- What’s On
Martyn Rix, Andrew Byfield, Ro FitzGerald and David Wheeler guide us through the wonders of Turkey’s flora, and Brian Mathew pays tribute to Turkey’s eminent botanists, Turhan and Asuman Baytop.
Exquisite bulbs, once uprooted in their millions, may be saved by a scheme to satisfy both gardeners and conservationists. Botanist Andrew Byfield reports
The Anastasian and Theodosian walls together protected the city for many years; but now this vast and beautiful network is under attack from within. Cornucopia investigates the dangers that threaten this important cultural icon and its surroundings.
They are smelly and poisonous, and trick insects into doing their dirty work; but arums and aristolochias are among the most striking wild flowers in Turkey. The botanist Andrew Byfield tracks them down on the glaring limestone peninsulas of Marmaris and in the scruffier habitats of the high Taurus Mountains
The splash of colour provided in the first warm days of spring, or in late autumn when little else is in flower, makes crocuses universally loved by gardeners. The large gaudy flowers of the Dutch hybrid are derived from a European species, but the exquisite smaller, earlier-flowering ‘botanical’ crocuses have their origins in the exposed hill and mountain slopes of Anatolia. Andrew Byfield gives a field guide to both north and south
Exotic, enigmatic, irresistible: saffron is the spice of kings and worth its weight in gold. Near the town of Safranbolu lie the country’s last few fields of this precious crocus. Text and photographs by Andrew Byfield.
A special harvest festival was held in May  in the cedar forests of the Taurus Mountains. Conservtionists, botanists and bulb merchants from all over the world joined villagers in tiny Dumlugöze to celebrate Turkey’s first crop of cultivated snowdrop bulbs – good news for the wild ones. By Andrew Byfield
Martyn Rix introduces a special issue devoted to Turkey’s horticultural heritage, from the splash of the urban window box to the splendour of a mountain hillside
The truly intoxicating rhododendrons of northeast Turkey. By Andrew Byfield
Anatolia’s new peat gatherers follow a rugged, self-sufficient way of life. But they are taking a toll on the rare flowers of the Turkish moors. Andrew Byfield confronts a burning issue
In the garden we may take them for granted, but in the wild, their colours make the heart sing. Andrew Byfield celebrates the vibrant beauty of Turkey’s primulas
The story of one of Turkey’s rarest bulbs could be taken from the pages of a thriller. Andrew Byfield exposes the bulb smugglers’ dastardly deeds.
These are the last great heathlands of Eastern Europe, one of the world’s rarest natural habitats. Unless they receive a last-minute reprieve, they will be bulldozed out of existence. Andrew Finkel reports on the dilemma facing the planners in Istanbul
The intoxicating scent of attar of roses, the oil distilled from the petals of damask roses, has worked its magic on men and women for centuries. Martyn Rix traces the history of the damask rose from its roots in Neolithic times and travels to Isparta in southwest Anatolia to see how these precious petals yield up a liquid worth its weight in gold. Photographs by Berrin Torolsan and Martyn Rix
They are a dedicated breed, but not all orchid hunters share the same agenda. Some are driven to record in minute detail the glory of Turkey’s orchid species – all 148 of them. Some are more interested in eating them. The botanist Andrew Byfield joins the quest.
Mount Ida is a paradise for wild flowers. Martyn Rix prospected the area from cool, damp north to hot, dry south. There he found and photographed dwarf flax, giant hogweed – and plants that grow nowhere else in the world
Brian Mathew pays tribute to the late Turhan Baytop, Turkey’s pre-eminent botanist
Martyn Rix sidesteps the concrete condos of the Turkish Riviera to go searching for native flowers. In the valleys of the Taurus Mountains and on the unspoilt rocky headlands of the coast, he finds wild gladioli, tassel hyacinths, Persian fritillaries
A Turkish-inspired garden on the Cambridge Fens. Two Turkish passions meet in the late John Drake’s beautiful garden: a love of symmetry and an abundance of wild flowers. Here the garden historian acknowledged his debt to the Turkish ideal of paradise on earth
When spring arrives in the high passes of the Taurus Mountains, a dazzling display of flowers comes out to greet it. Story and photographs by Martyn Rix
In Turkey the tireless George Maw was able to indulge in both his loves. He found inspiration for the decorative tiles made by his family pottery. And he discovered the plants that inspired his magnificent book on crocuses. By Martyn and Alison Rix.
By whatever name it is known – whether Karataş Yayla (Black Rock Pasture) or Çağrankaya (Singing Rock) – this spur of the Kaçkars is full of drama. Andrew Byfield battled rain and fog to reach its riches
The magic of southwest Turkey can still catch you unawares, especially if you sail. Botanist Ro FitzGerald boards a fine ketch and plots a course for that stunningly beautiful corner where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean.
When David Wheeler set out to satisfy his craving to explore Turkish gardens, he was guided by a diverse cast of committed Istanbul citizens. What he discovered were myriad horticultural havens, from Byzantine market gardens to Ottoman cemeteries, from wooded Bosphorus yalıs to riotous urban parks — many of them under imminent threat
Andrew Byfield reviews ‘The Genus Tulipa: Tulips of the World’ by Diana Everett, Kew Publishing 2013
On the European shore, David Wheeler discovers hidden greenery in the hills above the Bosphorus
Brian Mathew looks back on the achievements of the late Asuman Baytop, who died in February. Portrait by Cafer Türkmen
Istanbul, straddling two continents and sandwiched between two seas, has a thrillingly varied flora which includes many plants seen nowhere else on the planet. Sadly, it is also critically endangered. Text and photographs by Andrew Byfield
With its floral spectacle, sparkling light and limitless blue skies, southwest Turkey in autumn is ‘surely God’s own country’. Last year the botanist Andrew Byfield took a nostalgic bulb-hunting trip, retracing his steps in the hills of Caria and Lycia after an absence of twenty-one years. Text and photographs by Andrew Byfield
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