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I’ve mentioned before that we don’t live in a town, city or even a small village. We live in the open countryside (known locally as el campo), so our garden isn’t the kind of cultivated area we used to have back in England. Our house was built onto a hill-side of almond trees and indeed, when we moved here almost eight years ago, the only things that were already planted (apart from the naturally-placed wildflowers) were 47 established almond trees, on almost an acre of land. Of course, the area immediately around the house, car park, swimming pool and terraces is flat but the rest of our land is sloped, and we have chosen to leave a more “natural” look further away from the house, to blend in with the surrounding countryside.
As time as gone by we have added many more trees, shrubs and bushes and I have previously posted photographs of lemons, apple blossom, bird of paradise flowers, figs, oranges and some of the many beautiful wildflowers at present gracing the garden.
Despite the apparent poor quality of the soil, the valley where we live is extremely green with trees and vines growing down the hillside. Newly planted trees need care for the first year or two, but once established seem to thrive, provided they are given sufficient irrigation.
The nature of the ground is generally sloping, rough and rocky with poor, shallow soil over bedrock. Untended ground is usually very hard (with need for a pick-axe to dig holes for planting) allowing deluges of rain little chance to penetrate the soil, thereby creating deep channels where the water has run off .
However, it’s not all bad news as there are patches of slightly deeper soil here and there, and it’s one of these that last week we decided to transform into a small vegetable patch.
We were able to buy some little plug plants in Vélez-Málaga, at a total cost of just over 11 euros and, after quite a bit of digging, raking and throwing out stones, we finally got to plant red, green and hot peppers, chard, squash, green beans, red and green lettuce, red onions, fennel and melons.
After three days, I can report that the little plants appear to be doing well. I’ll keep you posted on their progress!
Previous posts you might find interesting:
A Slice of Life: Garden and Plant Irrigation
Flowering snapshot of a January day around the garden
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You are so lucky to live in this place, Marianne. I love the drawing of your garden! 🙂
I am, but I know it! Thanks 😉
Thanks – I’ll do an update when they’ve grown a bit!
You are blessed to be surrounded with so much greens. I grew up where planting our own veggies is a conmon practice. My dad love to plant and raise farm animals. And that passion he passed on to me.
I am blessed – but I know it.
Nature is wonderful.
I loved Spain. So glad to come across your blog. Now I can live vicariously and remember the beauty of the country.
It´s a truly lovely country, Spain, and a great place to live! Tell me, where did you visit/live?
Visited Madrid, Burgos, Seville and Barcelona. Beautiful cities. One day I’d like to go back and see more of Spain.
Your place sounds amazing, Marianne – can’t wait for the updates! Soon as I move into my new house I also hope to establish my own vegetable garden – yay I can’t wait anymore!
Well, I love it!
When are you moving house, Marco?
Hi Marianne, transfer is supposed to take place on 1 August 2013. There are tenants in place until 1 March 2014. Closer to transfer I’ll ask them if they want to stay on or move out – the agent has indicated that they might vacate sooner. So I guess it could be anytime from 1 August onwards.
Looks like you have a little bit of paradise where you live Marianne
You’re quite right, I do 🙂
very hard and back-breaking work (I know, my parents had a big vegetable garden and I had to help with weeding etc) but so satisfying and you know what you are putting on your plate!
Fortunately, mine is not a huge veggie patch, but it will be fun to go and harvest it for dinner 🙂
having a vegetable plot seems like such a good idea, that is until I have to dig it all over to plant my tomatoes etc.
I ache so much, that if I sit still too long, I can’t get up.
Ah well, I’m in the position of Mrs Sensible – my hubby does most of the hard work too! 😀
🙂 Mrs Sensible just cooks them. I spent the weekend digging and planting.
such an artistic approach to the garden marianne! i hope the weather and the beasties are kind to you and we see a glorious harvest in summer 🙂
Hmmm … haven’t really considered the beasties too much, other than the wild boar – who, given half a chance will dig everything up with their snouts! Hopefully row veggie plot is in a slightly protected area from them.
Pimiento picante. YAY! I love them. Have fun with it and good luck. I started growing some lettuce and red cabbage. My dog ate it. No! I swear! I nead higher ground. 😀
Hahaha did he? I shouldn’t laugh,Gemma, but it IS quite funny!
Have you got a raised bed somewhere you could use?
I’m going to put pots on the deck railing outside my bedroom. He’s very big but I don’t think he’ll bother with that. If he does, I’m quitting!!! 😉
One of the things i dream of while living a city, tiny apartment lifestyle is to be able to walk about the garden and gather dinner… You will be able to feed yourselves magnificently in several weeks 🙂
Looking forward to that 🙂
You’ll be able to do the same at your place up the coast, wont you EllaDee?
Oh yes, it’s well up on our list of things to do 🙂
Hard work but wonderful when you harvest them 🙂
Oh the joys of homegrown greens. Have fun with your gardening.
Thanks, I will 🙂
Good for you. Gardening is tough work….and the bigger your plot of land the harder work it is! But it’s so rewarding too.
It can be hard work – but we usually do the tough stuff early in a morning before it gets too hot!
Yes, very rewarding 🙂
Hard but well done work… 🙂 😉
So now, Marianne, you just have to wait for it ready to eat… 😉
Thanks Mr Black Duck. I will be patient 🙂
Sounds like a lot of hard work!
But all that lot’ll make a cracking salad 🙂
Once we got the plot sorted out it was easy-peasy really – and now all I have to do it have a look at them each day and make sure they are watered.
OH …. and wait! 🙂
You really have the best of both worlds, don’t you? Being able to create a garden and all that entails and yet travel for long periods too – most climates would prohibit that one way or another. Look foward to tracking your progress.
Oh yes, I DO have the best of both worlds – I am so lucky, but I never forget that fact!
We only travel when the swimming pool is closed and we no longer need to irrigate the garden regularly though, which means over the winter months from maybe November through to the end of March – which is precisely when we were travelling around Australia and New Zealand this past winter 😉
I hope your vegetable garden will flourish! 😀 Oh to eat home-grown food must be very rewarding. Good work!
Thanks for your good wishes, Marion. I’m sure they will taste so good, in time 🙂
Hopefully both of our new veggie plots will prosper 🙂
I hope so, Lynsey – this is my first vegetable patch, so I have much to learn 🙂
hehe, love the heading Marianne! What a beautiful vegetable plot you have there indeed. Lovely pics hon. Enjoy eating the fruits of your labour. 🙂 *hugs*
The little plants are looking really strong – we I guess we will have to “wait and see” now!
Looking forward to eating them in a few weeks 🙂