Only last week, a warm wind blew in from the south. The sky here in Athens had been cloudy with an eerie yellow overcast – impossible to capture its essence in a photograph. At the time, if you were outside too long in the garden you began to feel gritty. Bright canary dust washed down the drain pipes after a quick spring shower, tangible evidence zealously hosed away before I could fetch the camera. It was the annual March phenomenon of the Sahara sandstorms blowing north – Σορόκος or Sirocco.

Yellow – whether desert dust or sunshine – in the garden is a harbinger of spring. On a clear day, bright lemons still hang on the tree (although it is now severely pruned).


There are also cheerful yellow centres of little daisy camomile flowers that grow in drifts, appropriately enough, near the herb garden.


Last, but not least, is the old-fashioned climbing rose in front of the house. Tiny yellow roses bloom in clusters on a vine two storeys high. The rose, probably an heirloom variety, appears in photographs taken a century ago – although a lot shorter. It is impossible to capture its delicate colour in black and white images. It is truly a glorious sight.




  1. Is it a Banksia rose Deb, blooms prolifically once in spring then that’s it for the year. Love fresh lemons but not sure about all that Sahara dust in the air


  2. In Patmos we have the “red”dust storms at this time of the year
    leaving the white washed houses with a warm pink glow!
    Mediterranean Garden Society has a very old banksia rose
    on their terrace, too. So lovely.


  3. Those yellow roses are gorgeous, Debi. Do they bloom all season or just in the spring? I was staying along the Amalfi Coast when the Sirocco hit overnight and awoke to find our aubergine-colored car barely recognizable with its new dirty orange coloring. It’s the unexpected that makes travel so appealing for me. 🙂


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