All naturalists have their favourite ‘spots’ and when it comes to orchids I admit both to loving the discovery of new places but also to getting a lift to the soul from re-visiting certain ‘old haunts’. In truth, if I was told that, in my remaining years on planet earth there would be just one place I could revisit but no other, then I would unhesitatingly choose the Gargano peninsula – that spur on the heel of Italy’s boot down in the Puglia region – a lump of limestone that is a veritable outdoor evolutionary laboratory.
So, since we chose to move to Italy then why don’t we live there? Well, it is wonderful in spring but hot, dry and filled with tourist hordes near the coast in summer. And it is just that bit too far from the centre of things for the ‘other half’ who is not such a determined hermit as I am. However, for a total immersion experience with orchids and numerous other wild flowers in spring it is incomparable.
I have written this post in two parts to try and convey the richness of this habitat and share my personal delight in discoveries over the past decades and some 30 visits. And it might just be opportune to note that we run our own trips each year to Gargano. You can finds full details on my website …if you fancy joining us next year then get in touch. The tentative date for 2011 is the 16th – 24th April
We will next be going down on 21st May 2010 to run a ‘macro’ and orchid workshop in conjunction with photographers Leonardo Battista, Matteo Perilli and Gargano orchid expert Claudio del Fuoco…for a lot more detail on Gargano click on the links below.