Gradually, life is growing into a new normal. Increasingly, the summer is getting warmer. The mornings are better now for outdoor activities, this affects my preferred daily program but being flexible is a welcome strength in these changing times.
The Jardin Botanique is an inviting place to find shade and repose and inspiration. Although the garden was left to itself during the Lockdown, some parts having become a bit wilder, it has remained as enticing as always. I visit it regularly.
The garden is more about green than about flowers during the summer. Compared to the natural atmosphere of the green in the Calanques, the cultivated atmosphere in this garden shows that space and water make all the difference between the two.
It happens that the garden is the quietest spot of the park while it contains the highest variety of plants. I recognise plant species from my time in India and Thailand, the climate of south France is ideal for such flora, although having four distinctive seasons.
Where there is plenty of water, plants show their fullest beauty. In more arid conditions like the Calanques, plants show their beauty as well as their true character of strength. Especially Pine trees are such heroes of withstanding the most harsh living conditions while their presence and beauty enhance and protect the landscape.
In one part of the Calanques during the summer, a long row of vertical water pipes spray a dense mist of water to keep the forest wet. This prevents fires and protects a residential area of Marseille that is down a steep hill. With the increase of heatwaves this has become a necessity.
For hikers like myself it’s a welcome cooling-off stage while enjoying the sun and wind play with the mist of water, creating rainbows, high and low. One day, this corner of the Calanques will look like a luscious garden.
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