Posts Tagged ‘spring’

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The garden, mid-March

March 20, 2010

Days are a little longer, the air is a little sweeter; Spring has come at last.  There are still cool and wet days and the evenings are a little chilly but we are getting a good run of day time temperatures.

Out of the wind it can be gloriously warm, but by early evening a fire is still tempting.  Sadly we’ve run out of firewood and all the local suppliers seem to have decided to stop selling for the year now that it’s a little warmer.  After a couple of failed sorties we plan to try once more next week; the thought of no evening fires between now and November is just a little too much to bear.

In the garden things continue to grow like there is no tomorrow.  For a number of reasons we were a little late in pruning the citrus trees and the cost is a heavy one; instead of making rational decisions about where to cut we are traumatised by the idea of having to lose fresh blossom.  Each beautiful flower is stunning in its own right but also a potential fruit and the idea of our own tiny orchard is still so fantastic that the loss of even a single, future, fruit is a heavy burden.  Had we pruned at the right time, before the fresh blossom, then we could have avoided such angst.  Yet another lesson for next year.

Lemon blossom

When we did prune we kept in mind the tourists who walk past the house on their exploration of the village.  The gate lemon overhangs the wall on two sides and is a tourist-magnet.  Many times we’ve heard, from inside the garden, discussions about whether it’s ok to take just one lemon.  After all they are hanging into the street, they say.  Once a married couple was heard discussing whether they actually were lemons or whether they were just too big.  The husband was adamant that they couldn’t be, the wife wasn’t so sure.  Ian took great delight in popping his head out of the gate to settle the argument and provide them with a single lemon for their evening gin & tonic.

Clearly, if we wish our entertainment to continue then the tree has to be allowed some overhang into the street.

Tourist lemons

Next to the overhanging gate lemon is the yellow trumpet tree.  After a quiet winter period it has started to come back to life.  It’s fascinating to see the difference between the tree now and when it was in full bloom.

Yellow Bells

Also outside the courtyard walls the wild fennel shows no signs of slowing down; the speed at which it grows is staggering.  To give some context to photo below the green plastic waste bin is about 4 feet tall, the fennel is at least twice that height already.  As the temperature increases it will die back and rest over the summer months only to re-appear in late autumn.

Wild fennel

Within the garden the new lavender is finding its feet.  With hindsight it might have been prudent to include fewer plants but the confines of the pithari should limit the growth.

Lavandula pinnata

The mystery plant is gaining in height; from memory it flowered in early Summer last year.  This time round we hope to have a chance to establish just what it is, as well as to move one of the two clumps to a more suitable spot.  The section under the yucca tree seems to get insufficient light to be able to flower so a relocation is on the cards if we are able to lift it; an early attempt proved fruitless.

Mystery plant I

Any finally, it appears to be snowing just along the donkey path.  Clearly that would be madness, instead we have a gentle carpet of blossom from a large drupe tree in an neighbour’s garden.  We have no idea what it is other than stunningly beautiful at this time of year.

Neighbouring fruit tree

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Whispers of Spring

February 12, 2010

There’s a rumour that Spring may be on its way.  You wouldn’t know from the bitterly cold weather but the trees seem to have a better handle on this than us.

The village is known for its cherry and almond trees; in early Spring as they come into blossom they are absolutely beautiful.  Almonds, cherrys and peaches are all drupes; trees that produce fruits with a hard central stone.  They also have similar blossom ranging from almost white through to a fairly bright and cheery pink with all the intermediate shades making an appearance.  Our tiny peach tree was slightly ahead of the game with its blossom in mid-January, presumably helped by its sheltered spot in the garden.

There’s something about the blossom of these trees.  On hearing where we’d finally bought a house an aquaintance mentioned the spring blossom.  Some years ago she lost her husband and was finding life incrediably bleak.  In early Spring she ended up in the village, just as the trees were in full blossom.  She said:

Seeing the blossom on the trees that day, that was the point at which I thought maybe life might be worth living after all.

On a wander through the village last week we checked, yet again, on the trees.

Some are just starting to come into flower including what appears to be a sweet almond tree next to the church.  Due to a change in levels it is accessible from the church side and not from the other.  Presumably this explains why one side was stripped bare of nuts whilst the other was not.

Almond trees don’t look very appealing in winter.

Last year's almonds

But when they start to blossom?  It’s enough to make the heart sing.

The first of the blossom