Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Gardens of Delargo Towers - February

Here we are again my lovelies... After a bit of Spanish sun on our skin this month, February seems particularly grim.

But at least the daffs were out to greet us home:

...and there are lots of goodies to look forward to:

The tulips are looking good:

Lupins are slug-free at the moment:

Even the scented-leafed Pelargonium seems to be coming through with out any protection:

Last year's Campanula:

In the border, Geranium and Centauria are preparing for Spring:

...and I am hopeful about the Aquilegia this year. They were sown the year before last and have not flowered yet:

A corner of our Bluebell dell:

To close, we have Pelargoniums on the kitchen windowsill which have flowered right through the winter and are looking good for summer:

Fingers crossed for some warmer, sunnier weather next month



Monday, 18 February 2013

My 54th In Spain

In the not too distant past, we went to Spain three times a year and loved every moment of every visit - come, rain or shine. Delargo Towers has been feeling the effect of the global townturn in the economy, and it has been a whole two years since we have set foot on Andalusian soil; but with the help and the kindness of friends, together with a fortunately timed birthday, we made it this year!

February is the coldest and meanest of months. Winter feels like it will never end, yet only 2.5 hours away is Malaga and 20 mins from there Benalmadena, and our apartment with gardens and pool.

Talk about a tonic! Sun, blue sky, a blue Med; Lantana, Hibiscus and palms - it sure beats February in North London.

The apartment was on the other side of town to where we normally stay. Tucked behind 'Castle Bil Bil' it made a nice change especially as 'Las Maracas' beach bar was open.

A view of the castle.

Bil Bil was once a private holiday home.

In the grounds is a statue of Ibn al-Baytar who was an Andalusian botanist, scientist, pharmacist and physician. He was born in Malaga in 1197 and is famous for his two books. His first book was a pharmacopoeia (pharmaceutical encyclopedia) listing 1,400 plants, foods, and drugs, while his second was an encyclopedia of Islamic medicine which incorporated his knowledge of plants.
Ibn al-Baytar greatly influenced the works of later writers, especially in the Near East.

The gate house at the end of the once private beach:

Palms on Bil Bil beach:

Main gate:

The sun shone every day. The temperature was well over 20C every day, so each had to be spent on the beach.Ana almost every night had to be spent in the flesh pots of 'La Nogalera' in Torremolinos.

What you can see below are the sad and almost derelict remains of what once were fashionable 'Jet Set' apartments built in 1963. It was considered an architectural landmark in the city, covering a vast area of about 23,000 m² . La Nogalera consists of six tall buildings linked by elevated walkways and gardens - it was both commercial and residential with several pools and recreation areas, plus a small "Andalusian village" with entertainment and bars.

The first gay bar in Spain was here ('Toni's Bar') in 1962. Today Torremolinos has the largest gay scene in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona and is centred in and around (and under) La Nogalera.

The Torre ( tower ) of Torremolinos:

Back in Benalmadena, this time at the Marina:

Then on to Carihuela and the most wonderful birthday Paella in this fab Spanish restaurant:

Benalmadena Costa - and one of our fave statues:

Such an abundance of flowers everywhere, but especially along the Paseo.

Not bad for February methinks!

Sunset at the Palm 5 beach bar:

A rare view of Morocco. Its about 40 miles away from here and usually only seen this clearly a couple of times a year when the weather conditions are right:

Sunset = Cocktails

More cocktails !!

After an all-too-short a week it was back to reality with a bump; in fact back to Essex, with snow! We ended our holiday staying with our boys in 'Braintree Manor' and a few days for our livers to repair themselves at home here in Delargo Towers before the dreaded return to work.

thanks to all those who made it all possible



Kew Gardens - Orchids

Well me dears yesterday was the last day of our hols. We finished it off with a trip to Kew to see the Orchid Festival and what a fab day it was.

Ok. now the orchids

Holiday post still to come