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Posts Tagged ‘roses’

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I have been looking at the ground on the lower terrace and decided that it is a good place to have an orchard, a small orchard. So this morning I planted out one of the Lemon trees our friends gave us to start our orchard. Now my wife is looking at all the fruit trees lol.

 

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Now its that time of year again FIESTA’S and the start of the Petanca season yessssssssss! We are not sure if we will be playing this year as we have not formed a team but hey everything is sorted by El Presidente.  Ripoll our petanca playing artist friend,  is as sprightly as ever and has had several shows in Barcelona.  We now officially play for Tivissa and we all look really good when we turn out in matching t-shirts and jackets.

 

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My wife’s garden is coming along nicely. I have found some more large rocks so we are building a double wall round the rose garden in the hope that when the pigs/goats come marauding they won’t knock it over (again).  She is thinking of  planting a few ground covering plants in the top to make it look colourful.  When we were at the market yesterday I spotted a ground covering plant with daisy like flowers to start off the idea which she bought along with a peach geranium.   Now all I have to do is help her carry the bags of compost – me Tarzan her Jane???? lol. But I am quite impressed with how she has  dealt with the old bench which has been here for ever, I actually had my eye on it for the wood pile.  However, a lick of paint some colourful pots – painted – with geraniums in plus two ceramic pots from our local pottery have transformed it from very dull to typical Mediterranean.  The Rock Rose is blooming again as are the Iris and as you can see the poppies are doing their usual thing making a weed covered slope look wonderful.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I suppose that change – if it comes gradually – is a good thing, well it is here.  This photograph was taken years ago and the only thing to have changed here is we’ve got rid of the swing seat and where the small tractor is there are now two small ‘art’ works.  Ok not the types of sculpture that people normally have in their gardens but this is a forest olive finca and this is the easiest way of dealing with the odd bits and pieces that abound on farms.

 

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It’s a simple idea really, by simply taking the ‘bits of this and that’ lying around and turning them into objects of ‘art’ we have not only tidied up the farm but given a bare space character.  By making use of the old pump and sat- dish in this way my wife has given a depth to the lilies, iris and flags – the flags grow wild up here – along the edge of the terrace giving it a natural look so that in a few years it will look as though it has all been there for ever.  I have a few more bits and pieces to get rid of so at least a couple more plinths will go up.

 

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I am pleased to say the garden is beginning to take shape, which between our ideas is no mean feat.  I put these steps in so that we can climb up to the cacti garden with out slipping on the slope and breaking bones.  My wife has planted bulbs – these are the only things that really survive up here without loads of water – along the sides so in the spring there is a show of dwarf tulips, wild daffs and other small growing bulbs.  She has moved her saffron garden to that side where there is more room.  It may not seem much but I can say that paella made with saffron is something mmm…..

 

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The next project was to build a small wall defining the rose garden from the farm and forest.  She made a good job of the wall – which took her ages – but this morning we found that during the night the pigs had managed to knock part of it down – the bit in front of the water bottles.  Hey ho that’s what its like up here, no shouting just a determination to teach the little sods to jump……

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But to the main characters of life here.   It is always a pleasure to sit and watch the birds flying back and forth to their water bar, seeing the different characters returning, recognising their calls, getting shouted at in the early morning because there is no water in their dish, such are the pleasures of forest living.   But one of the main delights is watching the Golden Eagles as they fly along the mesa.   It was one of these giants sitting on a tree stump on the mesa that caught my eye one morning.  I was dismantling the top of the old cisterna and when I took a break  I looked up at the skyline. As I moved my view along the mesa I could see what I thought was either a person or animal moving.  So my wife got the binoculars out for a closer look. At first she thought she was looking at a tree stump then found she was looking at the turning head of an Eagle.  As we watched it’s mate flew along the front of the mesa and next minuet the ‘tree stump’ took off to glide majestically after its mate.   We do not have a camera that can give us close shots over this distance but our birthdays, anniversary and Christmas approach so we might just treat ourselves.

 

©  Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

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It’s 11.40 on a Sunday morning sun’s shining and for the past few hours Michael has been sitting in the fly free zone working on a new book whilst listening to the song of a thrush. As for me I have been busy in the garden putting finishing touches to the walled bed. Now you may be wondering why I am posting on Michael’s blog, well its like this. I have joined a garden blog on FB and normally I would just post on there or  Michael would write a blog about what I have been up to. This morning however he was up early and is now busy writing. But he did have a look round on here first and as soon as he had finished I grabbed my chance hehe.

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It is a strange thing but gradually over the years I have been putting the garden in place but only in my mind. But last year Michael made me steps up to the cacti garden and things just took off from there. I edged the steps with stones and made small bulb terraces, then if you look to the right of this picture that is where I built a small wall and re-planted my Saffron crocus.

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The next thing was to have a small olive tree removed as it was too close to the house and replanted in the south field. It was whilst this was being dug up that the large rocks were discovered so I decided to make a small walled garden for some of my roses.  Then Michael suggested that I make another garden behind the wall incorporating the stones so this is the result – it’s now finished – and I have planted two of my hostas – Bill & Ben – in it along with one or two other plants, covered the soil with gravel so it prevents the sun drying it out too quickly and I now have a classic little garden.

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The problem here is that we don’t get much water during the summer which normally runs from June till mid September so we have to collect water for the garden from the river. We store it in cubes of 1,000 ltrs which is strictly for the garden. But there is a little trick I learnt from ‘The Witches Garden’, and that is to get a lemonade bottle cut off the bottom say about half way up and insert the capped end into the soil and fill with water. Next get an empty 6 ltr water bottle cut the top off that and fit it over the  bottle in the ground, this will then produce a self watering unit and keep the plants moist. I have done it before and it does actually work although I have to place a stone on the top to keep the larger bottle from being blown away.

So today I have made three of these water units and placed them next to the roses in the new garden. I then made a ring of stones which when it gets cooler tonight I shall cement in place thus making a ‘waddy’ which when I pour the  water in will make sure it soaks into the ground for that rose and does not run over the ground. I now have three more to make plus one for the lavender. So busy, busy ,busy.

Right I have to go need to get dinner I hope you like this I shall continue with another update later. I will post this tonight but if not then tomorrow when I have finished.

© C.A.Bosc

(Wife and Poetess)

 

 

 

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This is the rock rose that my wife saved years ago. She was so fascinated by the bush and the fact that its flowers are almost like paper, that instead of disposing of the plant when we were clearing the area for our house she planted it out of the way at the edge of the BBQ area. And here it has stayed and grown flowering every year.  At the time we did not know what it was then one Christmas my sister gave my wife a book of Mediterranean plants. In there are lots of bulbs and plants that in the UK cost a fortune in the garden centres but here are simply growing wild so the book has now become one of her ´garden bibles´.

She was so happy yesterday morning, her gum was getting better –  lots of toofy pecks –  plus we had been sitting in the FF zone, chatting away whilst on the computers not a care in the world.  So I suggested we went to town me to play petanca and she could go to the wi-fi café, it would be a break so off we went.

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After petanca we had a beer at Ramon’s watched the world go by did some shopping then came home. Now normally what happens is I park the car hand my wife the door keys so she can get in whilst I bring in the shopping. However, when we arrived home for some reason unlike normal I took the house keys and with one bag in hand went to open the door whilst my wife followed with rest of the shopping.  I headed for the FF zone when “Mike STOP”!!!! came the shout ‘SNAKE’!!!!!  I stopped looked around but could not see it then I looked in the FF Zone and there was Sid  slithering towards the front door step.  There was no way he could get into the house as there is a screen door to prevent that, but still not a good move on his part. Anyway I put down the bag fetched the bamboo pole and went to “say hello”, but Sid decided he would rather be off and in doing so kindly showed me where he had managed to get in.  Needless to say that is no longer and option for him.  So sometime over the weekend we are off shopping for various bits and pieces to make VERY certain he can’t get in again.

As I said to my wife – who for some reason did not seem to appreciate it – look at it from his point of view, in here he is safe from the eagles and others who consider him food, plus the concrete is warm and a nice place to sunbathe.  I have noticed that the bamboo pole is now inside the front door……..

I also reminded her that he has provided her with poetry material.  Her reply? ‘well let him bite you then”.  So what started as a happy content day saw my wife checking the FF zone every now and then and a little apprehensive.  But this morning she was fighting fit again and back gardening.

 

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today is St Georges Day, both here and in the UK. St George is England’s patron Saint although you would not know it, he is also Catalonia’s Saint and this is where the difference can be seen.  In England the 23rd of March usually passes without a notice let alone a mention of tv, which basically says a lot about the Church of England and Government.

The Church of England for what ever reason does not actively encourage the people to remember their own Saint. Perhaps they are more concerned with offending others, why I cannot say but there is no big mention like there is on St Davids day.  As for the Government well, we could have a National Saints Day if only to prove we are English and England is our country, but I doubt if any of them are THAT patriotic.

However here St George is celebrated in true style.  Today is the day when the men give the women they love a red rose and the women give the men a book.  It actually says quite a lot about tradition and pride in your country. The rose which was blooming and white was drenched in the dragons blood when George gave it to the fair maiden he had saved hence the red rose.  The book for St George was, I presume, a token of gratitude which like the book and in all true traditions became a token of love.  There is also a tradition of giving a yellow rose to friends so it is possible for everyone to get a rose.

As for me well my wife has her garden of roses she writes poems and I write books.  Our hallway has a book case and I don’t want another book but I expect I will buy her another rose.  We have the red rose of love, the yellow rose of friendship, the white rose of purity and several shades in between.  I have what I want we have been married for 49 years this year ups and downs like everyone else  so I think the rose garden covers everything oh yes and there is a Peace rose in there I can tell it by its perfume and colour they were bought to celebrate peace.

Happy Saint Georges Day Everyone

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

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This is my big medical visit, when I have my blood test and check up so I use it to visit the family.  We drove up to London to see my sister going round the M25 then into London via the Blackwall Tunnel.  As we came out of the tunnel and headed towards Leyton the olympic site could be seen on the right hand side.

They are getting on with the building very well, even if the sculpture is a bit bazar looking at the moment, with lots of red steel and what looks like the start of three viewing platforms.  So the next morning when my sister mentioned the Westfield Shopping Mall, the biggest in Europe,  I suggested to the delight of my wife that we took a look, I did not expect what I found.

As a boy growing up around this area places I knew had disappeared to be replaced with a new housing development for the athletes, and very smart they look too, a sort of modern ‘White City’ only 100 yrs on.  These flats are white, modern and look well designed.

There is also a brand new Stratford station which brings the Euro Train into the site and East London, so there is easy access for trips to France, which will no doubt bring in plenty of visitors.

The car park was reached via a spiral ramp which took us to the first level parking with spectacular views of the athletes flats. There is a ‘wall’ of safety meshing round each level but your view is not obscured.  On the floor you will find a ‘path’ marked in pink which takes you to one of the two exits down to the shops.

Two escalators later we found ourselves in the mall.  It is bright, spacious and packed with lots of shops and three floors high.  There are seats scattered around for those who are pooped from shopping to sit, or bars of all types, food, champagne, sushi, tapas, with an icecream bar where the icecream is shaped like a rose, and plenty of coffee bars.

We wandered off towards John Lewis which is at one end of that level, camera in hand (well in my wifes hands) taking pictures. In John Lewis we discovered they have a viewing platform, well it is an area where you have a clear view of the olympic site and the ‘Gherkin’ through large clear windows, plus seats for those who just want to sit, stare and take it all in.   The store was being decked out for Christmas with displays dotted here and there.

My sister and I went to have a coffee whilst my wife went off to take a few pictures of the shops and an exhibition of skateboarding.  Then  she joined us for her coffee, after which we went down to the next level and Primart.  This is one of her favourite shops, shopping done she went to que up, my sister and I thought, from the length of the que, that we were in for a long wait, but this branch had it all worked out, fifteen tills, all open and working the que fairly flew along.

Then back up to the top-level where we wandered back the way we came, and headed home.  We had been around 3 hrs and no, we had not covered all of it.  There were so many things to see, so many walkways to go down it was impossible in the time we had to cover more than we did.  But if you are in London take a day and go see, it really is well worth the visit.

And Lewis?

Oh yes if you do go, you will probably meet PC Lewis and his WPC partner to whom I must apologise for not getting her name, and say a big thank you for letting my wife take their picture and being so polite.

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