The flowers sellers in Funchal market wear traditional dress, which comprises a colourful striped skirt in a heavy woollen fabric, a white blouse and a decorated red bodice piped and laced with green. They have soft boots on their feet and sitting amongst their exotic blooms these women create a very vibrant scene.
Looking down from the balconied first floor to the centre of the indoor market.
Most of the flowers on sale are not indigenous to the island, having been introduced from South Africa and elsewhere. The arum lilies are a native species, and, together with agapanthus flowers, can be found growing everywhere in profusion.
The fruit and vegetable stalls are just as colourful, and while chillies and bananas are familiar to me
We catch a local bus from the centre of town and head up the hill to visit the Botanical Garden. It's quite a hairy ride along very steep, narrow streets with many sharp zigzag bends.
Oh, joy, topiary! I love it. I'm waiting patiently for a yew plant at home to become large enough to shape.
Now I'm starting to think that just one shape will not be enough!