All posts by kaowinston

About kaowinston

Use to be a school teacher, but that was years ago. Born in Trinidad, I moved to the UK to study Fine Arts. It was a thriling and fruitful experience, only soured by the new winter limitations. Today, it is the garden that challenges me, as you cans see from the post.

New Site: Work in Progress

2018, and I was ready for a new challenge.  After a few years of producing my very simplistic blog,   I decided that the tine had come for me to branch out to more personal statement.  I assumed that it would be easy, but I was wrong, very wrong.

The blog I offered before was simple, because of the limited time I had to give, and the formula involved bringing together a collection of photos with a few paragraphs.  But now, armed with a new site , and delving into its construction, I found myself, shock horror, totally out of my depth.  What the hell is this thing called a widget?

After going round in circles for a couple days, I sent an SOS to Support, and that has somewhat returned me to sanity.  To be truthful, my limited knowledge of web building, and my total ignorance of practices, had played a major part in my downfall. The WordPress support response also made me realize that there were lots of information available out there, none of which I had come across before.   My advice to any one stating blogging for the first time, it would be  a better idea to do some homework first, or even subscribe to some of the courses – I was  absolutely surprised to find that these courses existed.

One of my pleasant surprises happened  when I decided that I should delete the videos approach from  my navigation menu as it belongs to the premium accounts, and then at the very last minute suddenly realised that I can embed  YouTube links in same, without any problems.  That was certainly a joyful moment for me.   I am still not out of the woods, as yet; but things are definitely improving, even though I still feel I have a long way to go. I am prepared to face the challenges that lie ahead to make the site much more useful, and definitely better.


PHOTOS: Museum of Modern Art


Agave Parryi var huachucensis

Sometimes a plant becomes an obsession. That is the way I feel about Agave parryi.  It is definitely one of the few Agaves which always present a great show whenever they are encountered.  There are variations in the species exhibiting many forms.  I love them all.  I love the truncatas, the couesis, and even the distant cousin neomexicana.  In habitat they are even more attractive, and are definitely worth the sometimes perilous journey to observe. They are exceedingly tough plants which can handle unpredictable wintry conditions very well.  Therefore, if you are that way inclined. and would like to try your hand at growing, seeds are the easiest route to take.  Careful nurturing will ensure their survival.  And that way you can never have too much of them.



This is my second visit to China, and I was very impressed to to be in what is now the largest city in the world.  It is definitely more of the metropolis landmark than Beijing, which I had visited last year.  I was staying at the Novotel Shanghai Atlantis in Pudong, and from my room on the 31st floor, the view was fantastic.  Just as I was told, Shanghai does display all the signs of a vibrant financial centre, and convinces you, without a doubt, that it is the best place to do business.

To get there, I took a long journey with Qatar Airways.  It involved a six hour afternoon flight from London to Doha, and yes I finally made it to city in the Middle East. But it was not for very long , just two hours later, I was headed for a nine hour flight to Shanghai, which had me arriving the following day in the afternoon.  The experience was very revealing, and full of surprises to me, as I was passing through that part of the world for the first time.

Frida Kahlo Museum

Although intending to make this visit many years ago on my first visit to the Mexico City ,I finally managed this year, and believe me I was not disappointed.  The setting in Coyoacan, a very attractive area of the city, does prepare you for what I feel is a very small sized, and yet exceptional museum.

You can avoid the crowds, by making arrangements to buy your ticket early.  But I did not, and truly believed the long queue was all part of the fun.  I was also particularly impressed by the fact that they offered me the senior rate even though I was a foreign visitor.

If you ever make it to Mexico city, this is a must see, the art studio setting also dragged me back to the days when I was art Art College in the UK.  I felt a great need to drag out the brushes and start creating masterpieces all again.  Like so much of this city, the local culture encourages a urgent need to express yourself.

Tropical Journey

Sometimes I feel the need for an island experience, and the best way to satisy that need is to visit one.  What better way to start than by boarding a plane and heading to the Caribbean.  This time the choice is Trinidad and I have given myself just over a week to explore. Enjoy some of the photos I made while on my selective journey towards the interior.

Sand Dunes of Maspalomas


The Canary Islands are group of islands governed by Spain which lies around sixty miles of the coast of Morocco.  There are seven main islands including Gran Canaria, and numerous other islands and islets. They are now generally seen as perfect tourist destinations by Europeans who flock there to escape the cold, and enjoy the sun.

Maspalomas is situated in the southern part of Gran Canaria.  It is part of the municipality of San Bartolome de Tirajana.  Based on my personal experience, it appears to be a lot more sunny, and have far less downpours of rain than the north of the island, including Las Palmas.  It is also very well developed with numerous hotels, and resorts. During my time there, I stayed at the Eugenia Victoria Hotel, in Gran Canaria Avenue, not far from the Playa de Ingles. It was a very large hotel about four hundred rooms offering Half board, or All inclusive. The accommodation was quite adequate with lots of room space, and I did enjoy the food.

Dunas de Maspalomas is a nature reserve in the southern part of Gran Canaria, with splendid beaches and commercial resorts. Spectacular are the hillsides of sand which were historically created years ago, and remain interesting to explore.  It was my first visit to see the Dunes, and I will be quite willing to have another look next time around, with a little more time on my hand



With a population of over two million, Havana presents itself as the largest city in the Caribbean islands, with a varied and colorful mixture of Hispanic architecture, and currently  an eclectic mix-style of wonderful, and yet varied entertainment.  Designated by UNESCO as a cultural heritage site in 1982, it is now under an ambitious government organized restoration program, after centuries of neglect. The grand aim is to restore the historic beauty and subtleties of the Old Town – La Habana Vieja, to the standard it once acclaimed. Visitors have a lot to choose from, formal walks around the streets of the central city area, much more detail look at the many museums, including those which chronicle the history of the revolution, or simply grab a meal at one of the many impromptu or formal restaurants.  Whatever you choose, Havana is waiting for you.


BEIJING: The Forbidden City

October 1st, the Chinese National Day, I intended to rise early and take in the expected celebrations in Tiananmen Square. I did not make it.  Still jet-lagged from my ten hour flight from London, I overslept.  Rising swiftly, I quickly got dressed, and  grabbed some breakfast downstairs in the restaurant, at the excellent Novotel Hotel where I was staying
in the downtown area of Dongcheng, and headed for the ‘Forbidden City’ complex.
Today called the Palace Museum – (The locals call it Gu-Gong which means Ancient Palace), it offers a striking insight about the Emperors who ruled China many years ago. It was so impressive that I spent a whopping five hours there; walking through an imperious Meridan Gate, gliding into numerous halls of Harmony and Palaces, all offering splendid architectural styles of the day. And then on towards the revealing Treasure Gallery with its minature icons, and finally exiting through the Imperial Garden.   Enjoy the photos.


JUNE Blooms

It is the month of the year when the weather is fine, or should be.  It is definitely  the season to watch my plants grow.  It is also the time to grab your camera and capture the blooms.

Aeoniums and Puyas do not fit perfectly together.  But in this garden they were numerous.  The puya species are not difficult to grow, but they do need patience especially because of their many awkward spines. Another consideration is that they do grow quite large, and do need careful staging when grown in the garden. Aeoniums are very much more easy to deal with, especially as cuttings, because growing from seeds can take forever.

Tecoma Stans and Uncarina Decaryi!  What a lovely colour coded combination. The Tecomas are very commom in the tropical zones, and are quit easy to propagate.  Theie resplendent yellow blooms are a godsend.  The Uncarinas are very new caudex style plants, and do not like to experience cold.  Care must be taken, even though they will do nicely in greenhouse culture.


Brachychiton  and Euphorbia make a very unusual combination.  Euphorbias are quite commom in various combinations wherever we go.  The Brachychitons are less well known, as they hail all the way from Austrailia. The Brachychiton Bidwillii is even quite rare, and is never expected in any average botanical garden.

Here are some Aloes and Cacti , two genre of plants which are well known.

More Euphorbias, Aloes and Aeoniums!