I can’t believe I’m sat in the garden, its still summer here in Spain. It’s 27 degrees on the terrace and I have a cold. Yes a summer cold. It can’t be because I’ve gone out without a vest. My mother always said that if you went out without a vest you’d catch a cold. I haven’t needed a vest and I haven’t worn one for over 40 years. So I’m just unlucky then.
I have managed to do a bit of gardening since we got back on Wednesday evening. The ground is still like iron where not even a pick axe will make a dent. We had some pretty spectacular rain and a storm before we left last week but it had little effect. I do think that the mountains driving up the wiggly road look a little greener though. In parts. Maybe that’s rose tinted glasses. Oh wouldn’t that be making it pink? The road is so wiggly I could be seeing things – I just stare at the road and hope for the best.
We are getting a second flush of Oleander, particularly the white one. It seems to come in stages, the double pink was out in August but has largely died back. And yes I know. It’s poisonous but it seems to me that most of these Mediterranean plants are
What I didn’t realise, but then why should I – its not like i have grown these plants before, is that there are some pretty spectacular seed heads too. Live and learn!
But there are pretty spectacular seeds heads on a lot of things, and I have posted some of the pictures previously. The jacaranda for one – its seed heads are amazing.
The seed heads of the Agapanthus are in mixed stages of drying and I am about to collect some of the seeds to sow on the bank behind the house. . There are a lot of them in the garden dotted around and I suspect a lot are self seeded, Again I am looking forward to next year when some of them may be mature enough and ready to flower. I am sure I will tell you when they do.
The garden has a lot of bird of paradise planted in the ground but the one doing the best at the moment is one in a large pot on the terrace, I suspect that the ones in the ground are younger and I haven’t seen them flower. But we have the second flower of the season on the potted one, its smaller than the one earlier in the season and there is flower no 3 coming quickly behind it.
There is no sign of the blue and white bird of paradise flowering again which is a shame as its pretty spectacular.I have just realised that we have a second plant next to the garage. I mistakenly thought it was a banana. As in plant. Not the fruit. Hopefully It will flower next year. I need to look up how to feed it. But that goes for most of the plants here. What and when to feed. In london I poo my plants. That is using Lou Archer Alpaca poo. Has worked wonders in london. Oh. And a picture of my agapanthus is on the agapanthus poo mix labels.
Unlike the tender plants in the London garden I won’t have to wrap any here. Last year I didn’t wrap anything in London. I didn’t put straw in the crowns of the tree ferns and they survived. But we are sheltered and the winter wasn’t harsh.
The pineapple guava has fruit on it which I understand is delicious but I am not sure that they will be big enough to eat this year. It’s been spectacularly hot and I am not sure that they have grown fat or big enough. The previous owners said last week that they are tasty. Oh well another for next year.
I have checked the Quince following a mention on twitter of the fruit. I have five on the tree – they aren’t pretty are they! Now I need to see if i have enough for Quince jelly.
I find it fascinating to watch the flowers. As we are here roughly every few weeks some are out as we leave and some as we arrive. This little purple/blue flower has been flowering all summer long and is really pretty. It looks as if the flowering period is coming to an end with this one too.
I’ve said it before but I haven’t really liked Lantana. But to be honest it is growing on me. It works hard and comes in some lovely colours. Even after the potted one is neglected it bounces back with colour.
We have a number of jasmine varieties in the garden, tracheospernum, azoricum, a what I call common jasmine and one unidentified. Oh and that stephanotis I keep bleating on about. After a slow start its been a corker. In a pot by the door the scent is delicious. Oh I’ve said that before. Move on.
What i didn’t know and I am sure i have witttered on about previously is that they can fruit in very hot summers. Well its been hot and there is a new fruit forming and one from last year that has ripened and opened. You can plant the seeds but as I am not here all the time that’s not for me.
I managed an afternoon tidying at the rear of the house where there is a gentle slope up to a steeper one. At the lower end are succulents and at the top some sad prickly pears and some pine which i have now found out are protected. No chopping these down but I wouldn’t want to anyway.
I have said that the plants here are new to me. I am used to either our London garden which is more of a yard with tree ferns, agapanthus some perennials and annuals. All in pots. Our Somerset garden which is a true cottage garden full of traditional and lovely perennials, Roses and a bit of lawn. succulents have never featured big but they do here as you would expect in a mediteranaean garden where water is at a premium and the heat is on.
I’m in love with the Agave. – the pearly agave or foxtail agave. It’s shape and form is gorgeous. I have two, one in a pot and one in the ground. One is upright the other is hanging over the pot. Both are fabulous. I like that word. Like the agaves A lot.
I need to name the rest of the succulents. Not with actual names that would be silly. Not Boris or Doris but identify their plant names. That’s for a cooler autumn day sat at the kitchen table. In spain or london.
To add to the Swiss cheese plant we have growing outdoors there’s another ‘indoor’ house plant from my youth doing really well outside. There are a number of them in the garden at various stages of growth – the money tree we called them as I was growing up.
Next on my list is to read up on pruning. I had a great day last year with. Sara Venn pruning our Somerset garden. We worked on the fruit trees and the roses and they have been great this year. I may be doing a light prune this Autum but the cottage is now on the market.
I will need to read up on the Jacaranda, the oleander the hedge with no name because I don’t know it. But it’s has been here and growing well for over 30 years. The pomegranate which has never fruited and which I have been told to go out with a paint brush when it flowers, the olive trees, the almonds and the citrus.
The citrus is flowering again, two lemons I thought were on their way out and a lime I had moved because it needed a second chance.
So I have plenty of reading ahead of me. Identifying. Pruning. Planning oh and planting. The tulips are ordered. I’ve said I want alliums. More agapanthus. But I have to wait for rain or hire a JCB to plant them!
I am sure you will hear all about it.