Gardening in Portugal Update

We have been too busy toiling in the garden for me to write an update, but I promised myself that I would do one every couple of months so I can look back at the progress we make going forward. A garden is a slowly evolving thing and sometimes it’s hard to see what you’ve done. That’s partly because an avid gardener looks at their garden microscopically every day and so the changes seem minute.

But we have done quite a lot of work since the weather got cooler and here it is in pictures;OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here are the new stone steps to help us get up the bank. They also act as a drainage channel and  turns into a waterfall when it rains!

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The beginnings of my jungly garden of the  west side of the house. It seems to be important to concentrate on developi zones which need the same amount of watering together. This area may need light irrigation and is close to the house. I bought the Strelizia reginae at the Mediterranean garden fair. I hope it grows really big as I would love cut flowers from it!

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We have recently lined this with permeable weed proof material and then gravelled it, planting grasses and irises through it. This is a technique which I am using to trt and minimize weeds and watering…and I am having varying degrees of success depending on what I plant.

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And here is one we made last autumn with some success. It is very windy and I am looking forward to the stipas and pennisetums blowing in the wind in the late summer and Autumn. The lemon grass is also doing very well, as are the canna lilies and bearded irises, which grow wild in the Algarve.Just as an aside, of you go down this route in your garden, I strong,y recommend using the brown geotechnical fabric and not the black ,since it lets more air and water through for the plants.

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We have made a concrete base at the bottom of the garden where one day I will have a hippie shed, where I can relive my misspent youth as a sixties flower child and entertain my children and nieces and nephews to tea and oranges that come all the way from the garden! Gwynnie, the cat looks on….

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The  beautiful old olive trees were pruned by Senor Faztudo…under my supervision of course. He  is a bit too handy with the saw!

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I planted a yellow hibiscus against the red pigmented wall because I  like the two colours together, but I don’t hold out a great deal of hope for it. It doesn’t like wind much!

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The cabbages and lettuces are doing well. It’s a bit cold for caterpillars, which is good.

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I have fenced off the bottom bed against cats, chickens and caterpillars…and myself unfortunately!

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The lasagna bed is cooking nicely. The chicken poo helps. I have put the pots to start seedlings in and will eventually add to the bed.

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This is the dawn view from the garden.

And so to bed!

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7 thoughts on “Gardening in Portugal Update

  1. Hi! I’m BlackBeardie. Love your write-ups and photos! My Mum would have really loved your Bird of Paradise plant ) Senhor FazTudo left enough of that old olive tree me thinks. 🙂 I have a few olive trees on my patch and have the idea of growing hazelnut trees for a biomass project. Do you have any of these?
    Thank you.
    Best regards,
    Zephyr

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  2. Thanks Blackbeardie! Enjoy writing it and since it’s VERY rainy here at the moment it’s hard to get out in the garden much! We don’t have any hazelnut trees and I don’t see the growing here in the Algarve much, which makes me wonder if one could. Lots of almonds everywhere though and we use the husks to light our wood burning stove.

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  3. Hi
    Thanks for your reply. Rain in the Algarve is good! It will make the Algarve more green. I don’t have mains water at my place so am planning to harvest rain water. If you have some almond seedlings you want to get rid of please keep me in mind! I am keen on the hazelnuts as you can prune the branches back quite hard every couple of years (for fuel) and they will bounce back. They also grown well in more arid regions.
    Oh a wood burner! I need to get one. I made a mistake in not buying a British made Villager stove when I had the means to ship it down. I’m trying to find a stove made in Portugal. If you know any company that does this please let me know. I have emailed 3 but drawn a blank.

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  4. Agree rain is good! but at the moment I am thinking of growing rice as the bottom of the garden is like a paddy field! Great idea re the hazels. A friend of mine dries orange peel to use as firelighters, and that works well too. You can get wood burners now in do-it-yourself stores which we have done, but eventually I would like to get one that has a back boiler, so when its lit it can heat some radiators throughout the house. Getting things delivered from England isn’t too expensive if you use one of the removal companies. I hope you are busy harvesting your rainwater. It’s a long hot summer! Have you been here long?

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  5. R

  6. Good evening

    No, I haven’t really lived in Portugal. I just got a small place in the Algarve and will be coming down in a couple of weeks. As I mentioned there is no mains water connected hence I’m keen to collect rain water. I’ve heard that I can get agricultural water from the dam people, so fingers crossed. It looks like I’ll have my work cut out. )
    Thanks for the tip about the stoves. I guess I will have to have a look for one in the DIY stores when I’m over.

    Yeah I’m quite keen on growing hazelnut trees! It appears that they are well suited to grow in southern Portugal as the are drought resistant. I think they can easily be adapted to form hedging by weaving branches of closely growing trees together. You have to plant two varieties if want nuts as they are self infertile. I haven’t found a source in Portugal for them as yet.
    Keep up the good work! 🙂
    Best wishes,
    Zephyr

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