Riviera Reporter
Riviera Reporter

Outdoors and Nature

Gardening. Wildlife. Walking, rambling. Activities etc.

Mont Blanc

Climb Mont Blanc from your armchair thanks to Google

The Local | Mar 03, 2016
Google has crossed another frontier in mapping out Mont Blanc via its Street View function, meaning you can see the iconic mountain like never before. The American search engine sent a team of climbers, skiers, and photographers to the summit,…
Low maintenance grass

Gardening: Low maintenance grass in winter

James Basson | Feb 05, 2015
I’d like to look at a subject that doesn’t get the attention it deserves: winter gardens. When designing gardens there is a tendency to focus on how the garden will look in the spring and summer months – when people are outside using their green…
Boar in car

Hair’s the best way to beat the boars in your garden

Jamie Ivey | Jan 02, 2015
I recently made a resolution to become more involved in the local community. I thought I might join the boules club, or pull on some Lycra with the weekend peloton boys. Instead, by chance, I’ve become part of a secret fraternity that gathers at…
Tantalus Garden

Gardening: Unbound inspiration when redesigning

James Basson | Nov 11, 2014
Sometimes inspiration for a garden can come from some unlikely sources that can enrich and personalise an individual garden. At the Singapore Garden Festival, we did a garden called “Tartarus”, based on the Greek mythological figures of the Titans…

Gardening: The essence of a dry garden

James Basson | Oct 02, 2014
As specialists in dry gardens we often get asked, “So you do cactus gardens?” While of course cacti and succulent plants do thrive in a dry environment, it’s a common misconception that this is the only solution. Dry gardening in this area means…
Spencer Byles Art

Sculptor Spencer Byles creates natural art in the forest

Nick Kent | Sep 05, 2014
There’s something stirring the imagination down in the woods near La Colle-sur-Loup. Sculptor Spencer Byles spent a year creating 34 works deep in the forest that clothes the valley of the Loup river. Now he can sit back and wait for the reactions…
Brown Garden

Gardening: Brown is the new black

James Basson | Aug 08, 2014
When creating a sustainable garden, we have to bear in mind the need to work with nature and not fight against it; never is this more true than in the height of summer. In the fashion industry black has always been considered stylish, classy and…
La Turbie Rocks

Gardening: Between a rock and a hard place

James Basson | Jun 03, 2014
One of my favourite landscapes in the Alpes-Maritimes is an old Roman quarry situated above Monaco in La Turbie. Incredibly inspirational, it represents the contrast of the hand of man cutting straight blocks of stone from the broad sweeping curves…
Right Place Right Plant

Gardening: Right plant, right place. Lessons from landscape

James Basson | Apr 15, 2014
A garden is typically made up of three main elements: hardscape – the pathways, driveways, paved surfaces and play areas; softscape – the vegetation within the landscape; and waterscape - the use of water on the grounds. For the purpose of this…
Hanbury Gardens Panoramica

A count of flowers and a tale of the two Rivieras

Lorenzo Gariano | Jan 30, 2014
Both the Italian and French Rivieras enjoy some truly exceptional and mild microclimates, which offer for this latitude the opportunity to experiment with the most exotic plants originating from far away tropical locations. This awareness was…
Bee Collecting Pollen

Bees on their knees

Riviera Reporter | Aug 07, 2013
Most of the estimated 4 billion insect and animal species that have ever lived became extinct, and now bee "colony collapse disorder" is the big concern. Overuse of insecticides is the principle reason that the world’s bee population is dwindling,…
Gardening in Germany

Gardening: The future’s bright. The future’s German.

James Hartley | Jul 31, 2013
It was only a few days ago that I was in Germany looking for new and unusual trees and shrubs, having made my way up from Italy, via Belgium and Holland. Despite having German ancestry (a great-grandfather), I’ve never spent any substantial amount…
Gardening X-rated

Gardening: Drought-tolerant design

James Hartley | Mar 30, 2013
Despite repeated deluges this winter, my typically contrarian instincts would have me bet on a hot summer. What better way therefore to banish the depression brought on by seemingly endless low-pressure weather fronts than by discussing the sensible…
Spring Thoughts

Gardening: Spring thoughts

James Hartley | Mar 24, 2013
A long cold winterAfter what was, if I’m honest, a pretty brutal winter – to have felt the sun start to make some progress into properly warming our days made me a happy man. Happier still when I finally started to catch wafts of the scent of spring…

Gardening: Beautiful landscapes

James Hartley | Mar 06, 2013
Perhaps it’s the cold weather, perhaps the days of rain, but for whatever reason there’s no denying it: discussion at our office has definitely taken an esoteric turn recently. Grand designs: A view over the Orangerie towards Swiss Lake at…
Maryse at Green Riviera

How to make a wall flower

Nick Kent | Feb 28, 2013
It's spring at last and everything in the garden is looking rosy. Or is it?What about that bare garage wall that has defied all attempts to clothe itself in creepers on account of the fierce summer sun?Send for Maryse and her gang at Green Riviera (
Gardening - Learning the Trade

Gardening: Learning the trade

James Hartley | Feb 22, 2013
I think I must be getting old. Oh, Lord – there I’ve said it. Though I’ve spent years berating my father for uttering that phrase, genetics would appear to have won through, as if some time sensitive-trigger mechanism has been tripped in my DNA…
Giant Hogweed

Warning: poisonous plants

Riviera Reporter | Feb 03, 2013
Brought to the region 50 years ago by “an English colonel” who planted it in his garden at Thorenc, the Giant Hogweed now looks like it’s becoming plant public enemy number one.In our last issue we wrote about “the invaders”, those insects – most…
Wrap up Warm

Gardening: Protecting plants in winter

James Hartley | Jan 02, 2013
“The simplest and most practical method of protection is placing the plants under a covered structure of some kind. If they are too large or if it isn’t practical to move them, then you have to bring the cover to the plants.” James HartleyThere are…
Pennisetum alopecuroides

Gardening: Grass Master Class. Riviera edition.

James Hartley | Jul 29, 2012
We’re talking grass here, not the kind you have to cut every week but grasses as a family of plants used ornamentally in planting. Perennial delights If you’re hoping for the lowdown on the art of grass care with an in-depth discussion on tall…

Where to go rambling, advice from a veteran walker

Jill Penton-Browne | May 31, 2012
“If you go out in the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise” No, it’s not those teddy bears. Rather, a man in uniform may stop you and even slap a €135 fine on you. So what’s going on? Explains reader and veteran woodland walker Joe Mihell: “We…
Dont like gardening

Why I don’t like gardening

James Hartley | May 30, 2012
I’m coming out of the shed and there’s no looking back With an unrelenting predictability, the busy gardening season is upon us: the plants in our gardens are thriving on the regular rain we’ve received over the past months, spawning an explosion in…
Garden RR151_small

Gardens glorious

James Hartley | May 21, 2012
The best months of the year I absolutely adore spring and early summer. As beautiful as they are, I’ve got to admit that by March the novelty of brown leaves hanging on Carpinus bushes has rather worn off on me and I develop a fixation on inspecting…
Bees 1582_small

Bees and how to deal with them

Riviera Reporter | Mar 17, 2012
The future of honey bees is something the Reporter has touched upon from time to time. They not only provide us with honey but, more importantly, they pollinate our gardens and crops. Without them, we're in big trouble. Mandy Dowd tells more about…
Wild Boar

Talking dirty, about boars

James Hartley | Feb 12, 2012
For some reason I seem to keep turning up at wild parties well after they’ve finished. By the time I get there, all of the participants have long departed, but I can usually tell from the mess that’s left behind that I missed out on quite an event.…

Gardening: Growing good taste, herbs and aromatics

James Hartley | Jan 09, 2012
By my own admission I will accept that I am unable to dispel the slight disdain that I have for vegetable gardening. I think this seed may have been sown when my horticultural degree split us budding horticulturalists almost immediately into…

Be barbie-wise!

Cressida van Zyl-Pithey | Jan 09, 2012
Everyone (or almost) likes a barbecue but things can go wrong. Reading the Cape Times online the other day I learned of a horrible case in which two young kids were engulfed in flames after pouring petrol on a barbecue to help ignite it. That sort…

Gardening : Going up with climbers

James Hartley | Jan 09, 2012
I’m sure almost everyone at one time or another has wondered how to soften a corner or an unsightly wall. Often the solution to these types of problems can come in the shape of a climbing plant, nature’s garden gymnasts. With a vast range to choose…

Gardening: Stress can kill, infections and disease

James Hartley | Jan 09, 2012
Almost every time I explain to someone that they should avoid causing a plant stress, I invariably get a certain look. The one where you just know that the person you are talking to thinks you have been spending far too long conversing with…

Garden Pruning

James Hartley | Jan 09, 2012
I don't know of a word that strikes more fear into amateur gardeners than "pruning". I will admit - although the basics are easy to understand - to become truly professional it takes time, knowledge and practice, and is probably as much an art as a…
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