All posts by Piglet in Portugal

I enjoy blogging, poetry, gardening, photography, mosaics, writing and, with a name like Piglet...cooking! I love connecting with people all over the world, so please stop by and say "hi"

Piglet in Portugal

This year I plan to photograph and record what’s growing in my humble vegetable garden on the 19th of each month. This will give me a better idea of what’s growing when, and how well. Hopefully, it will act as a record for next year and I can learn from my successes and failures.

The Portuguese cabbages (Couve Galega) which I use to make Caldo Verde Soup are now over 2′ tall. I love the way they grow skywards – a great space-saving crop for a small plot.

My favas (broad beans) planted from seed on the 24/10/2012 are now over 2’6″ tall. In fact I’ve pinched the tops out of some of them so their energy goes into the beans and not into leaves, stalks and even more flowers. There are loads of pods and we will be eating our first feed of beans this coming week.

Echalotes (shallots)…

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Piglet in Portugal

This year I plan to photograph the plants in my humble vegetable garden on the 19th of each month. This will give me a better idea of what’s growing when, and how well. Hopefully, it will act as a record for next year and I can learn from my successes and failures.

The broad beans (or favas as they are called in Portugal) planted from seed on the 24th October are growing well. The favas flowers are now forming into tiny bean pods – but only just!. I bought the loose seeds from our local hardware-come-garden shop for just 30cents – a bargain. If I’d bought in the bean seeds in posh packets they would have cost me three euros plus!

The baby broccoli and cauliflowers planted in December are almost ready to pick.  For some reason the broccoli heads never grow very big before running to seed. Any suggestions…

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Portugal: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – January 2013

On the 15th of each month bloggers from all over the world take part in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day organised by May Dream Gardens. What is blooming in your garden?

In the UK gardening in January like the weather, was depressing.. However, here in the Algarve I’m amazed there are so many plants, shrubs and succulents in bloom.

One of my favourite flowers is the Arum Lily. The leaves die down in summer when the sun is intense but in the winter we are rewarded with the most wonderful flowers!

Arum Lily
Arum Lily

I’m not sure what this succulent is called but at the moment it has a profusion of yellow flowers which the bees enjoy.

No name?
No name?

The no name orange succulents are now in full bloom.

Orange Succulents in January
Orange Succulents in January

I love this succulent the leaves are so unusual who need flowers!

Succulent
Succulent

Gazanias continue to flower in January! They are such a rewarding plant and grow in a variety of different colours.

Gazanias still in flowering in January
Gazanias still in flowering in January

Both my pink and mauve bougainvillea are in flower. Not sure they should flower in January as it’s the winter here. Still we’ve not had any frosts yet and daytime temperatures on the south-facing protected wall where they grow have reached 25C plus some days.

Unfortunately the birds have decided to roost in them every night and poop all over our patio. Any ideas please how we can discourage them?

bougainvillea still in flowering in January
Bourganvelia still in flowering in January

My Hibiscus growing in pots are still flowering profusely – I forgot to take any photos and it’s now dark!

Piglet in Portugal

My passion for gardening has taken a back seat during November due to my trip to France, illness and of course the National Novel Writing 30 day challenge. However, much to my surprise everything, bar the cucumbers growing in pots, survived despite being unloved and neglected. Temperatures in the day hovered around 18C and 12C at night. So not cold, but it rained, oh boy did it rain!

The green peppers planted in the raised bed, continue to thrive and bear fruit! I will certainly plant these again next year although I will not bother with the orange peppers as they took far too long to change colour. The pot grown peppers are now passed their best and it will not be long before I finally find the time to recycle them in my new composter.

I planted garlic cloves as an experiment at the end of October in the…

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Piglet in Portugal

I usually always wear gloves when I’m gardening because of all the little beasties lurking in the soil or on the leaves of my plants.

Guess what?

On this occasion I got sloppy and I put my naked hands into my strawberry bed to do some weeding. I saw something lurking among the dead leaves and initially thought to myself “Mr. Grasshopper’s turned a funny colour” Hang on…rewind that thought process Piglet, grasshoppers are not that colour! I quickly withdrew my hands. Lucky for me I did because this particular little beastie was a scorpion.

I ran squealing like a speared piglet into the house to take cover and hide behind Mr. Piglet. When we returned the Scorpion was making its getaway. Guess who I persuaded to take the photographs as my hands were still shaking?

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November Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in Portugal

Last month I joined a gardening blog hop where on the 15th of each month garden bloggers all over the world take part in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day to show you what is blooming in their garden.

Although I love flowers my main focus is vegetables. So not a great selection!

One of the most rewarding plants are the Gazanias Daisies. They flower throughout the year in a multitude of different colours.

Yellow Gazanias
Yellow Gazanias
Gazanias
Gazanias
Gazanias
Gazanias

I am not sure what these daisies are, but they seeded themselves in my garden. As I say a present from the birds!

Osteospermum
Osteospermum

I am growing this Hibiscus as a standard. Currently the only
Hibiscus I have which planted directly in the ground.

Hibiscus
Hibiscus

This Bougainvillea was not in bloom when I bought it. I asked for pink and was sold this. It looks mauve to me…what do you think?
I am not keen on in it, not because it’s not pretty it is. The bracts do not fall off but die on the plant where they remain making it look rather untidy.

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea

The Purple hop bush is, I think, an extremely versatile shrub. It has striking purple leaves and during winter months delicate paper pink flowers. It withstands strong winds, poor soil and grows up to 15ft high. I have planted several to provide a pretty screen around the pool area. I have also taken cuttings which once established I will use as a contrast to my Oleander shrubs.

Dodonaea viscosa - Purple hop bush
Dodonaea viscosa – Purple hop bush

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Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – October

Is This Blight?

My tomatoes had blight last month so I’m now wondering if my cabbage and brocoli could also be affected?

I’ve been away for a few days and left Mr. Piglet in charge of my veggies. I was quite surprised when I returned to see brown and white patches on the cabbage and brocoli leaves. He had sprayed the leaves with diluted washing up liquid to kill the caterpillars…perhaps that’s the cause…

Anyone heard of Cabbage blight? Looked on net and can’t really see much info. All suggestions gratefully received.

In the meantime think I will pick all the affected leaves off and see what happens.

My brocoli leaves look like they may have blight
My brocolli leaves look like they may have blight
Any idea what this is?
Any idea what this is?