Monday, November 24, 2014

My gingerbread man

Yesterday I went to a Christmas fair in Lagoa. 

It was supposed to be a quick, low-budget visit. Then I saw the writer of this Gardening magazine and had to buy a copy, Then I saw the Christmas crackers and decided to buy some to take into my English classes and then I fell in love with the gingerbread man! He came from a Canadian lady's stall, where everything smelled scrumptious! I had forgotten to take my camera so gingerbread man survived until after the photo was taken...

The fair was held at the former Lagoa Winery, now turned into an Art Gallery. About that all I can say is "Wow!"

If you are in the Algarve, go and see for yourself.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - November 2014

On the 15th of every month garden bloggers from all over the world show off their blooms in a post and link up with May Dreams Gardens

So welcome to my garden in the central Algarve region of Portugal! It's in hardiness zone10a.

I've been having trouble keeping on top of everything.
wilting roses
In the rose bed, the last of the blooms, some ground covers and weeds.
Other activities and lack of "gardening weather" explain why I've posted a day late a few times. 
There is another reason this month, though. It rained off and on for a few weeks and the grass kept growing until I figured I should call in the professionals, i.e. the gardener. I thought  my little old lawnmower and I weren't up to the job. As it turned out I was wrong. 
Yesterday the gardener didn't show, I became really upset thinking how the photos would look, decided to try doing the job myself (had a difficult night as a result of my allergic rhinitis), the lawnmower cooperated and the grass got cut! However, by the time I finished it was too late to take photos.

There isn't much blooming at the moment.

Along the side wall there are some red and yellow hibiscus blooms.
Yellow hibiscus and red hibiscus

One lavender is in serious need of being cut back but this one is still going strong.
I love lavender

And some foliage is as good as having blooms, don't you think?.
gorgeous foliage

Looking forward to seeing you again next month.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mediterranean Garden Fair 2014

Like I told you here, last year I discovered the Mediterranean Garden Society had an active branch in Portugal and I loved their Garden Fair. I was determined not to miss this year's event but on Saturday I had a dog training session booked before lunch and I didn't want to miss that either. As a result, my day turned out a bit too crammed with activity and I eventually arrived at the fair just an hour before it was supposed to wind down!
Mediterranean Garden Fair 1
Mediterranean Garden Fair 2

 I missed the workshops, which was very disappointing. And the plant sellers had sold much of their stock - good for them!
Mediterranean Garden Fair 3

Mediterranean Garden Fair 4

I'm still glad I went as I had the opportunity to chat to some sellers and even buy some Myrtle (Myrtus communis) seeds "harvested in the Mediterranean woods of central Portugal" from Sementes de Portugal.

I also had a wonderful time wandering around the Estói Palace grounds, where the fair took place.
Estói Palace grounds, Algarve
Algarve -Estoi Palace Gardens

Hopefully, next time I'll be able to attend the workshops and perhaps even meet some local bloggers.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - October 2014

Welcome again to my Algarve garden!

This year the autumn rain came early and temperatures dropped but not enough to stop the grass growing. As a result, my garden looks a bit out of control. 
edge of rose garden
The roses are straggly but in this end of the bed the colour combination pleases me. It wasn't something that I planned but I like it.

lavenders and red roses
At least one lavender needs cutting back.

My bougainvillea is looking quite sad.

autumn rose
You can still find a rose bloom here...
white rose
... and here.

flowers along the wall
There are also some iceberg roses by the side wall over there.

I took the photos on the 16th because work and rain got in the way on Bloom Day. Today I cut the grass so now the garden looks a bit tidier. Next, I need to plant bulbs!

For more October blooms, visit May Dreams Gardens. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Are you blowing your whistle at me?!

There I was, calmly driving to school on Friday morning. 

I was in good time so when I saw police cars at the roundabout I wasn't particularly worried. I've had to stop dozens of times to show my documents and have the car inspected. I usually have everything in order.

There were two police cars on the left and two on the right. One poor driver had been pulled over on the right and was out of his car (never a good sign), probably paying a fine for something. The policeman with him was busy, so I thought I was safe. I turned my attention to getting the new way of navigating a roundabout done properly and was half way through that when I heard police whistles blowing furiously and the policemen on the left pointing menacingly ... at me? I couldn't believe my eyes!

I managed to pull over already out of the roundabout, my nerves shattered. When a policeman reached me, I kept repeating "What did I do wrong?" He said I didn't stop promptly enough. Heck! I wasn't expecting the ones on the left to even think of pulling me over. They were on the other side. To be safe, they should have been only stopping cars going in the opposite direction, for heaven's sake!

So I showed my documents, saying I was going to miss my first class of the day. The policeman smiled. He thought I was pretending to be a teacher!  Then he inspected the car and looked over at his whistle-mad colleagues. I wondered what exactly they were going to fine me for. I had pulled over safely albeit too slowly for them, they weren't complaining about my navigation of a roundabout (even though I don't think I've quite got the hang of it), so what was it going to be?

Oops! My windshield had a crack - a very small crack - a crack that is almost as old as the car - a crack that has never been a problem before! 

I was let off with a warning: they were going to be at that roundabout for several days and if I was stopped again, a fine it would be. I drove off in a daze, still unsure if a fine wouldn't find its way into my mailbox. 

My car has now got a new windscreen but I can't get that treated-almost-like-a-criminal scene out of my head. Is it any surprise that people don't like the traffic police here?

Mind you, I have seen worse - an adult student of mine once overtook me and the road-hogging police car in front of me only to be treated to a siren-screaming car chase into a sleepy Algarve town!

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