> La vie en Rose

Has any flower ever achieved such a status as the rose?

First published in Riviera Insider Magazine, May/June 2016

Roses, these thorny, but smooth-petalled and perfumed flowers have been an integral part of our culture for thousands of years. Ancient Sumerians adored them cultically, in China roses have been cultivated since 2700 B.C., the Egyptians dedicated the red rose to their goddess Isis. Greeks crowned their glorious warriors with them, and the infamous Roman emperor Nero indulged his guests at the legendary “sub rosa”-party with rose petals, rosewater, rose oil and rose wine. In the early age of sail roses became the export hit of the Orient and, when the “War of the Roses” was finally over, England made the rose its national flower. Continue Reading →

> Poor Gardening vs. Good Gardening Techniques

Gardening on the French Riviera – or: tradition is not a reason that’s good enough …

It’s worth while to learn what gardens and plants look like, which have been cared for with love, horticultural knowledge, proven gardening techniques – and first and foremost – with an interest in their owners’ views. 

Good practical gardening starts with a good garden layout, good planting schemes, the right plant choice and correct spacing of plants. But most gardens are what they are and they too need the best possible maintenance and maybe some careful renovation over time. 

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> Palm Moths and Palm Weevils – and how to protect and save your palm trees

Is there a way to save the palm trees on the French Riviera? Notes on Rhynchophorus and Paysandisia.

First published in the Riviera Times/Monaco Times/Riviera Insider (2/2016)

For years there have been reports about the two main pests damaging Mediterranean palm trees, the so-called palm moth (Paysandisia archon) and the so-called red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus). Continue Reading →

> More Balance Please! This is Not Versailles!

Why Formal Pruning and Rounded Shapes Don’t Always Make Sense.

Every design has its place in this world. Seriously. I believe in this allegation. Example: I personally don’t really like designs that are based on skulls and bones, say the typical black and silver motorcyclist’s t-shirt featuring some kind of screaming meatless human head. Continue Reading →