This month’s photographic challenge from Gardening Gone Wild is entitled ‘On the road again’.  The criteria is a photo which reflects a new garden that you have come across during your summer travels, giving a sense of place.

I have already posted about La Mortella gardens on Ischia which were stunning but I was also taken whilst we were on Ischia at its greenness in comparison to the mainland coast.  The Italians call Ischia the Green Island which it is compared to Capri due to being comprised of volcanic rock but compared to the UK it was still very rocky and barren in places.  I suspect that some of this will be as a result of temperatures in the  Med which are much higher than here in the UK.  I was very aware of the large number of succulents and cacti on the island.  They provided a sense of ‘otherness’.  We have cactus here but they are rarely left outside and rarely do you see them of the size in the photo above.  The dish was about 2ft wide so you can see these are very large cacti.

I took the photo not at a garden open for visiting but in the grounds of a hotel where we stopped for lunch.  I was particularly taken by the way the cacti stood out against the bright blue sea and sky beyond.  The dish was one of three arranged along the top of the wall and were a striking feature.  For me this photo sums up the planting on Ischia and the complete sense of such a different environment to that which I am used to at home.