Adventure in Spanish gardens
Gardening in Spain is always adventure even when having been gardening in Spain for over 25 years. Initially there was the experiencing and learning to cope with different soils plants and above all the very different climate which can change from t-shirt weather to winter or mountain top thermals overnight and back again in 24 hours as it did last week. Although we had a days snow in November there has been no frost yet although the bottom of the valley floor has had just 80 metres lower.
Winter cutback and clean up progresses well in a still colourful garden and the almost one hundred potted plants in a gazebo lined with plastic as an overwintering greenhouse think it is Spring as the almost daily sun maintains an almost subtropical climate.
While moving from one part of the garden it is interesting to find what new plants have germinated from seeds dropped by birds and how well some clumps of bubs that are now shooting fast have thickened up since last year and the occasional bird nest now that the leaves have all fallen.
Down in the olive grove the wild boar have been digging around but causing no damage to trees. Most trees have now thickened up after our 90 percent cutback when we started our olive oil adventure four years ago by taking over a long abandoned grove. Like most olive groves in our area last autumns harvest was poor as the exceptionally hot winds dried out the fruit in te last fortnight before the planned harvesting week. But luckily we had harvested for pickling and eating three weeks before.
The intensive experimental vegetable raised bed and container garden is producing well and the broad beans are already in flower although not sown until November. The huerto/allotment trees are pruned and the area reserved for alfalfa for the rabbits, squash and new potatoes are now rotovated ready to sow and plant in March once the risks of frost are past.
Next week there is a chance to see gardens several hundred miles away when visiting the Mazaron area to give a talk to a local gardening club. Such visits are always an adventure as one exchanges experiences with people who chose to live in a different climate to us.
Adventure in Spanish mountains
As part of our enjoyment of Spain we have walked in most of the provinces and undertaken some long treks as the best way to see and understand the horticulture and history of Spain is on foot. Naturally as approaching 77 years of age I don’t attempt the toughest climbs as I prefer to protect my knees for the years to come. Rather I roam the mule donkey trails around the valley and to local villages. With the changes of seasons each walk ,even on favourite trails, are always an adventure. The other morning their was the most amazing sunrise with mysterious golden mist effects over the coastal mountains. But even as I took the camera out of my rucksack the best effects evaporated but they are in the mind for an attempt at a painting once the winter garden cutback and clean up is complete.
Naturally our walking odyssey was our 52 day 950 kilometer trek from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea along the entire Pyrenean mountain range. This adventure experience during which we met only one other long distance walker is now published with the final title of ‘ Our 52 day retirement adventure along the Spanish Pyrenees’. Apologies that this has been changed from our previosly planned title of just ‘Adventure along the Spanish Pyrenees’. Seeing how some people still lived in small isolated villages led us to strive to a high degree of self-sufficiency and eventually the publication of the book ‘Living well from our garden . Mediterranean style’.
Obtaining the new book ‘Our 52 day retirement adventure along the Spanish Pyrenees’ and ‘Living well from or garden – Mediterranean style’
Both books are available as traditional books and as Kindle books from Amazon Books worldwide.