It’s been a funny old time weather wise. Not funny ha ha. But funny. Both here and there. Depending whether I am here. Or there. Or there or here. Here now is Spain where the words ‘mucho frio’ have been ringing in my eyes for weeks Because it has been. People have said it’s the worst winter and Spring in many a year. . Yes. It rained. We needed it. But the volume in such a short time. And the cold. Went on for ever. The good bit is that the reservoirs are full. And the hillsides are green. Oh And I bought flannelette duvet covers. Because. Mucho frio was a good description. It has been very cold.
So I’m back. Yep. As a friend said. Again? I am and it’s a pattern for the next few months. The hills and mountains are green. The verges are colourful. Wild flowers everywhere. Everywhere and in the back of the garden and on the roundabout. Which isn’t a roundabout.
The garden in three weeks I have been away has changed a lot. The weather has been ok. There has been sun. It’s been warm. This week positively hot. So hot the legs came out and will stay out now until November. Only in Spain though for now. Out came the gardening hat and sunscreen. I’m waiting for the return of the mozzies.
.There is an abundance of colour in the garden. And in the sky. A great ball of fire. For most of the day.
The gazania just love a bit of sun. They open as wide as they can and are gorgeous. There Are 8 flower spikes on the strelitzia – and the two that have opened look amazing. I love them.
But i was beyond excited to find that there is a flower on the black/blue/white Strelitzia. There is only one flower again this year but I’m excited.
The banksia rose is climbing the jacaranda tree and is full of flower. It looks great against the blue sky.
There’s been a bit of tidying to be done. The Vinca has been a complete pain in the posterior. It’s everywhere. Yes it looks pretty when in flower. But not when it’s strangling everything around it. I had a good clear of the bedding area at the side of the house and came across a plant I wasn’t sure about. Until I touched it. And got the smell of popcorn. There was no doubt. . This was a popcorn Senna. I have two on the bank which aren’t doing anything. This one at least had a fair bit of growth. And flower buds.
Now this plant is poisonous. Like a lot of the plants in this garden. The last time I touched a Senna didymobotrya I rubbed my eye. Yes I know. Basic school boy error. But we all do them. Don’t we? A quick visit to the pharmacy and some eye drops I was back. So I was aware of not touching it without my gloves. But I did. And my legs brushed it. So it was straight into the shower. So far. So good.
The alliums have shot up. More are on my list – the never ending list – for next year. These are from Peter Nyssen and they are loving the growing conditions here. I have dotted them all round the garden but need to be a bit more adventurous in the planting. I need to group them better next year. With a few different varieties in a great big drift of colour.. Makes note on order schedule. Right. Like I have one. Well this year I very may well do.
The white wall planter was crying out for colour. What better plant than the good old geranium. I bought pink. I gave them away. They were the wrong colour. They got lost in the planter. I needed bold. Brash. Bright. I wanted red. Now I know a lot of people don’t like them. Feel they are the staple of municipal planting. But I don’t care. It’s the right plant in the right place for me. And with a couple of permanent pelargoniums I think they look the business.
I have been cutting stuff back a fair bit. And I found a pomegranate. Yes. Found it. I didn’t know it was lost. Because I didn’t know it was there. But it was. Hidden. And. It has flowers. But will it bear fruit?. I’ll let you know. If it does. I’ll tell everybody. Because the other two don’t even look like they are going to flower and I believe that they have never fruited.
I’m assuming that these are flowers on the small palms that sit in the middle flower bed. Again I’ll keep you posted. Don’t hold your breath. I may forget especially if they aren’t photogenic.
The osteospermums get everywhere and I love this bit of randomness in the garden. Succulents and flowers.
Behind the house we have a steep bank. I’ll admit o occasionally I do climb down it. But I’m mad. You can easily slip into the transparante hedge below. There are some wonderful pines on the edge. A walk up the steep slope – the access road behind the house and you get a fantastic view through the trees to the mountains and in a clear day to the coast.
We found some nests of processionary caterpillars in the pines and had them swiftly removed and destroyed. They are lovely trees, a bit wonky. But like wonky veg there is nothing wrong with them.
I do and I don’t want the agave to flower. If it does. It does. If it doesn’t it sits there until it does. I like them. As long as they don’t get that bug that eats them from the base and they rot and die. That added to the destruction of the prickly pears from cochineal fly would be awful.
I have been out spraying the prickly pears I want to save with a water and neem oil mix. So far. So good. The prickly pears are doing ok. Me. I smell of neem oil. Maybe the cochineal fly and if I’m lucky mozzies will leave me alone too.
So it’s been a busy time in the garden. There is still loads to do. I haven’t touched the beds at the rear of the house. That’s for another week.
But I did have a chance to go and drool over my neighbours bee orchids. Which are small. Beautifully formed and gorgeous. Me. Jealous. Too right I am. I will just have to be content with the wild orchids I have in our own garden. Of which I have found another 4.
There is so much going on in the garden as things start to flower. There are flower spikes everywhere on the Aloe. The pelargoniums are in full flower. The orange blossom fills the terrace with wafts of its scent. The Viburnum opulus is heavy with flowers. This year there is an abundance of fat white globes hanging down. But the one I have been excited about is the one solitary flower on the Echium pride of Madeira. Wait till next year.
So I head back to London. But only for a week. Planning what next in the garden. Maybe. I’ll also have time to sit and enjoy it.