden.

garden gateThe garden has a Koi pond, a small gift shop and a charming outdoor cafe.

Open from 9:30 to 6 pm daily.
Telephone 922 38 24 17
Calle Sitio Litre s/n, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

57 ~ Our Piccabeen Palm

Piccabeen palm 1 (Click to enlarge)

Our lovely tree has been in the garden for years. A native of Australia, the Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana is most attractive when the seed pods burst open to display strings of tiny pink pearls tightly packed into their husk.

As the strings mature, the seeds grow larger and turn red, to the delight of birds which come to feed on them.

piccabeen palm 2
But I've never seen two seed pods burst at once on this tree. The pods are the trunk end of the long green palm leaves, which eventually turn brown and die, ripping off the seed pod as they fall to the ground, exposing the new seeds.

Piccabeen palm 3
This tree grew on its own from a seed fallen from a previous tree which was uprooted in a wind storm. Only after we cleared away the parent tree did we notice that a seed had rooted and was producing a new one!

The photos can best be seen when clicked to large size.

Here are some more photos taken in the garden today:

Garden view

duck pond


Sunday, August 2, 2009

56 ~ Bibi The Siamese Beauty

Bibi 1 (click to enlarge)
Isn't she beautiful! She came into our garden thin and starving. We fed her and gave her a bed. She went away again for three days and then she returned to stay with us. We named her Bibi and she was overjoyed to be in a safe home with a garden where she could play.

Bibi 2 Here she watches me feeding the birds in a tree.

The veterinarian came and scanned her to see if she was microchipped, (she wasn't) and gave her a general health check.
She was fine but very thin and undernourished.

Bibi 3
At first she couldn't keep food down and was sick after eating. But I think as she was starving she was eating too quickly . So I gave her only a couple of teaspoons of food every few hours and that seemed to work.

Bibi 4
She's now gained some weight, and has become a desk companion and is either on my lap, or sitting right between me and the keyboard while I'm on the computer!
What a sweetheart she is.

Bibi 5


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