Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Antakya in April. Nisan'da Antakya

Yes I'm aware that it's not April, but I can explain, really!

Once again you're probably given up on me. It's been a full summer; not so much an extremely busy one, but there have been lots of things vying for priority. But that doesn't mean that the garden hasn't been growing, it just means that I've neglected it here and there. Most notably during the winter, when I'd normally have a big patch of fava beans, garlic, peas and other winter vegetables coming on. I was growing frustrated with the incredible growth of bindweed in that patch, so I've decided to cover it with black plastic for a season. They don't call it "devil's guts" for nothing.

The garden was growing, but I took a nice trip out of town (the first in way too long) to visit friends from the town of Antakya (aka Antioch) in Turkey's easternmost Mediterranean province, Hatay. It was cold and miserable in Istanbul, but Hatay was at the height of spring, which meant that I got two springs this year. So without running on too much, here are some of the botanical highlights of the trip. I'd love to be able to say I tromped around the mountains and explored habitats, but my friends are not such botanical types, so these were all taken within the immediate surroundings of the city.

Campanula sp.

Phlomis sp.
A DYC and Verbascum. I do love me a Verbascum!

Another Verbascum!

The ubiquitous P. rhoeas

A truly beautiful Euphorbia

A typically spiny garrigue/maquis shrub

Looks like a Linum (flax) species. The blue-topped plant (which was actually a bit more purple than my camera could render) is a salvia; the actual flowers are small and white, with the bracts doing all the advertising work.

Naturally-tasteful planting of Linum and Salvia

Not a wild iris; this was planted en mass outside a city building. But seeing any bearded iris other than the dark purple I. germanica is always a treat. They smelled delicious.

A bit more Verbascum. This species grew almost exclusively on near-vertical rock faces.

The colorful Euphorbia on another outing, the hills rising immediately behind the city.

A lovely little ground-hugging clover.

No idea what this is, but it is almost certainly in the Borage family. I searched and searched but could find only this single specimen on the entire hill, and it was growing on an outrcop right at the summit. How did it get there?!

A great little spreading clover with curious balloon-like sepals. I kept thinking of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

A general view of the area. The rocks, slopes and flatlands below all had very different mixes of plants.


College Gardener said...

Those Euphorbias are great!

Robin V said...

I love looking at flowers (altho' I seldom know their names) - thanks for the pics.

Sazji said...

CG: Yes, they were really beautiful. I used to know the species and thought it was E. stricta but when I look that sp up, I see something quite different. So many Euphorbias... It's quite common in Turkey; I saw it growing at higher elevation on Baba Dağ near Fethiye but there was very little seed to be had. This one is almost surely a bit more tender but I would have tried it if there had been seed! It looked as if much of the seed had been aborted because of sudden really hot weather.

Robin - Well, once upon a time, none of them had names, and they were still just as beautiful! :)