Apricot orchards

Apricot orchards have started to bloom in our area. In the past few years, many more of these orchards have appeared. I presume the local farmers have decided that apricots are a good crop for this climate and they are in demand so easy to sell.


In the garrigue region of the Languedoc, alkaline soil prevents growing plants and shrubs which prefer acid soil (e.g. rhododendrons, azalias, camelia, Japanese maples, i.e. acer japonicum etc). The magnolia is a borderline case. Some, such as the magnolia grandiflora, which eventually becomes a large tree, will grow without problems in alkaline soil. Some others…

Vitex Agnus Castus

(Agnus Castus =”chaste lamb”). This large shrub (or small tree if you prefer), is known in French as the “monk’s pepper tree”. Why? Supposedly the peppery smell of the seed pods was enough to keep the monks “chaste”. It may also be called the Chasteberry or simply Vitex. This tree grows wild on roadsides in…

Plum flowers

Original photography by Winston. Smudges by computer. It was plum flower time in Taiwan recently.