A Secret Garden

Wildly beautiful
Entering an unknown path
Sleeping beauty

Deciding to turn back as I had almost reached the end of the street, I noticed a narrow path behind two low walls. It looked like a passage bordered by man tall weeds. Curious to know where it would lead to and if interesting flora and fauna could be found, I entered the path.

Acanthus mollis flower spikes and decorative foliage
A plot of Acanthus mollis
A diversity of weeds – garden

Wild green parakeets could be heard when I noticed one of my favorite plants. The Acanthus mollis. This plant or flower does not have a real name and so I call it by its Latin label. Acanthus refers to the prickly bract that holds the flower, and mollis means gentle. A gentle prickly bract. It is the towering flower spikes and the large ornamental leaves that make this plant exceptional.

The flower towers of Acanthus mollis
Leaves spread around the flower spikes
Bold stems holding the individual flowers

Only a few of its plants were on each borderline of the passage. There were large plots of Acanthus mollis behind a thick wall of tall weeds. My plan was to cut through the weeds on a day when most of the Acanthus would be flowering, as I did not want to damage this wild garden unnecessarily.

Acanthus mollis behind tall weeds
Purplish bracts holding the flowers
The large leaf of an Acanthus mollis

It is a kind of secret garden, few people walk through it and seem hardly paying attention to the wild beauty around them. However, when one woman noticed my camera she acknowledged that she was also keen on this African plant. After a week of sun and a bit of rain I was sure most of the plants would be flowering.

Flower spikes in the shade
Coming to full bloom
A wild plant

Since these are wild plants, not tended for, their blossoming period fully depends on the rainfall of the season. Some flowers had already withered, many had just come out. Because of the Lockdown situation, more people go for a walk and pass through the wild garden, which excites the parakeets every time. I believe it is truly their secret garden.

Acanthus mollis blooms and foliage
Ornamental Acanthus mollis
A Secret Garden

Meanwhile, France has entered an easing of the Lockdown conditions, and it looks we can roam around more freely and a bit farther than around the block. One hundred Kilometers from your home, to be exact. That includes my favourite Calanques and nearby towns.

Welcome to the Secret Garden
A view from the top of the Secret Garden
Ready for the next adventure – Face mask by David Hutchinson USA

All Photos Copyright © 2019-2020 August Timmermans РAll Rights Reserved