Friday, August 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August 2014

Today I cannot give you an update on my Algarve garden because I'm spending a few days in the north of Portugal, where I used to live. Hopefully my very helpful neighbour has been keeping my garden watered and I will have blooms to photograph when I get back.

In the meantime, here are some of the blooms in my old garden.
I have tried to take some of these south but they got lost somehow. I'll try again.

In the north we managed to multiply this hydrangea many times without any problems but my two attempts at moving fully-rooted plants south have failed. I'm not giving up yet!

Given enough space, this bougainvillea could be a tree like the one we had in Salisbury, many years ago.

Bottle brush
The unusually wet weather this spring and summer has been good to my bottle brush, which is in a very dry and windy part of the garden.

These blooms are not fully open, because they are getting too much shade. The plants I took south were looking much prettier last week but, oops, I was too busy to take photos. 

I have to downsize so this house and garden will become just a memory soon.

I hope you will visit again in a couple of weeks when I post again from the Algarve.

Meanwhile, why not pop over to May Dreams Gardens, where Bloom Day is hosted every month.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Botox with a sting

... About 5 hours later I looked in the mirror. There was no pain and the dark circle under my left eye had disappeared. Hmmm... interesting. This looked like I had had a botox jab and someone had forgotten to do both sides of my face. I decided against putting in my contacts and tried my glasses. Great! The lack of symmetry was hardly noticeable.

Five hours before, I had been training my dogs to stay close to my heels and had walked through the garden and under the orange tree. Suddenly, something was crawling over my face! I tried to brush it away, losing my hat in the process. The little beast got behind my glasses and I yelped in pain. Then it was all over and I realised I had been stung on my left eye-lid! I don't think it was a bee because there was no stinger left behind. I got an ice-cube on it and surveyed my face in the mirror. The pain was bad but fortunately I'm not allergic! There was some swelling and then a little numbness but no real harm done. On the plus side, I got to see what botox might do around my eyes.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


blue love bird
Some fly by, some stay for a few minutes and some don't want to leave. This beautiful creature stayed long enough for me to get my camera and take a photo, before flying back next door.

baby swallows in nest

These babies were born here. Some years ago their nest was built over the door to the first floor flat and I thought it was cute. Since then it has been used each spring but this year swallows came back in July and are in no hurry to leave - not so cute because I have to clean the mess daily. You see, I also have human visitors who use the door below the nest all the time...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - July 2014

Hello there and welcome! Mid-July feels even hotter than mid-June and blooms don't last very long in my Algarve garden, but here are some of my best.
red hibiscus
The red hibiscus has suddenly burst into colour. The blooms are a darker red than they appear in the photos and they are larger than last year. The yellow shrub is only starting to bloom now but should go on well into autumn.
yellow hibiscus bloom

My favourite lavender is enormous! A friend fell in love with it during a recent visit and will be getting one of its babies soon.
my favourite lavender

Below is the view from the other side. On the right you can see a little bit of that lavender, The two rose bushes that I had to move because they were getting overcrowded by the lavenders seem to have tolerated the move very well. There is still a bit of soil that I am watching closely. Will the gardener be right? Will the grass grow back? Did my smothering method of killing grass turn out to be successful? Time will tell...
where there was grass...

As you open the gate, it brushes against the overgrown lavender and you are greeted with its scent - lovely! If you look right, this is the view you get: lavenders, rosemary, the oleander, and against the wall the hibiscus, mock orange foliage, some white roses and the neighbour's creeper.
garden long view

I didn't think my lilies would open in time for this post, but they did.

Some of my roses are blooming again, others will be some time soon and this one is the best-looking one right now.
In this heat, my hardest job is giving the plants the amount of water they need to stay happy. 

Now I'm off to link to May Dreams Gardens, where Bloom Day began. How is your garden doing?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Not the Tour de France

Police sirens wailing, making our cars pull over, is a VIP going to the beach on a cloudy day?
No, it's a local cycling event! Our very own "tour".
Just time to pull out the camera and take a hurried photo of some of the cyclists.

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