What I Saw

10 May 2024

Ms Lewis

Visiting Government House at the end of the 19th century, Ms Lewis commented on the gardens:

Considering the number of fires that have to be kept up - whether in open coal grates or stoves - and all the lamps in use, it is only wonderful that it has not burnt down before now. Surrounding Government House there is ground enough intersected by many paths, to allow of pleasant rambles and grazing for the ponies. And all the trees, plantations of gum-trees 40 or 50 feet high and wattles covered with a lovely yellow bloom resembling the mimosa of the Riviera, were planted at the time of the Occupation.

Quantities of pretty wild yellow ranunculus, with a black centre, sometimes varying to orange, were in flower all over the grounds, coming in succession to the now waning anemones. The bee orchis is also found here and much pale yellow oxalis; the little yellow cistus is sometimes as large as a primrose when on loose crumbling ground and as small as a three penny piece if growing on the path; bugloss of many tints, cream, red and blue varying to a dark rich purple; and lovely little peas, ranging from straw colour to scarlet. The bright blue pimpernel is splendid; scarcely a day passes in springtime without bringing to light some new flower of the richest hue, blue of the bluest, and red of the reddest.

Watercolour: PNT-00526, View from my bedroom window, Ann Villiers, 1898

© Costas and Rita Severis Foundation

The 'What I Saw...' series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus).

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