Tag Archives: gardening

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!

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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

Related posts
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?

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – October

I’ve just 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.

My Plumbago bush is about 6′ tall!

Plumbago in Portugal
Plumbago in Portugal

The Hydrangea has flowered since early May and rewarded us with an abundance of beautiful pink flowers. Although the flowers are now dying off I still enjoy the papery flowers before they wither completely.

Hydrangea in Portugal
Hydrangea in Portugal

I love this oleander but unfortunately it is very slow-growing!
Did you know the leaves of the Oleander are poisonous and if you burn oleander it gives off toxic fumes?

Yellow Oleander in Portugal
Yellow Oleander in Portugal

I originally tried to grow this Bougainvillea in a pot, without success. In desperation I planted it in the ground, ignored it and now it’s roof height!

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea

I’m unsure of the name of this plant; any suggestions please? Traditionally it’s a climber, but I’m growing as a trailing plant in this enormous pot! It does not require much water and seems to have a long flowering period. Grows best, as I’ve discovered, in full sun.

What is this?
What is this?

Yucca plants have the most amazing flowers!

Yucca Plant
Yucca Plant

I forgot to photograph my Hibiscus and Gazanias and it’s now dark, so no go. There’s always next month

Growing Fruit and Vegetables – September

August merged seamlessly into September, the drought continued and the bugs, despite my best efforts continued to thrive and multiply.

The latest visitor to take up residence bored its way into several of the tomatoes, growing in pots. Once discovered I quickly disposed of these (that’s the tomatoes not the pots) and then wished I’d cut open one of the tomatoes to discover who had moved in. I’m still none the wiser as to their identity – any clues please?

An insect bored into my tomatoes!
An insect bored into my tomatoes!

Read more about my successes and failures over at Piglet in Portugal

White insects on my Rhubarb

My rhubarb in June, considering it’s growing in a large container, was relatively healthy.

This was my Rhubarb in June
This was my Rhubarb in June

I proudly harvested a small crop of rhubarb in June and left the rest to grow.

Then, today disaster struck.

Rhubarb leaf with white bug
Rhubarb leaf with white bug

Today I noticed lots of white bugs had taken up residence in the crown of the rhubarb.

White bugs on rhubarb stalk
White bugs on rhubarb stalk

I consulted Mr Google

According to Rhubarb Central

Rhubarb Pests are usually not a common problem for the rhubarb gardener. Rhubarb is a hardy and resistant type of plant, and not bothered by many pests.

I discovered white bugs in the rhubarb crown and crawling up the stalk
I discovered white bugs in the rhubarb crown and crawling up the stalk

I think the white bugs are a member of the scale family, maybe mealy bug, so I’m going to treat my rhubarb by experimenting with the following methods.

Alcohol

Because the infestation is quite small at the moment I’m going to “spot” treat by dabbing alcohol, using a soft disposable cloth, directly on the insects and wiping them away as I do so.

Dishwashing Liquid

If this does not work I’m going to try the washing up liquid spray.
Dilute 50/50 with water. The theory is the soap suffocates the mealy bug.

I’m not sure if the above will work, but I will report back!

Any other suggestions as to the bugs identity and cures gratefully received!