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Posts Tagged ‘rocks’

What You Doing?

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Actually young man I am trying to ‘cat proof’ my flower/bulb beds.  After your last visit I decided to take advice from various people who know and re did the Hexagon planter planted it up with gladioli then covered it with stones.  This I have been told would do two things, firstly deter you and secondly help keep the ground moist during summer.

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So I shall be collecting small stones to place along the lines of gladie’s and lilies in the back garden, then I also covered part of the main bed with them in the hope this really works.  As this is a work in progress I shall save up the pictures and tell the whole story later, don’t hold your breath though this is a ‘can’t be rushed’ thing, but it’s getting there.  I also bought some Hebes which I have planted behind the Hexagon.  Here I cleared the ground, placed plastic over the area covered it with sand then earth and planted the Hebes in an arc.  Unfortunately we had a rain storm and the rush of water from the fields not only brought loads of earth with it but washed away a bit of the plastic around the last two plants.  But all is sorted, once we realized what had happened Michael re-laid that covered it with earth and watered them in.

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Now to the Lillie garden.  This is how it looked after the hot summer, loads of weeds and a stone wall that was a disgrace, so it was my priority. The first thing I had to consider was the water pipe. This runs from the large cisterna behind the house into the header tank, it also takes the overflow from the tank down into that cisterna – when it rains – so I couldn’t cement it in.  What to do? well I cleared all the weeds then looked at the Lilies to see where they came into contact with it.  This done I next removed all the stones from that horrid ‘wall’ and started again.  This time I concentrated on the plants and pipe together.  The first thing I did was build up the end wall near the step, clearing things as I went, I moved along tidying it up. Next I cemented it all together added topping stones job done.  Where the pipe ran through the bed I used the violets (which had self-seeded) next to it as part of the cover then covered the exposed bits with stones. This made a small narrow garden at the front into which I planted some baby bulbs so whatever comes up will be a nice surprise.  The metal support you see in the top used to hold a water pipe until the new cisterna was built. Michael had secured it in place so well we couldn’t get it out, so it has Sweetpeas planted round it which are growing and hopefully they will cover it but I have other things that can climb if not.

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This is the Mint garden that runs from the Lillie bed down to the cisterna. Again this was full of weeds and looking rather shoddy compared to the Sage bush on the other side of the water duct.  This was a little bit easier to sort out, once weeded and cleaned up I just covered the ground with stones, cemented the edge, filled in various holes. You will notice a small patch at the end of the bed this is part of the path leading up to the fields one day it will be concreted over just here so this is still a work in progress.

This Is Horace

DSCF3271 (640x480)I found him hiding in the tomato grow bag one year not very amused when I disturbed him. I have seen him around the garden on the days when the sun is out so glad he’s ok.  He and the others that live here have often flummoxed  me as there is no water up here, no pond, nada.  So where does he go? where does he and the others – there are smaller ones – live?  We hear them on a spring or autumn evening, croaking away but although like the bats, we see them where they go in summer for coolness we’ve no idea.  Ah well it is and will remain one of the forests mysteries.

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

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Oopp’s!!

The weather has been a little weird but nothing prepared any of us for the event that took place on Thursday.

In the early part of the afternoon some of the cliff face along river road collapsed, blocking the road in the form of a huge landslide.  Large rocks were thrown into and across the road where they ended up in the fields below.

Tons of rock and earth had slid down with one huge rock the size of a single-decker bus sitting across road.

So after Petanca this afternoon we took the camera and headed for the slide. We drove along the accessible bit of road then parked and walked the rest of the way.  As we approached the first thing we saw was what looked like the side of a house causing us to wonder if one of the houses at the edge had come down with it.  But getting nearer we realised it was not a house wall but a rock!

There are cliffs all along the road which overhang and in places you wonder how they stay up.

So when we arrived at the site I was really surprised to find it was in an area which I thought would be the last place to fall down. However I was really amazed to see the amount of earth and size of the rocks.

Here are some of the photographs we took.

I have a very nasty feeling that this is but the first….

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It is a fact of nature that water reflects the sky.  A sunny day and the river has put on a shimmering blue dress as she runs towards the Mediterranean.  If it’s a cloudy day she will wear either a greenish grey dress with a mirror coat reflecting the trees along her banks, or she will try to cheer us up by wearing a shimmering dress of a silvery grey colour which now and again gapes to give a glimpse of a blue petticoat as she rushes on her way.   

Sometimes if it has been raining very hard she will drag fallen trees along, sending them bobbing and turning as they round stones and other hidden obstacles in the water.  But on a sunny day she will flow gently with the occasional ripple as she runs over large rocks and sandbanks on her way to the Mediterranean.

Passing under bridges of history from the Civil War, which were destroyed then re-built gently washing them as though remembering the pain when the bombs dropped laying waste the arches and tipping rails and masonry into her waiting arms.   

 

Last Templars stronghold at Miravet

Then on she flows towards the delta past Templer strongholds, castles of history who’s down fall is played out each year as part of the local history.

On through gorges with fields of vines on the banks, past orange groves, and relics of bygone factories harking back to the days when there was trade on the river. 

 

Then after a while she reaches the weir, which she slips over quietly, then on she glides towards Tortosa slipping through the town at peace with her surroundings. Past rice fields irrigated by her waters, past small towns, ever onwards to her destination, the Delta. 

There you will find majestic beaches of golden sand, the occasional palm tree their tops gently moving in the sea breeze. There is always something of  interest to be seen, especially when they are fruiting, grouped on the beach surrounded by the golden sand against a back drop of a blue sea and sky. You would be forgiven for thinking you were some where exotic and expect to see a camel appear with sheik to carry you off.

                                                                                        

Here the river fills the delta pools with her water where the Flamingoes forage for shrimps, and bulls roam the marsh fields while Marsh Harriers fly over head hunting for their dinner.

The irrigation is helped by small pumping water mills compact and picturesque, leaving you with images of times gone by, a hard but seemingly peaceful life. It is here more rice is grown along with a variety vegetables, watered the generous river.  

So, after she arrives and joins the sea all that is left is to turn north to the mountains where she first breathed life as a small stream then gradually grew up into the lady we now know, La Rio Ebro.

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I had to go to Tarragona today to get my new tyres. Living in the forest makes it difficult for them to survive for long so I decided to to get 50/50 ones for both country roads and main ones, needless to say I am now minus 2 legs & 1 arm, still it had to be done.

Yesterday we had our water delivered and Manel bless him managed to partly demolish a corner of our cisterna so some rendering is called for will keep `the wife´busy ha ha,  but these things happen. 

While we were in Tarragona we sat at a cafe opposite the covered in market when `the wife´spotted someone dressed as a witch, pink dress pointy black hat and broomstick and beard which reminds me wonder how the mother in law is… 

This afternoon we did something we haven’t done for a while, we walked along the track in the forest where we found wild jasmin and honeysuckle growing in a small recess in the rock, much to my wifes delight.

The abundance of florna and flora here is surprising, you never quite know what you will be discovering.  I have taken photos of the jasmin.

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