Winter in Lisbon is almost like early spring at home. Right now the aloe vera is blooming like crazy and the meadows are green. Right inside the city there are plenty of gardens to explore with the favorite always being Jardim da Tapada das Necessidades, a walled garden near the Alcantra neighborhood that feels nearly abandoned with crumbly buildings and an incredible domed greenhouse. Enjoy this virtual stroll through the gardens with Ekaterina, a fellow garden-lover, and temporary Lisboeta.
I have a tough time describing to people exactly what I do for a living and where I live and why so I end up in a lot of conversations online and offline about jobs, and life, and travel and dreams. I love hearing dreams! I also know a lot of us have the tendency to talk about change and never do anything about it (myself included!). I am probably one of the worst at that but once in a while I make some big dreams happen and people ask a lot about it. If you think something like a new career working with flowers or styling or a trip around the world is something you dream of, here are some tips and insights, based on my own experience, and own haphazard ways of doing things.
The rarity of green in the city makes each sighting of a Lisbon city garden more special. In Lisbon, I see tiny apartment gardens literally made from trash and cuttings, little balconies overflowing with monotype gardens or explosions of texture, and stuffed little patios. While we have plenty of rainy, cold days, bare, deciduous trees, and cold nights, even through the winter you will find pockets of bougainvillea, roses, orange and lemon trees, and rosemary. These photos were taken about a month ago, while the jacarandas were still in their second blooming of the year and gracing the city with their presence! Many gardens are hidden behind walls or fences so I can only peer at an explosion of vines overflowing the walls.
Gift giving can be wonderful with handmade gifts and time carved out to consider each purchase. I love to share the small, undiscovered artisans of my adopted country of Portugal. Buying these lovely products will support tiny businesses operating with love and skill. And the cool thing is, these unusual finds are unique, and surprising gifts for loved ones!
1. Hand-painted notebooks.
2. Naz Clothing. Online store coming soon, send a message to their Facebook page. The fits are easy and their sizing system is simple!
3. Old-fashioned key holder.
4. Hand-carved walnut spoon.
5. Onions and garlic keeper.
Photos courtesy of respective brands.
On one of my walks this week, I met Carlos, a flower seller who peddles flowers from his Piaggio truck. I love to meet flower shop owners around the world and it was such a pleasure to meet Carlos who focuses on selling seasonal, locally grown flowers. Below is an edited, translated interview with him.