Tag Archives: gardening

Our summer garden

We don’t have a garden here, not in terms of a ‘front’ garden and ‘back’ garden as we were used to in England. No lawn to mow, no bulbs to plant or perennials to divide in spring. Instead, the valley is our garden. The trees are our framework – walnut, poplar, plum, acacia, almond. So our garden is an easy-care space, with a few nuggets of space which we fill with favourite plants. Lavender, roses, rosemary, oleanders and callistemon all love the heat. And now, everything is approaching its best as spring turns into summer and the thermometer heads for +30°C.

5 to remember
no tenemos – we don’t have
el césped – the lawn
las plantas perennes – the perennial plants
una pepita – a nugget
el termómetro – the thermometer

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Our #garden in summer #secretvalley #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-22e

Merendera

This is a new wildflower for me, I’ve never noticed it before: are the conditions this year most suitable for it? merendera1 23-3-16It is Merendera Montana, growing as a scattered carpet of white flowers. The leaves come later. Each flower is star-shaped with six petals. According to my flower book, the petals are pale lilac but ours here are white. Common throughout Iberia in rocky areas, sparse grass and mountain pastures: sounds just like our valley, then. I found these in a rocky spot beside our track where it winds through the olive grove.

5 to remember
las condiciones – the conditions
dispersado/a – scattered
una alfombra – a carpet
en forma de estrella – star-shaped
los pétalos – the petals

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Pretty white star-shaped #wildflower: Merendera in #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-1Jd

Pollen happy

The terrace is alive to the bee-buzz. We’re watching these bees happily foraging around flowers, searching for food and unknowingly carrying pollen around and germinating plants. They pass on the male gametes, the sperm cells, onto the waiting stamens and eso es, it is as simple as that. Fertilization. No dating, or courting, as my mother would have said. Just a bit of buzzing around, sometimes it happens on the same flower, which seems a bit incestuous.


5 to remember
el polen – the pollen
la polinización – the pollination
sin saberlo – unknowingly
eso es– that’s it
incestuoso/a – incestuous

Berry heavy

The berries are food for birds and insects… the flowers attract bees and butterflies. For blackbirds and thrushes, the berries of the Cotoneaster are favourite. I am used to the red and orange-berried Cotoneasters, I didn’t know that the berries also come as pink, maroon and even black. Depending on the hunger and eagerness of the local bird population, some berries can stay on the branch until the following year. We have plenty to go around.

5 to remember
las bayas – the berries
estoy acostumbrada a – I am used to
granate – maroon
aún even/yet/still
el afán de – the eagerness of

Wildflowers/pink

Anyone who knows me is aware that pink is not my favourite colour, I go out of my way to avoid it. But there is one exception, and that is the wildflowers that grow here. The faintest blush pink, almost white, are my favourites. Some I know: ground ivy, herb rocket and tufted vetch, others are a mystery but a welcome sight in spring.

5 to remember
nadie – anyone
una excepción – one exception
rubor rosa – blush pink
ligero – faintest
un espectáculo de bienvenida – a welcome sight

From green to yellow

The lemons are beginning to look like lemons now, rather than large limes. The colour progression is a like watching a colour wheel in an art class, the gradual transition, shade by shade, deeper colours where the skin seems thicker. Can’t wait for the first lemon sorbet.

5 to remember
la progresión – the progression
una clase de arte – an art class
la transición gradual – the gradual transition
más adentro – deeper
no puedo esperar a que – I can’t wait for

Winter white

A white rose, in winter. white rose 9-2-15This is a rose out of time, flowering in February despite frosty nights, but very welcome.

5 to remember
una rosa – a rose [flower]
el rosal  – the rose plant
florecer – to flower
a pesar de – despite
una bienvenida – a welcome