Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Gardens of Delargo Towers - February 2012

I started last months garden post with " The first garden blog of the year, with one of the mildest winters since records began; the garden has not changed ".

February was quite a different story. Just as it looked like we were heading into a ridiculously early spring, winter arrived.

Snow, ice and night time temperatures of -5c and -7c to match.

All change please.

Gone are the pelargoniums, cyclamen and even the nasturtiums which I was starting to believe were indestructible.

But our brave little daffs fought on. Not only have they survived being battered down by inches of snow and frozen in the ice but are standing tall and proud ready to put on a show for St David's Day on 1st March:

dydd gwyl dewi hapus

Thanks to them holding out through the frost, we have had something in flower in the garden every day of the year since last February.

Now at the end of  February we have had some sun and some warmth.. The Iris reticulata is looking stunning.

Looking at it next to the denuded frost bitten cyclamen one does feel winter is over and Spring is all but here.

We even had two bumble bees paying it a visit today

Pure joy.

Having covered the colourful high lights, its time for a quick tour of the rest of the estate.

After cutting it down to the ground last year the Japanese honeysuckle has reclaimed the wall and is bursting with growth.

...and we wait to see what the pear tree does this year after cropping so well last

The Jasmine has taken a bit of a hit with the frost.

lots of space for planting

The Parsley survived:

Another dead window box waiting to be replanted:

We have a few things waiting to go out and seeds waiting to be sown.

The delphiniums we sowed last year and thought were lost have emerged again. lets hope the slugs don't destroy them completely.

One of our four remaining delphiniums with the oriental poppy

I am so looking froward to seeing the Canterbury bells we sowed last year.

and the Wallflowers too.

The first woodland anemone:

...with more to come

Indoors. the Streptocarpus:

They had a disastrous year last year. We lost one variety but hope we have a cutting of at least one of each of the others, Denim, Ruby, Harlequin, Spirit and Targa.

Fingers crossed for 2012!

Roll on the Spring.



Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Viva España

Viva España

Its my birthday month. Unfortunately we are not in Spain to celebrate it.
This will be the first February for many years that we have not flown away to the Costa to escape this mean and miserable month.

To console meself, I am posting a few old pics.

Spain is a beautiful country full of history, art, music, architecture and varied landscapes.

Jon and I have been able pay a visit to some wonderful cities over the past few years - Granada



And Madrid.

Most of these we did by train which is a fantastic way to see the country.

But the city that has captured our heart is


As much as we loved Seville, the true home of flamenco (which we also love), it is Malaga that draws us back.

History, art, music, architecture and landscape are all fab indeed but not the true reason we go.

For that you need to take the little train from the airport.

To Benalmadena.

With hopefully blue skies, a blue Mediterranean, and some sun.

Maybe a walk over to Castle Bil Bil.

A spot of lunch (a la Fanny Cradock)

Or more than likely just sit in our fave beach bar 'Palm Five' and bitch at the world as it trolls by.

The art of doing nothing.

Just like these two old Tom cats.

But all rest and no play would make us rather dull boys. Luckily the night-time delights of Torremolinos and La Nogalera are only a short taxi ride away, so we can bop away in the many bars till dawn just like the truly fab 'Las Seventies':

...and then do it all again the next day.


Hey ho, Lotto tonight
 - then it would be straight back to Al-Andalus!