I have been off traveling again. This year my exploring trip was five weeks of traveling around Israel. This included two weeks in Jerusalem which is so packed with things to see. As usual, I was taking an interest in all things to do with garden and agriculture. The northern two thirds of the country, with its Mediterranean climate, has much more agriculture, but there was a lot going on in the dry rocky desert areas of the south as well through the miracle of drip irrigation. I found out that it was Israel that actually developed drip irrigation and gave it to the world. Cherry tomatoes were apparently also a gift to the world from Israel. All of us that live in the tropical world really appreciate that. They are so much easier to grow in our climate.
I, of course, expected to see things like olive trees, dates, pomegranates and wheat growing in Israel but the amount of agriculture in the country was just astounding. When I went to the markets and asked where the produce came from the answer was always, "Here in Israel" They put Hawaii to shame. It is estimated that about 85% of our food here in Hawaii is shipped in from outside the state. I loved the real tasting nectarines in Israel and they had a lovely small skinny cucumber that was really nice too. It is the first country I have ever been to that always has a fresh salad as part of breakfast. Tomatoes and cucumbers were always part of that. I was surprised to see the amount of bananas being grown in the country. Huge fields of the crop and most often grown under huge net covers to keep out the birds and insects.
A few places I saw a Hawaiian friend which always gives me a little thrill. These were tough native Hawaiian plants that were used in public gardens under hot dry conditions. Just showing that they can handle it with a bit of that drip irrigation. This included the shrubs Hau 'Ula, 'A'ali'i and 'Akulikuli as a ground cover. These plants are native to Hawaii but also have a wider presence in the Pacific.
A usual I was taking photos of gardens as I traveled around and I will share a few of them with you to give you a feeling of the country and maybe they will give you a few ideas for your own garden.