Kew Gardens Field Trip – First Walk

Walking up the rambla

Walking up the rambla

This morning, we joined the botanists from Kew Gardens on their walk up the rambla that leads from Las Negras to Las Hortichuelas. We showed them this walk on their first visit in 1987 and it has been one of the highlights of their annual field trip ever since.

Students from Kew botanising

Students from Kew botanising

Today has been sunny but with a fresh wind. Ideal conditions for walking and botanising.
The recent rain has freshened up the countryside and the professors remarked that the flora this year is better than ever.

Broomrape

Broomrape

There was so much for them to look at that progress was slow. Here is a beautiful example of one of the more common broomrapes.

Lavandula stoechas

Lavandula stoechas

This lavender is unusual as it is pink rather than dark purple.

Up the narrow ravine

Up the narrow ravine

At this point, the rambla becomes a narrow ravine and it was the first time we have seen water trickling down it like a mountain stream.

Orobanche foetida

Orobanche foetida

Here is wonderful specimen of another broomrape, Orobanche foetida.

Up the rocky hillside

Up the rocky hillside

We ascended the rocky hillside above the rambla.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

Pink wild Gladioli are flowering here.

Fern in the rocks

Fern in the rocks

Here we discovered, for the first time, some tiny ferns. This is one of them, growing in a fissure surrounded by orange lichen.

A picnic break

A picnic break

We stopped for lunch on the rocky hillside.

Caralluma europea

Caralluma europea

Hidden in a crack in a nearby rock is a botanic rarity, the Caralluma europea, a speciality of the Cabo de Gata. The curious flowers are very striking.

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About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live in the little coastal village of Las Negras in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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