Six on Saturday 27th July 2019

It seems like ages since I last ‘sixed’ so it’s lovely to be dipping in and catching up on what everyone is up to in their gardens again. Unlike much of Europe, we haven’t been struggling with soaring temperatures or drought conditions here. In fact, unbelievable though it might sound for Spain, we rarely do; things bob along nicely in the mid-twenties with a good drop of rain every few days, the sun is warm and humidity high so everything is growing like stink. It’s that time of year where I’m happy to surrender any pretence at having the garden under control and just pootle about foraging vast quantities of veg for dinner and sniffing the flowers. Someone has to do it.

After much teasing, agapanthus ‘Northern Star’ has finally burst into a mass of blue gorgeousness. They are all pot grown and yet another year has passed where I’ve failed to get some into the ground; maybe one day, but for now I’m enjoying them every bit as much as the bumble bees.

The cucumbers have been unusually lacking in enthusiasm this year and we are normally snowed under with them by now so it’s good to see ‘Marketmore 76’ getting its act together at last.

No such lack of enthusiasm in the polytunnel. We re-covered it earlier this year as the original polythene was, quite honestly, complete and utter rubbish and had shredded in the winter storms to create a giant sieve. What a difference it’s made: the path has disappeared in the jungle of basil, the aubergines are setting fruit like there’s no tomorrow and we have more peppers and chillies than we know what to do with. There’s also cumin lurking in there somewhere . . . and possibly a feral sloth, too.

This is the time of year where the squash start heading off down the mountainside and there’s nothing to do but give them free rein and assess the damage in October. Despite having ample space on their custom-built terraces, they’ve already started involving themselves with each other as expertly demonstrated by ‘Speckled Hound’ and ‘Butterfly’ below.

I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with green manure this year and so far, I’m a huge fan. Buckwheat grows very quickly and I’ve been sprinkling it about all over the place to dig in, also leaving some patches to flower (bees and hoverflies love it) and one patch to set seed – something many people warn against but I’m a lover of self-setters (the lemon balm, hollyhock and nasturtiums in the photo bear testament to that) so I’m happy to let it go. Anything’s better than weeds.

Quite how I can be in my fourth summer here and have previously completely missed the fact that we have a rather exotic beauty under the white hibiscus is anybody’s guess. I think it’s an angel’s trumpet (brugmansia) rather than datura but I’d be happy for an expert opinion on that one. Whichever, it’s putting on quite a show. Here’s to more startling discoveries in the future!

Time now to pop over to https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ and see what other gardeners have been up to this week. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 27th July 2019

  1. Estoy un poco celosa! Your beautiful green garden and temperatures around the mid twenties… bliss! For most of the year I love the climate here but we are struggling at the moment. Between 2 pm and 6pm we are all indoors, including the dogs! It is just too hot. I was in the huerto for an hour this morning, listlessly weeding and trying to combat the pulgon on my beans and courgettes. I did come home with the usual kilo of tomatoes, a lovely red onion and a few beans! No matter what the climate, this doesn’t seem to be a good year for cucumbers… mine go yellow before they are a decent size. On a positive note, we have no snails or slugs! The leeks are coming on well, aubergines are looking good and I have lots of yellow chillis. The peppers are slow , a few green ones that are tasty but wouldn’t feed a family! Roll on September! At the moment Walt is looking longingly at his photos from the Picos! ( the grass literally is greener!) Lovely article Lis and gorgeous photos. Disfruta.

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    1. It really is the perfect growing climate here, no question – although inevitably there are often rather soggy looking tourists in the area wondering why they didn’t head further south! Beastie season is just getting going so I’m on caterpillar / flea beetle / whitefly watch daily and something is chewing through the leeks, not even eating them which is a bit rude. Otherwise, it’s a lovely time of year and we certainly won’t starve. The first peaches should be ready this week, we had nothing last year so that’s very exciting. Keep smiling through the heat . . . septiembre vendrá!

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  2. Many folk in differing places seem to be having less than the normal cukes this year. Perhaps it’s part of the cycle. Love surprise under the hibiscua!

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    1. That’s interesting, isn’t it? Normally I have trouble stopping them and we’re eating them daily by now . . . seems to be the year for courgettes here instead. Yep, quite a surprise. can’t even use the excuse I need new glasses! 🙂

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  3. As usual your garden looks lush and interesting. I had a pang of jealousy but then I wondered about the mountain side . Not sure my old hips would enjoy it but what a view! About 10 years ago we stayed for a few days in the picos de europa can’t remember the name of nearest town but we did visit the high lakes de covadonga. Then finished our holiday in Santiago de compostela.

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    1. Yes, it’s a fabulous view but no garden is ever perfect, is it? I have to admit the steepness of the land does make it very difficult, not sure whether it’s worse when the ground is wet and slippery or dry and dusty – either way, I could do with crampons! Digging is the worst bit which is why I’m going for a no bare earth policy as much as possible. The Picos are stunning, we love to walk there in the quiet season. We live twenty minutes from Luarca so you possibly passed this way en route to Santiago. Happy gardening!

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  4. Your summer conditions sound lovely, I must check it out for potential future holidays. I am jealous of your abundance, I’ve had one solitary courgette so far, and I think I’ll be lucky to get a kilo of tomatoes total! Hmmmph.

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    1. If it’s any consolation, a single tomato here yet alone a kilo will be a miracle as we have such a blight problem – it’s not all gardening paradise! Well worth a holiday, though, it’s a truly stunning place . . . just remember to pack waterproofs along with your shorts! Happy gardening. 🙂

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