Hope that you all have a very Happy Easter and are enjoying your holiday break. I'm in Northern India enjoying the hills in Uttarakhand where the scenery is spectacular, even if temperatures are a little low! Back next week on the garden trail in England and hoping that there will be plenty coming into flower after the long and harsh winter.
The climate in Uttarakhand is conducive to growing all sorts of plants that we have back home and when you walk around the hill station of Mussourie, you see many charming rooftop gardens filled with potted plants - quite an unusual sight here in India. Mussoorie is known as "Queen of the Hills" and gets its name from Mansur (cororiana nepalensis), a herb grown extensively in the Himalayan foothills. The town is perched on a 10-mile horseshoe-shaped ridge and the views to the the mountains above and the valley below are impressive.
The ascent to Mussourie (above) is certainly memorable, as it is a 35-kilometre run, marked by hair-pin bends and some brilliant views (even if some of the valley below are a little close for comfort). But the route can be a little daunting, because the higher you climb, the narrower the roads become and there are times when traffic comes to a complete halt (below) because there isn't room for two cars.
A further four kilometres uphill from central Mussourie is the lovely hamlet of Landour, with its magnificent views of the Himalayas beyond (below). There is only one tiny hotel here, and elsewhere in the hamlet, accommodation is in private houses. Definitely a place to be if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of India. Happy holidays to all and more from gardens back home next week.