Stop and smell the roses on your next getaway. After all, that’s what holidays are all about. Whether you’re a keen gardener or simply like to admire the flora lining the streets, discover what’s blossoming in some of our favourite destinations. These natural beauties will add a touch of colour and fragrance to your getaway. Better still, you can bring that holiday scent back home… these flower favourites can be grown in your own garden!
Although Provence is famous for its lovely lavender fields, you’ll discover another natural beauty within this region of France – the sunflower. In bloom from July and August, these beautiful flowers play a prominent part in Provence’s spectacular countryside. Fields endlessly filled with vibrant yellow provide the perfect contrast to the blue sky above. On your summer getaway, you’ll be able to walk amongst these fields in various parts of this picturesque French province.
Not least in the quaint village of St. Remy de Provence, where you’ll discover vast amounts of stunning sunflower fields amid its attractive countryside. Inspiring Vincent Van Gogh to produce many of his paintings, a visit to these beautiful surroundings may well enthuse you to pick up a paint brush too! But don’t just leave the sunflowers in Provence. Whether you buy them or plant them yourself, a house or garden filled with these yellow flowers are guaranteed to brighten up any home.
Red Carnation, Spain
Vibrant and bright, Spain is a nation of vivid colour. This is no truer than with its national flower – the red carnation. A symbol of love and affection, these striking floras play various parts in Spanish traditions and can be spotted decorating Flamenco dancers’ hair. Widely grown particularly in Andalucía, the red carnation is in bloom from June right until September, so you’ll discover them all throughout your summer getaway.
As you wander down the Spanish streets taking in the scenic surroundings, you’ll notice pops of red decorating the windowsills of many traditional ‘pueblos blancos’ white villages. Why not take a guided tour around Andalucía’s El Castillo Botanical Garden? Here, you’ll be treated to a colourful display of carnations and many of the region’s other plants. To savour that Spanish vibrancy back on British soil, take a trip to your local garden centre and fill your basket with your very own red carnations. Whether you plant them in or outdoors, you’ll be reminded of your perfect Spanish escape.
As you explore Portugal’s eclectic mix of coastline and valleys, you’ll meet a variety of fabulous flora including lavender. Both fragrant and pretty, Portugal’s national flower begins to bloom between May and early August. Huge fields filled with this purple plant can be discovered throughout the countryside, providing stunning views of vibrant colour and a heavenly scent – a treat for both senses!
While staying in one of our Silver Coast or Douro Valley villas, take a day trip to Quintas Das Lavandas in Castelo de Vide. Here you can discover different types of lavender and delight in the various vivid colours and smells. Back home, the benefits of lavender’s beauty and fragrance make it a staple that brings holiday memories flooding back. As well as growing it, why not add it to your cooking or put it under your pillow for a good night’s sleep filled with dreams of your idyllic Portuguese getaway?
Bougainvillea, Amalfi Coast
A trip to the Amalfi Coast promises to be a feast for the eyes, with its stunning landscape and captivating coastline. You’ll be treated to many pretty panoramas that capture the swathes of vivid pink bougainvillea decking the sun-drenched walls and beyond. Bougainvillea start blooming in mid-spring and flourish well into autumn, providing a lovely lingering sight of summer no matter what time you go.
As you explore the cliff-edged towns, you’ll notice these flowers growing on the border of homes and restaurants. But the best place to discover bougainvillea in abundance is in the town of Ravello. With plenty of ‘must see gardens’, spend an afternoon exploring the grounds of Ravello’s most famous homes now open to visitors. Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo’s array of flowers overlook the sparkling Mediterranean waters – the perfect viewpoint of the coast to drink in before retreating back to the comfort of your own villa. The vibrant bracts of bougainvillea would brighten up any greenhouse or garden in the summer, so why not plant your own and recreate a piece of the Amalfi Coast back home?