Monday, September 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2014

As I was leaving school this afternoon, someone joked about not needing to travel to the Tropics to experience tropical weather and she was spot on. It was hot and sultry. The tarmac had that smell that comes after a summer downpour. It took me back to Africa instantly.

The weather today made it a bit difficult for me to get the photos the way I wanted them. It was too grey before I left for school and not light enough when I remembered I hadn't got the shots I wanted yet.

Anyway, welcome to my Algarve garden again. I've dead-headed the roses, so no flowers from them at this time. The lavenders are still doing well. They get the attention of neighbours and passers-by.
View from the drive

This is how the far end of the garden looked when I got back from holiday a few weeks ago. It was getting a bit too carried away so I had to do some pruning before the mock rose bush turned into a tree.
Far end of the garden
The pink oleander flowered profusely this summer but is tired now, so it's up to the red one, which blooms later.
red oleander blooms
 These flowers are new to my garden.
New additions

The yellow and red hibiscus are in flower but insects have damaged the blooms so  I only have one good flower to show you today.

Then there are the Mirabilis jalapa or four o'clocks. I wanted some with yellow blooms, stole some plants from a hedge somewhere but ended up with purple and white blooms instead. My neighbour has some that present different coloured blooms on the same plant (apparently that's not uncommon). I'm not complaining. Next year I want to have more by the front wall, too, where they can release their scent to the garden and the street.

To scent the garden in the evening I also have this!
Dama da noite

The Belladonna lilies are no longer looking so fresh. This photo is also from when I returned from holiday.
Belladonna lilies

And that's it, folks. Don't forget to visit May Dreams Gardens, where Carol hosts Bloom Day and where you'll find links to beautiful gardens all over the world.


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.

hydrangea
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.

Yarrow?
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

Visitors

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?

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