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Posts Tagged ‘plants’

My Garden In A Nutshell

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Well the weather has cooled down a tad so I have been trying to play catch up in the garden. If you remember ‘Stalker Sam’ the little black redstart, you will know I have decided to dedicate the tree garden to my little helper. So I will start with ‘Sams’ garden.  Having cleared away the weeds and dug up the intrusive bulbs I found some crocus which were having a hard time growing through the leaves of the ‘intruders’  plus one or two Lilly’s still growing there. This made for drastic action on my part, a lot of soil sifting but at last the bulbs were out. I then re-planted the crocus at the front edge, looked for the mini Iris and Tulips and added them.  The bulbs in there are now small and will be left to spread, they will remind me of him and his little ways, I still turn to see if he’s watching me from round one of the trunks.  Mulch is provided by the olive leaves which the worms seem to like, and I have started a ‘weed liquid’ in a plastic bucket to provide nourishment.

The Wild Bulbs and Plants

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Most of what grows up here are bulbs, because they don’t need so much water. Therefore I have planted up quite a lot of the wild lilies we found when we moved here, and have since added Freesias, Tulips – green and black – Anemone  and Gladioli.  I have also moved into various beds Wild Gladioli, Grape Hyacinths, tiny Daffodils which were growing in the forest when we were clearing a fire break, along with the Iris, Lavender, Honeysuckle and Jasmine to name but a few.  I am only just coming to terms with the Asphodelus which grows all over the place like the lavender and rosemary, which at certain times of the year scent the evening air with their perfume. The oddest one so far is the one I have named ‘Carrot’ plant because its leaves are like the leaves of the carrot.

There are still a lot of plants out there that I have not got to yet but I’m a lady on a mission. So above are a few of the various plants and bulbs that I have found on the finca hope you enjoy.

My Robin

 

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Last but not least, people in the gardening club have been showing off their Robins, so I thought I’d introduce you to Bobbin.  This picture was taken whilst we were sat having coffee one year he was right under the table by my feet.  Through the years he, Boris Black Bird, Dangerous Dan the crested Tit and others have given us many a laugh with their antics. I think gardening is a good way to see nature, and here the garden is always evolving.  Plans that are made and often started in summer when its far too hot to work outside, are finalised or finished through autumn, winter and spring.   I have a lot of half done things and plans for others so from September onwards it will be all go.

(c) C A Bosc

 

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Club Nautique

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This is my friend Pep like me a sailor at heart.  He is on the committee of Club Nautique and does the races.  Now a while ago the local council decided that they would construct a cantilever walkway down river road. This has meant the road has been impassable for several weeks now with, as far as I can tell,  only the paving actually done.  As you have to traverse this small road to get to Club Nautique it obviously has an effect on them and their training hours.   We visited the club one evening to see how things were going and although there were a few people there, it was nothing like it used to be, we could pick our table with no problems.

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It was good to see Pep and his family again plus hear about how the club was doing in the various competitions, he has invited us to go with them to see for ourselves, and as soon as I have a free Sunday (no Petanca) I shall do just that.

The Garden

 

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We had a nice surprise the other morning one of the roses that had not flowered before had done so and two blooms at that.  These are roses that a friend of my wife had dug up and was going to throw away, but before doing so she asked if we would like them. So duly planted last year we lost two but although the other survived no flowers.  Then came this drought and taking in to consideration our water situation I did not expect them to survive but not only have they but bloomed as well isn’t nature wonderful.

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As you can see from this photo it’s not only the roses that have ‘gone for it’ our grapevine has taken off like a rocket and is attempting to become a triffid.  There are bunches of grapes on it but it has, despite my endeavours to curtail it, clambered around the fly free zone and into the walnut tree.  Not content with all this it has stretched out to the door and is now attempting to grow across the FF door and on to goodness knows where.  I often wonder just what we grow up here plants or things from outer space….

The Weather

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I used to think that talking about the weather was an English thing, not any more.  Because we have had so little rain this year and it has been hotter than usual from around the end of April, everyone is talking about the heat.  There is no common ground here though, it’s either very dry and very humid or thunder, lightening, loads of rain (we should be so lucky) with the accompanying floods. The sky still does its ‘look we’re storm clouds’ over us and still bugs off somewhere else, I’m not greedy even a little tinkle would be appreciated.

We did have some rain a few days ago but not enough to mention really, but I have, plus its so hot that you really don’t want to go outside, even the fly free zone is too much.  Any breeze we have is the equivalent to a steam room and the humidity, well that hangs over everything in a cloud of mist you can’t see down the valley.   Believe me I do not need to take the car to the wash, early morning with a clean cloth and its washed then sun-dried. I suppose the only thing

Survival Of The Fittist

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You may or may not remember Buzz the humming bee who got stuck in the false apple, well a little while after that happened the wind gave a great puff and the supports – old wooden beams – gave up the ghost and fell down.  The result was that I had to dig the plant up cut it right back and find somewhere else to plant it.  The car port was the answer, so it went in at the back with its feet in the shade tied the stem to one of the poles made it a water dropper and left it to get on with things.  Last year it made a feeble attempt to get going but this year its on the rampage again.  Up and off over the roof of the car port which is what we wanted, it has actually flowered not as prolific as it originally did but the fact that it has done so is a bonus.  The perfume in the evening wafts into the bedroom and is very much like Jasmine.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

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My garden in the forest is so different from my garden in England. For a start England has a fairly – not including the past year – steady rain fall and sunny days. Where as here we have heat and very little rain so everything I grow has to be drought tolerant.  I will explain a few things so you can understand what I am talking about. This is the track that runs from the river Ebro through the forest across our land and on up to the ridge. As you can see it is dry and dusty nothing like the forests in the UK which are green and cool. Our olive farm is off to either side of part of it surrounded by forest where in summer the ground dries to rock hard and is very very stony. But in the winter from October to May our growing season means we get the rains and the ground is workable. However we do not grow much of our own veg because of the water situation, but we have set up a system which allows me to grow butternuts and tomatoes.   So I have found that bulbs, roses and lavender along with a few others grow here quite well.

 

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We do not have agricol water here as we are too far from a) the river and b) the pumping station so we keep the garden water in cubes and go to the river to fill them up.  These pictures are not recent as I have been gradually changing the garden they have now been moved to the next level which makes both filling and watering the garden a lot easier.

However what can be found here is worth every hour spent weeding and a walk along the track will produce plants and flowers you can only wonder how they get there.   There are actually wild Iris here which grow without a lot of water, then very small Daffodils which have every type of trumpet you can get the large ones in. Add to these wild Grape Hyacinths which grow in the most stupid places such as paths, Honeysuckle and Jasmine, and these are only the start.  To give you an idea of what I mean will post pictures of the wild flowers as well as my garden ones,  and will start with these oddities.

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The first time I saw them I thought I was looking at small fir cones and went to pick them up only to find they were firmly attached to the ground and plants.  They produce feather like seeds from their tops eventually opening up to release them like dandelions.  I am not sure what they are called so if anyone knows I would be grateful.

 

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This is a plant I call the ‘Carrot Plant’ on account of its leaves being like the tops of carrots, and like most of the unusual plants it is everywhere.  There are more like these which makes the forest very interesting.

 

© C.A.Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For months now it has not rained, this has been a particularly bad year.  We provided a water bar for the birds so they had somewhere to go to drink and bathe.  The cisterna was getting low so we had a delivery of water for the house then bought two 1000,ltr cubes for the garden but even with all this it was a struggle.

We were not allowed to have a BBQ because of the fire risk, which unfortunately in our region was great. Three fires in total with others to the south and north which caused several deaths, not to mention the heat.

But we kept our eyes on the sky, got excited when the weather men predicted rain then disappointment set in when none appeared.  Whilst all this was going on, nothing grew.  The ground became rock hard, I needed a pick to break the soil, even the cacti were suffering all drooped over and saggy.  We did try to water as often as we could but the heat basically meant we were fighting a loosing battle.

We did have a small bit one day  wow what an exciting time but after about half an hour and only a few spots in the dust to show its passing that was it.

We looked at the UK  Drowning in rain, no let up anywhere, so much WHERE WAS OURS!!!!  Then this weekend we watched Country File and the weather map showed rain for Thursday.  By this time we had not only become philosophic about the rain but sarcastic as well.  ‘As if’ and ‘ oh yeh? which year?’ were remarks.  My wife had taken the cushions off the veranda settee just in case but they had been in and out so often Wednesday she left them out.

Wednesday dawned bright with a heavy dew prompting my wife to get on with the cacti garden.  By 10am it was getting warm and the wasps and black biting flies were out so she came in.  Nothing in the sky to give cause just a few white clouds wandering past towards the coast.  So as was our want we left home that afternoon, me to play petanca and my wife to do some research.  So when later after a conversation on-line with a friend, I met my wife for a coffee at Bar Turu, it came over cloudy we got a little bit curious.  This was not supposed to be  here!

A friend joined us for a drink and as most Brits do the conversation turned to the weather and how we ‘Campo’ dwellers were coping with the water situation.  Gardening was discussed along with the wildlife and birds, so of course water, or the lack of it, came up. Our friend looking at the sky said ‘I hope it’s not going to rain till tomorrow I’ve still got to put my guttering back up.’  then a few minutes later we felt two spots and he dashed off home.  We also left for home my wife saying ‘it may be dark but it always rains somewhere else it’s not fair.’  But then once we were on river road she noticed the lightning, ‘oh my god did you see that?’  she said with a slight jump as a large flash lit the sky followed by a rather loud roll of thunder.

Turning onto the forest track it started raining.  Large spots landed on the window screen whilst streaks and flashes of lightning lit the sky.  Rain at last the drought was broken!

When we arrived home it had only just started to rain but it began coming down hard and heavy, we managed to get the cushions in before there was a large flash and the storm announced its arrival with a window shaking clap of thunder.  It rained oh how it rained, all through the night we had rain as small storms rumbled their way past.

This morning we woke to a clear sky bit grey but we could see the moon, and the large puddle we always get when it rains for real.  Next minuet there was a slight breeze as a front came over followed by a small storm cloud which washed the trees, watered – as if we now needed it – the forest and garden and wandered off.  My wife had made a cup of tea so sitting in bed drinking, we watched as the sun began to transfer the olive tree.  Covered in rain drops water dripping from its leaves it twinkled and glittered as if covered with jewels.  As the sun rose higher and the clouds dispersed, water dripped from the tree making it seem as if a rainbow was sitting there the light on the bedroom wall shone with the colours.  Although this only lasted a few minutes it was fascinating, nature is wonderful.

So we have our cubes full, buckets full, cisterna full, lets hope it will fill up the underground rivers enough to get us through next summer.  We no longer look to the UK in envy  WE HAVE RAIN AT LAST!!!! and my wife who is normally scared of storms never complained once….

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