Sussex England

Sussex England

Prepare to enjoy a host of photos on today’s blog, all about Sussex, England. This county in the south of Britain is next door to Kent, which I covered last week. Sussex has an official motto that means ‘we will not be pushed around’.  Because of the southerly location of Sussex and having a long coastline, the weather in Sussex is some of the sunniest in Britain. If you’re looking for literary associations, many famous authors were born or lived in Sussex like H.G. Wells, Virginia Woolf and the Scotsman, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Bellflowers

Bellflowers

Known as campanula, bellflowers are a diverse plant that originated in the Mediterranean area. Being adaptable, this flower is also found high in the mountains where some varieties can tolerate frost. The flowers live up to the name and are shaped like an open bell, usually with five lobes on each blossom. The colors of bellflowers vary as well in a range of lavender to purple as well as white, blue and pink. Bellflowers also vary significantly in height. Some species are quite compact and serve well as border plants while others, that are generally woodland varieties, can grow over six feet tall. One variety of bellflowers, commonly known as rampion, among other names, was originally grown as a food source for its radish-like roots.

Kent England

Kent England

Because of its location in the southeast of England as well as its 21-mile proximity to France across the English Channel, the county of Kent has been threatened by invasion since Roman times. One result of this vulnerability is that Kent has 26 castles all built originally for defense. Kent is a land of great natural beauty with the rolling North Downs and the High Weald. The latter is an area characterized by a ‘mosaic of small farms and woodlands, historic parks, sunken lanes and ridge-top villages.’ The High Weald also contains ancient woodlands.

Foxglove

Foxglove

Though originally from Europe, Africa and Asia, foxglove is often found in seed mixes for wildflowers in the U.S. Foxglove is a gorgeous, stately plant that produces a spike in its second year with an abundance of curved, trumpet-like flowers. These spikes can grow quite tall and sometimes need to be staked. Foxglove is a familiar flower in English cottage gardens. It is known by the scientific name, ‘digitalis’, is a highly toxic plant and is used for making certain heart medications.

Thailand

Thailand

The Tai People moved from China into the region now known as Thailand around the 11th century. The country was known for a long time as Siam but became Thailand in 1932 after a ‘bloodless revolution’. The elephant is the national symbol of Thailand and tourists today can ride elephant-back into the countryside. From Chiang Mai in the north to Bangkok in the middle and Phuket Island in the south, Thailand is a country of tremendous natural beauty, over forty thousand Buddhist Temples, and warm, friendly people.

Chiang Mai Thailand

Chiang Mai Thailand

With over 300 Buddhist temples, Chiang Mai has a long spiritual tradition and culture. The city and province of Chiang Mai is located in Northern Thailand and is home to over a million people. The area is mountainous, but the climate is warm year-round. Elephants are an important aspect of Chiang Mai life and tours can be taken on elephant-back to trek through the nearby mountains.