>Mediterranean summer

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What is it that symbolises the Mediterranean for me? The olive tree, of course. It grows all around the Mediterranean, as well as in other parts of the world, and this kind of climate is the only one it thrives in. People in the Midi, as in other Mediterranean countries, have a special attachment to it. Its such an important tree that it deserves a post all to itself – and Ill do this one day soon. For now Ill just say that I think it is the most beautiful of all trees and I cant imagine now living anywhere where it doesnt grow.

Then theres the smell of thyme as I crush its leaves when I walk through scrubby garrigue, the flowers at the side of the road in springtime, the taste of it in cooking, leaves sprinkled on tomatoes, on goats cheese. We grew it in Wales, too, but without the heat of the Mediterranean sun it was never the same.

Summer begins properly for me when we hear the cicadas – theyve just started here in the last week. Their chattering begins when the temperature reaches 26 degrees C, and as the sun rises in the mornings and reaches higher up a hillside you can hear each tree being switched on as the cicadas sense its heat.

And oleanders. Their flowers in different shades of white, pink, red, are all coming out now, lining the road at the entrance to villages, in gardens and parks. Theyre all beautiful (although poisonous), but for me its the pink ones which are the real oleanders – the ones we had in the garden when I was a child in Libya.

oleander

And the Mediterranean sea itself:

6 thoughts on “>Mediterranean summer

  1. >hm… If you change the word “thyme” with word “origanum”, I can copy-paste your post for Mediterranean.:)You ‘re so right!(My mother has 4 oleanders in her balcony in containers)

  2. >I agree that pink oleanders look like the real ones and I love the almond fragrance.I’ve got a young olive tree in my garden (now 10 feet/3m tall).This would have been impossible a few years ago in my part of the UK when the winters were colder. It’s covered with flower buds at the moment.

  3. >Magnifique. Je vis dans le sud-ouest, sur la côte atlantique et les oliviers nous boudent! Thank you for your “haikus” posted in the rubrique comment of my blog. They deserve better… and I think that on Sunday which will become “haiku day” on my blog, I’ll post them with some others.

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