Garden 'siteseeing' in the Caribbean, Portugal, the US, and France

Great garden blogs in the US.

As we head out to visit gardens around the world, no passport is required but make sure your mouse is in good shape. You won't want to miss seeing fabulous orchids, tiny tropical peppers, and gorgeous gardens. 

Bask in the warmth and admire the tropical flowers in A Caribbean Garden  while you learn more about Caribbean food -- herb and pepper seasoning  mixes (which vary a bit from island to island), a recipe for canning Trinidad pepper sauce (likely to cause steam to roll from your mouth), and a recipe for kuchela made using green mangoes.

If you enjoy container gardens, don't miss an extensive look at plantings as well as pots. Nicole, whose job is in international development, is likely to pop up in any warm part of the world -- Southeast Asia, Hawaii -- and share the beautiful garden photos she took.

Let's stick to warm weather by dropping in on the Greenman (Jose Santos) in Portugal. He's a man of few words and many photos. He's been blogging since 2005 about his two outdoor terraces and a garden room. Such gorgeous orchids, bromeliads, and fuchsias (outdoors, of course).

And in keeping with our warm climates, back to the US and Florida: Garden Living, subtitled outdoor adventures with family and kids, is written by Emily, the communications coordinator for the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. (UF/IFAS stands for University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.)

She wasn't much of a gardener when she began, but now, she says,  "I've come to believe my brown thumb just needs a little fertilizer."

She and her husband live with two preschoolers and two dogs on a family farm in Micanopy, Fla., a tiny historic town south of Gainesville. She writes about how recent hurricanes affected them, volunteering to teach urban young people about gardening, Spanish goats as lawnmowers  native passionflowers, and whatever else is going on in her professional and personal gardening life.

Look at the photos of the recent conference we both attended in Portland, Ore. -- except that I haven't had time to download my photos yet. (They're coming -- I promise!)

Smelly Smallholding  and The Chickens Have Escaped are about four Brits (two adults and two kids) striving for a sustainable lifestyle on a 5-acre farm -- formerly cattle pasture -- outside the village of Réveillon, France (Le Perche, lower Normandy).

They've lived in France for seven years and on this property (where they also run a B&B) since 2006. It's an area of rolling hills, hedgerows, and apple orchards.  Sounds just right for the simple lifestyle that they want to live.

I enjoyed the discussions of which heirloom tomatoes were a success and which weren't, and watching an attractive shed/playhouse being built.

On Diggin' It's weekly Web garden visits, we pick up information about which plants do -- and don't -- perform well, admire lush plants we may not be able to grow in our own gardens, and feel a connection to the people growing them, no matter where they live. Join us again next week for visits to four more gardens.

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