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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!
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