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Naturally Speaking

Naturally Speaking

Writers Block

The other morning, struggling with a bad bout of writer’s block, I looked out of a window in my study in search of distraction. Sure enough, I found it, distraction of a cathartic kind. For there was our Allamanda cathartica towering over our stone wall that divides two grassy split levels. Thanks to recent heavy rains, the allamanda leaves were lush and the trumpet flowers a blaze of yellow. I found the yellow intensely comforting; it made the garden pop—and my brain, too. Looking into the deep hollows of the blossom, I thought ...


Naturally Speaking

Orchids

Sometime in the year 2000 we bought a dendrobium at a plant sale in the Botanical Gardens. We were tempted by the long spike of buds slowly unfolding into blossom but perversely also by the realisation we just don’t have the personalities o...


Naturally Speaking

The Agave Plant

One morning as I was driving toward the Belmont Ferry on Harbour Road, I noticed a woody stem appearing inches above the wall on the waterside. A few days later it had shot up so fast I thought it could be a great illustration for Jack and the B...


Naturally Speaking

Kingfishers

Some of my most pleasurable childhood memories have to do with riversides in the U.K. Often I would spend lazy summer holiday afternoons sitting by the river Avon watching the water flow and reading a book. I always hoped for kingfishers, but...


Naturally Speaking

Marigolds

When I was a small child, I grew marigolds of the calendula officinalis variety. I didn’t know which species I was growing. I just planted the seeds my mother gave me in my own bit of garden and was delighted when most turned into healthy p...

Naturally Speaking

Parrotfish

Many years ago, long before I became acquainted with Bermuda’s glorious aquatic colours, I bought a piece of cloth to make myself a winter dress. When I took it home, my mother and grandmother showed instant disapproval. The material was a ...