Garden of delights

Andalucía, 17th of April

wild flowersNow that spring is well and truly here I'm revelling in watching el jardín, the garden, burst into life. It has quite a number of established plants including cacti, palms, shrubs and trees as well as the inevitable geraniums which are ten times the size of the ones I had at home. We have several large clumps of irises, both purple and white which have looked lovely for the last few weeks. I'm not too good at identifying the trees but I know for sure that there is a fig tree, almonds, eucalyptus and what I think is a jaracanda.

wild flowersOne of the greatest delights however is the wild flowers. There are new ones flowering nearly every day forming a mass of undergrowth that I can't bring myself to clear away, even though I know I'm supposed to keep the ground clear around the grapevines. We aim to have some cultivated areas and to leave other parts to grow wild. I'm itching to get off to el vivero, the garden centre, and start buying pots and plants for the terrace.

All creatures

houseOur garden and the surrounding meadow and orchard areas are havens for birds and insects and no doubt other kinds of wildlife that we have never seen. I was pulling a dead plant out of some damp undergrowth the other day when una serpiente, a snake, appeared. It was about 18 inches long and brown with tiny flecks of yellow along its sides. It stayed on the path for a while before slithering off into the undergrowth again. Of course we also see small lizards scurrying about the place and I'm sure there will be many more as the temperatures improve. I really like having them around the place.

goatsOne of my favourite moments of the day is when las cabras, the goats, go past the house, sometimes along the road and sometimes up the field next to our house. There are two herds and you can hear them coming by the bells around their necks but if you miss that you can smell them as they go past! There are around forty goats in each herd along with a couple of sheep and some dogs which don't seem to do anything to keep the goats in order. They respond mainly to el cabrero, the goatherd. He throws stones at them to stop them eating the olive trees. It's all a far cry from life in Bristol and we just love it.

Sent by: Sue


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