So I’m back in Spain. This time for three weeks. It should have been one but friends asked to come to stay so it was decided (yay) that I should stay on and be here when they arrived. Which meant staying three weeks in total. Oh. And I’m then home for 6 days to collect my bus pass and then back again for 12 days.
That’s not a bad thing as there is a lot to do. Blocked drain. One of the watering system pipes has detached itself. Neither of which I will do of course. But I’m here to sort out. And to do a bit of gardening whilst I’m at it. There is plenty of clearing up to do
I’ve said it before. But I’ll say it again. The ground is dry. Very dry. Too dry to plant anything. I have some plants still in their pots standing in a vat of water for whilst I’m away. Ready to plant when and if we get some rain. Two salvias. A jasmine Azoricum. A clivia.
Some plants like the Leonotis Leonurus – lions ear appear to have gone summer dormant as the weather has been so hot.
The clearing of the bank and what I call the roundabout are both done. I am now happy to go and look at the almonds and figs without fear of stepping on a snake. Or some other creepy crawly. The almonds are ready. My ‘book’ says check in August and September to see if the dupes are splitting. That’s a new word for my dictionary but not sure how often I can slip it into conversation. They are earlier than usual but the extreme heat has brought everything on earlier.
There are loads of them on just three trees and I am 3/4 of the way through picking them. Once picked and the outer shell taken off the almonds are then ready to dry. Please don’t ask me for how long. They are supposed to rattle when they are dry which some are doing. So I will pack them into air tight containers – Tupperware anyone. Some will be given away as presents.
I have laid them Out on trays and need to turn them regularly -like every time I pass!
I’ll leave picking the rest for another day there are loads left and I’m not going to waste them.
There is beginning to get some more colour back in the garden. It’s been so dry this summer. Much hotter than usual and some plants seem to have hibernated. A drop of water and there are blooms again. Except the Leonotis Leonurus – lions ear which appears to have gone summer dormant.
This Bougainvillia is a lovely colour. There aren’t too many flowers on there but they are pretty lovely. I must check on pruning for later in the season. I don’t want to prune next years potential flowers – puts pruning into google. There is also one random plant on the back slope which has appeared since the clearing.
I thought I’d seen the end of the stephanotis but no. There are still a number of buds. I lovethe waxy flowers – they look so lovely and smell delicious. Not enough for a bridal crown. Well not on my head anyway.
I love the colour orange in the garden. This has started to bloom again. Probably as I have been watering since I’ve been back. It just appeared overnight. That or I missed it as I walked past. But it’s a welcome sight in the corner.
Three months later I’m still learning what plants we have in the garden. Some are pretty unusual. What I didn’t expect was a swisss cheese plant outside. What next. A rubber plant! Our house plants from the 70″s. So my book says the Swiss cheese can flower. Cream in colour and edible fruits. Who knew. Not me. But I still don’t really like them. But let’s give it a chance. It may grow on me.
I loved and hated the jacaranda tree when it was in flower. The flowers were gorgeous. When they were on the tree. But they didn’t stay there. They fell – not a surprise – onto the path. Like a blue jewelled walkway. Staining the brick. Now it has seeded. Which are interesting. And they are not dropping . Looking like little bats hanging high up in the tree.
We have prickly pairs dotted around the garden – mainly on the back slope but one or two in the main area. The ones on the bank are looking sad. Last year they were all cut to the ground. Suffering from cochineal fly. I wasn’t here then but have been told like it was a crime scene as once cut they bleed. The cochineal flow are back.
Looks like we may need to cut back them again.
There’s a whole host of succulents dotted around and it’s great that they are drought tolerant as with this weather that’s a huge bonus.
As well as the main garden which sounds grander than it is we have a small piece of ground behind the house across the road. This hadn’t been touched or cleared for over 6 years and we decided that when we were having the slope behind us cleared we would have that done too. I call this the roundabout. Which it is not.
There is little on there. Two fig trees. A sickly almond. Some spikey succulents but we will need to think of some planting. To hold the soil. And to look good of course. The one fig tree is awash with black figs. Today’s picking I think and I will freeze some for jam.
It’s all a bit different to what I have been used to. Our garden in Somerset all cottage garden. Not a prickly pear in sight. Unless you consider the prickly pair of owners.
So it’s been an interesting few days. I’m here alone. I have pottered in the Garden. Snipping here. Deadheading there. Taking photos. Making plans. Understanding why I didn’t attempt to strip the bank and the roundabout myself. Slipping over down the bank. Almost doing a triple toe loop and a couple of pas de deux as I hurtled to the floor almost falling flat on my face. Thankfully no one was around to see my inelegant moves. Or my embarrassment.
It hasn’t deterred me. There will be more gardening tomorrow after I have trained the welcome cactus to wave its arms for when the friends arrive with the 11 and 13 year old boys. Yes. It needs a sort te the pot. It’s on my ever increasing list. To add to the list that Ian has left me.