Six on Saturday

This is my very first foray into the world of ‘Six on Saturday’ hosted by The Propagator and I’m so thrilled to be taking part. It’s such a lovely idea, gardeners from all walks of life and corners of the world coming together to share what is good (or not!) in their gardens each weekend. In fact, it’s how I started to blog  on the now defunct ‘Vegblogs’ site and five years on I am still in touch with great gardening friends I made there. I am passionate about our garden but equally I love to see what others are up to, there are so many new things to learn, ideas to share and much to celebrate together. So, if you are visiting my blog for the first time through ‘Six on Saturday’ then a very warm welcome and thank you for taking the time to be interested in my little patch of earth in ‘green’ Spain! 🙂

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This week it has been warm and wet, perfect growing and greening weather. The slugs, snails and weeds have been having a field day so there has been much to do in the patch between the downpours and plenty of things to see. It’s so hard to choose (this is a great discipline!), but here are my six for today:

With the autumn planting of ‘Douce Provence’ peas almost eaten, it’s good to see the next crop steaming along behind. These are a mix of ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ and ‘Early Onward’; we have had such a nightmare with los ratones helping themselves to newly-planted peas and beans this spring that there has been much emergency gap-filling and all the rows are now eclectic mixes. No problem, these little beauties are sweet and delicious, especially mixed with a plentiful supply of baby broad beans.

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Those pesky mice were also responsible last spring for munching the roots of three out of four young  ‘Green Globe’ artichoke plants raised from seed, but the one surviving plant has grown to such a monstrous size and is so prolific I’m beginning to feel it’s enough. We’ve already had several meals’ worth of artichokes and there are another ten in need of eating. We’re planning an Italian-style tapas dish for tonight, if such a thing is possible?  Just call it (con)fusion cooking.

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By some complete miracle, the slimy ones seem to be giving the lettuce a wide berth and we have several little patches at different stages all doing well. The contrasts of shape and colour in this group really caught my eye (as you can see, eclectic is a bit of a theme in our garden – purists might want to go and lie down in a darkened room). So pretty. Who needs flowers?

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Well actually, I do because I love flowers, especially when they are mixed through the vegetables. A new star to open this week is verbena bonariensis, one of my all-time favourites and so good in a wildlife-friendly garden. The plants grown from seed last year are now all as tall as me and waving around prettily on their slender stems above swathes of ‘Munstead’ lavender; I’ve found several self-set seedlings whilst weeding the veg this week. Happy days!

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We’ve never grown a grapevine before but somehow a Spanish garden and the beautiful foil of a honey-coloured stone horreo wall just cried out for one. This is a white muscat variety bought from a local nursery and planted several weeks ago: looks like it’s settled in just fine if the tiny flowers and fruits are anything to go by.

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Finally, the garden margins have erupted this week with an explosion of brilliant red poppies, self-set from a cheap packet of ‘bee and butterfly’ seeds I sprinkled last year. They are so rich and opulent with petals like crushed silk and the bees are going mad for them. In fact, there is so much circling and stacking it feels like a little air traffic control wouldn’t go amiss. The bumbles think they have it all taped up but . . .

. . . incoming from the right . . .

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. . . and landed. There’s room for a honey bee, too.

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I am constantly astounded at how such delicate flowers, so fragile and fleeting, can cope with this sort of bombardment! Must be tougher than they look.

 

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

  1. Gorgeous photos! Welcome to Six and thanks for the warm welcome to your blog. I note that you garden in Spain and love to see the particular distinctions that offers! We lived for two years near Lisbon and ventured into your beautiful country repeatedly.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! It’s always so interesting to compare what’s going on in other gardens around the world, isn’t it? A change of gardening climate has certainly kept us on our toes for the last couple of years! 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your welcome! Unfortunately, the slimy ones have the upper hand at the moment, not too thrilled to find my remaining three sunflowers had been trashed overnight. We desperately need a hot dry spell to send them packing . . . 🙂

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    1. Well, I have to say we used to grow them in a polytunnel in our Welsh garden and I always wondered if they were worth the bother as we fiddled our way through just three or four heads each year. In a warmer climate, I can definitely see the point of them. I think they’d like your garden . . . and if nothing else, they are such a beautiful architectural plant to enjoy! 🙂

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  2. Hi Lis, nice to see you on SOS with a lovely six. Verbena b is a great plant, I’ve just added to my garden and it’s going so well. Your bombardment photo is wonderful!

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    1. Hello Jane! It’s your blog that has inspired me to have a go on SOS so thank you. I love to see what others are up to in their gardens and there is always so much to learn. I have a feeling the verbena might turn out to be the next ‘weed’ here but that’s fine by me. What we really need now is some sunshine, I can’t believe there is any rain left up there! 😦

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  3. Beautiful photos! I am getting many ideas from your postings, for plants to add to my garden (someday, and it would help if I had more land). Verbena bonariensis does indeed become somewhat of a weed, pretty quickly, but it’s easy to pull up and transplant out to a more out-of-the-way spot, and is well loved by bees and especially butterflies. I would never call it invasive in the same sense as, say, lemon balm. . . Things seem to grow so quickly and well there on your land. Is the soil just naturally fertile, or do you have access to animal manures of some kind? Grapes in the same year after planting a vine! Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! I think the growth rate here is mostly down to the climate, warm and wet with very little difference between daily max and min temperatures. We do have a good supply of manure from a local farmer and piles of homemade compost – I am slightly obsessive about feeding the soil! We’re still feeling our way in terms of what will and won’t grow well here and I’ve lagged behind with the flowers a bit so it’s great to be focusing on them more this year. I agree totally about verbena b, it’s welcome to pop up as much as it likes. I do have lemon balm, too, and you can imagine what that’s up to . . ! Happy gardening! 🙂

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