Improving your Spanish and other Mediterranean gardens for 2015

New Year Resolutions

Now is the year to decide on changes that could improve your enjoyment of the space surrounding your house. In some cases this will be to enjoy it throughout the day and evenings. For others leaving for work early and not coming back until mid evening the focus needs to be to create an enviable space for the evenings and night times.

Why have a garden in Spain

That is a good question for in many cases the garden is mainly to create a distance from other people with a low percentage of planted space. For me whether your plot is small or large the opportunity is there to create an interesting space to wander round and cook and eat al fresco with comfort for most of the year.

The major challenge

Creating a visually beatiful scenic, scented and productive garden all the year round.

Planting strategies

From the point of view of speed of growth, density of foliage and flowers,ease of maintenance and spend the choice of a planting strategy is key. When we compiled  the book ‘YOUR GARDEN IN SPAIN’, available from Amazon Books etc, we selected some 350 plants that would provide a wicde range of choices whether one  lived on the coastal strip,  in frosty inland valleys or windy icy mountainsides.

The overall choices include:

  • Simplicity with few varieties and large spaces between each plant or a generous jungle with many plants short and tall intermingled as a solid mass of greenery with seasonal luxiant flower displays.
  • Dedicated collections to create a narrow or  broad based botanic garden.

 

Linking the house into the garden

I have a strong belief that plants should start at each entrance to the garden from the house. In my case the covered terrace outside the kitchen door is green from floor to ceiling with evergreen  plants of varying sizes growing from pots on the floor or hanging pots. There are a couple of shelves in the front porch housing a small collection of shade loving succulents. There is no such thing as let’s walk down into the garden. The house is in the garden not separated from it.

Perfume is seductive and sensuous

Focus on planting as many day and night time scented plants for the joy of siestas and dining in an aromatherapeutic environment or biospace.

…And so is the sound of water

Especially during the warmer days and nights  the sound of water from fountains can be therapeutic, being both stimulating and relaxing if the voume of falling water is carefully moderated.

Grow some vegetables – even if just salad leaves in builders buckets

With it more and more difficult to buy good mixes of salad leaves that have not  been treated with chemical to prolong their shelf life it makes sense to grow at least a number of large builders buckets seeded with several cut and come again salad leaf mixes plus garlic onions and radishes.