Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Vanilla Delight

For 12 years we've lived with a dark terracotta villa with lemon top trim.   Last time el jefe repainted about 2 years ago he said "that's it, I'll get someone in to do it next time".   Well "next time" was this month when Paco and Manolo turned up to turn our house into a cream and green delight.   Rain stopped play (in June !) for 2 days but now it's all finished, it's fabulous. 

We found a forgotten box of beautiful Portuguese ceramic butterflies and they have been added to the house name, which means The Rainbows - we have crystals hanging in the windows which catch the early morning sun.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Welcome, beauties

El jefe planted these and forgot to label them up.   They were in the same pot as freesias which appeared in the Spring.

Soon after they'd finished flowering, three strong looking plants made a start and at first we got this intense orange.

The red showed up a couple of weeks later

and finally, really late for the beauty contest, this yellow one.

I'd love to have more of these in the ground, if only I knew what they were.  
Please comment if you have the Latin and common name for them.   xxxx

Monday, June 15, 2015

Weird Weather

or as Paco, the gardener, puts it "tiempo loco".   And I'm aware I'm being typically English to write a blog about the climate.    But it has been so strange.   Last month, we had temperatures in the high 30sC and chilly at night.   The Levante appeared for a week and sucked the life out of everything the high temperatures didn't threaten.   This week we have rain, at a time when the house exterior was to be painted.   Two days is all that could be managed before the rains came.  Temperatures plummeted and woollies had to be dug out.    Fingers crossed, today is supposed to be the last day so the walls get a chance to dry out and we'll be spic and span in a few days.

We are losing the terracotta colour and substituting cream for the walls and green for the top edges.  In the autumn, we plan to have the whole house fitted with guttering, instead of one corner.  

Lilies which have lain dormant for a couple of years have decided to flower.   And we now have a new hibiscus bed near the fountain.....they really like it there.  

It's that time of year for soft fruit and, once again, we are drowning in plums.   I'll have to get blanching and freezing for the winter crumbles.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

More garden art

These are traditional Mediterranean roof tiles and Jackie, a local artist, has a large portfolio of her work, or will paint one to order.    We saw the passion flower one and had to have it:  the blue iris is stunning so we ordered one of those.    Both are now hanging in the patio and are very at home with the rest of the this clematis which is still waiting to be planted in a bit pot, but decided to flower anyway:

As every gardener knows, this is a busy time of year, weeding, mowing, propagating and planting -  it is endless.....and endlessly satisfying.

Friday, January 16, 2015


I meant to show you these at the time, but I forgot..  I'm forgetting a lot of things lately.

It was a scruffy,  tired looking cactus that a friend gave us.   One of the leaves grew and grew, produced a green egg-shaped end, which suddenly blossomed into this beautiful flower.     I had no idea such a plain looking plant could produce something so wonderful.   I'm told that if we let the plant rest up against a tree, the leaves will attach themselves and eventually we'll have a flowering cactus growing up the tree.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Days are shortening.

Before today, I could have sworn Autumn was setting in early.   We've had very weird weather for July and early August - cool westerly breezes,  temperatures under 30C and sometimes quite nippy evenings with condensation on the car in the morning.  Now, hey presto, the Levante is back and with it more typical August weather.....beached whale,  reading on the bed - get the picture.

Nearly 3 months down the line and el jefe's back is much improved yet not back to normal.   Weekly physio, massage, TENs and daily exercises have ensured a steady gain in independence to the point where I gently (as if) remind him not to lift anything nor do too much.

Paco and Manolo came and spent 5 hours cleaning up and restoring order in the garden - what treasures those two are.   My Spanish has improved no end with the need to communicate with Paco and the masoterapia clinic where el jefe goes every week.  

Ill health earlier in the year and el jefe's injury have been a wake-up call about waning strength and aging and we definitely need to take more regular, structured exercise to keep us supple.