August Spanish and Mediterranean gardening update


By Dick Handscombe.

Holistic gardener and author living in Spain for 25 years.

Recent personal problems.

 Apologies that nothing new has been posted since April. Three disasters hit me. Firstly I experienced a horrendous car crash that wrote the car off but from which I amazingly escaped with just a half centimetre scratch. However I  inevitably suffered from several weeks of shock. Secondly a thunderstorm wiped out two kilometres of telephone lines plus my computer. Had to buy a new computer and study how to use the upgraded Word 8 versus the Word 7 to which I was well used. Then was able to catch up on newspapaper and magazine articles but not web articles as our server had been attacked and it has taken time to cope with their new security system when logging in. But hopefully will be able to load this news letter type posting tomorrow.


Obtaining our gardening and lifestyle books.

Unfortunately for us and other authors hoping for good sales in Spain the continuing deterioration in the economy has led to the closure of many bookshops and general stores that stocked English language books closing down, plus several important book distributors also going to the wall. In some cases our Publisher has not been paid by bookshops and distributors that closed so we have lost the royalties on those sales. So many thanks to those readers that have purchased our books via the online bookshops of Amazon, The Book Depository, The Royal Horticultural Society and Santana Books etc. Unless you have a reliable local bookstore we recommend that you buy online.


Valencia book signing 6th September 17.00 until 20.00 hours.


Fortunately some well situated bookshops run by real book enthusiasts remain. One of those is the LOVED BOOKS bookshop at Calle Tapineria 18 in the centre of Valencia. Calle Tapinera is off Calle Corregeria that joins the large Plaza de la Reina, in front of the catedral, half way down on the left hand side looking towards the catedral.

There on Friday 6th September I will be doing a booksigning and answering any questions about gardening and lifestyles in Spain for anyone who cares to come along.

Contact the owner Tabitha CLovelock on 607 485 370 or for more information or discuss any special book needs you have.


Current books.

The full list of my books now in print is as follows.


  • Authored as Clodagh and Dick Handscombe

– Our Garden in Spain

           – Apartment Gardening Mediterranean Style

–  Growing Healthy Fruit in Spain

– Growing Healthy Vegetables in Spain

  •  Authored as Dick Handscombe

– Living well from our garden – Mediterranean Style.

– Making waterless gardens a practical reality worldwide.

– Having a great retirement.

– Authentic Valencian Paellas.

All the books are available from Amazon Books. Other distributors only handle the first four books.


The 2013 summer.

Along the Med this summer has been cooler than most so it has been possible to cut back on watering and coach plants to put down deeper roots. However with June being the coolest since 1993 and July and early August weather being rather topsy turvy some fruit and fruit vegetable crops have been adversely affected. However the cooler August is a good time to start to sow vegetables for Autumn, Christmas and early Spring harvests. As explained in our best selling book Growing Healthy Vegetables in Spain we are fortunate to experience Spring weather twice a year here in Spain – the official Spring and the Autumn.

With regards to our my book Making waterless gardens a practical reality worldwide it has been interesting and encouraging to see books being purchased as far away as Australia, Japan, the USA and Canada. The book includes severalhundred ideas for reducing water needs and saving and distributing rain water more effectively.

The Way Ahead

With recent problems now behind us we will post two articles a month from this month.


© Dick Handscombe August 2013.