very scilly stuff, pt. 2 coral reef on land

30 Apr

Of all the things I experienced over our long weekend in Scilly, the plantlife was the most unexpected and certainly one of the most delightful. It’s like walking through a coral reef on dry land!

Weird creeping succulents grow wild among plush moss and giant daisy-like flowers, cacti mingle with tall hairy grasses and pert bluebells, great trains of ivy seem to drift roadside like seaweed.

All over the island are wee stalls in the front of people’s houses with cuttings for sale and you bet I would have taken the lot if I thought I could make them all home intact.

There are aloe-like cacti everywhere, stretching out plump little arms like wriggling starfish along garden paths and springing out of rock faces.

Wild succulents grow like weeds, between the cracks in road and up the side of walls if you let them. They tumble and cascade over walls, up cliff faces and beside dirt tracks.

They really did make me wonder what I was doing in a place where the only weeds I get are brambles and dandelions. My favourite of all are these fantastic Brontoplants, with their long craning necks and droopy little heads.

Here I managed to capture a whole herd of them grazing on someone’s garden wall! (Alas, I never did find out what they were really called.)

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2 Responses to “very scilly stuff, pt. 2 coral reef on land”

  1. Armorel 6 May 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    The ‘Brontoplants’ are actually Aeonium species, the biggest of which is probably Aeonium undulatum, and they have beautiful chunky spikes of little yellow flowers, beloved of bees.

    Yes, I live on St. Marys … very near the Scilly Socks studio :)

  2. emmms 7 May 2010 at 9:15 am #

    Thank you so much for letting me know! Fantastic! They are absolutely gorgeous creatures, er, I mean plants!! Every time I walked past I couldn’t help imagine them wandering about as soon as my back was turned.

    You’re so lucky to live on the island! St Mary’s is a beautiful place. We’re hoping to go back as soon as we can.

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