Book Review: ‘Mediterranean Garden Plants’ by Lorraine Cavanagh

Mediterranean Garden plants - lorraine cavanagh 30-4-13When we moved here I bought a number of gardening books, most are unused. This book, more a directory really, goes with me every time I go plant shopping. The main part of the book is an A-Z photographic guide to plants by their latin name, while at the back is an index of Spanish common names. And believe me, there are often multiple Spanish names for one plant. A Spanish garden centre is not like a British one. Firstly, they don’t try to sell you plants too early in the year which will die. Secondly, they only sell things when they think it’s the right season for you to use them, so don’t go trying to buy hand weedkiller sprays in the winter, they don’t come into stock until the spring. Secondly, if a plant does have a label it will normally be a generic name. No variety, no plant care advice etc. It was only when we got this book and checked the plants we’d bought at the nursery, where nothing is labelled, that we realised what Rafael described as elfa were oleanders. The Spanish name for oleander is adelfa, the ‘a’ just got dropped off in the Andaluz pronunciation. They grow excellently in our soil and at our elevation, just as Rafael recommended. In short, this book is a gold mine.
5 to remember
el vivero – garden centre
la maceta – plant pot
la planta – planta
la lista – index
múltiplo – multiple

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