Manchester haven

Here’s a complaint about Manchester city centre. There just aren’t enough decent green spaces – lungs for the metropolis.

But if you board a tram south to East Didsbury and take a leisurely stroll of around 15 minutes, you will find Fletcher Moss Park.

On a July visit when the weather had turned more unsettled, I was enthralled by the botanical garden, woodlands and the park’s tree-lined avenue.

Who said that Manchester doesn’t have any green havens!

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Welcome to Terceira, one of the islands in Portugal’s beautiful and beguiling Azores archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s steeped in history with the oldest Azorean city, Angra do Heroismo, sitting colourfully on the island.

Memorable moments of Terceira: Walking deep into a volcanic cone (Algar do Carvão), sweeping views over the agricultural plains and visiting grand buildings from Portugal’s imperial past.

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Lilium Asiatica

A magnificent bunch of Asian Lilies. There’s little to match their exuberant beauty and heady perfume that fills a room.

This spray came tightly closed and unfurled over a few days.

They are still displayed on my mother’s memorial table and are a fitting tribute.

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Faial was one of the four islands of the Azores archipelago I visited recently.

This piece of Portugal sits in the mid-Atlantic, more than 1,500km from the country’s mainland.

Memorable moments of Faial: The captivating volcanic landscape and lighthouse of Capelinhos. The volcano last erupted in 1958. The delightful port of Horta, which sits in the shadow of Mount Pico.

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Atlantic garden

This is a lush oasis grown on the rich volcanic soil of São Miguel island in Portugal’s Mid-Atlantic Azores archipelago.

Terra Nostra has curious caramel-coloured hot springs to bathe in, but I chose to tour the botanical gardens with my camera.

There was every colour of hydrangea – abundant all over the islands – and stunning flowers only enhanced by a sub-tropical shower.

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