“The sun – the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness.”

Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

This website is an unabashed celebration of the sun and sun-loving plants. The name heliotrope comes from helios, the sun, and trope, a turning.

Of course, all plants need light but some are adapted to the high levels of solar radiation typically encountered in the Mediterranean climate zones of the world.

I grew up in Cornwall and have felt a pull south to the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea since I read the Corfu trilogy of books by Gerald Durrell. You can read how that has shaped my current garden in rural Staffordshire here.


I trained as a gardener with the National Trust in my thirties and honed my skills a decade later by studying for the Kew Diploma in Horticulture at the famous gardens in west London. My dissertation was entitled ‘The Olive Grove – managing a garden of native Greek plants organically’. This necessitated four working trips to a private estate on the island of Spetses. A new place and a new infatuation for me, but essentially the same desire being satisfied; to be outdoors in the sunshine working with Nature.

So, welcome to Heliotrope, where I will share my love of Mediterranean climate plants via my blog page and other writing. 

Jim Cable