Quote of the Month

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

~Mirabel Osler

Friday, 28 December 2012

End of Year Finacial Report

End of year finances as follows

Brought Forward                                                                                                   €738.7

December Subscriptions                   70.00
C'mas Raffle                                      41.00
Extra Raffle Prizes                                                 14.95
Cmas Drinks & Tip  @ El Pilon                  `             78.50
Purchase of Club Microphone                                 350.00

Balance Carried Forward to 2013                                                                 406.31

Rose Trees from England for Sale

For the very first time, we are offering you bare-rooted roses from England - hardy teas, floribundas and climbers. I've personally selected these roses for their wonderful perfume, fabulous looks and strength - and they are all repeat flowering, which means they'll go on giving you pleasure almost throughout the year and for many years too! They're romantic and nostalgic - but they're also practically labelled and you'll get something better than you expect! Few plants give you better value for money.

Because we have ordered them in bulk from England, there is no cheaper way to buy them. Prices: H.T.'s and Floribundas at €4.75 each and Climbers/Ramblers at €6 each for a limited period only.
Lorraine Cavanagh, Viveros Florena, Competa, Malaga, Spain.
 Winter hrs: 10 - 4.
 Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Tel:         00 34 689928201
Email:       florenaspain@hotmail.com 
Web Page:  www.viverosflorena.co

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Spanish Pensioners get Allotments

Green scheme for pensioners
HARD-UP pensioners and the jobless are being given free organic allotments to help them grow their own vegetables.
Twenty plots have been earmarked next to the Guadiar river in Casares, to be handed out to over 65s and the unemployed as soon as the land has been prepared.
Recipients will be encouraged to use traditional methods – without chemicals – to grow their produce.

From http://www.theolivepress.online

Christmas Music

Just a reminder of the Christmas concerts taking place in Competa this week.

 The first is Nine Lessons and Carols at 7.00 pm, tomorrow Wednesday in Competa church (the one in the main square).

 ONE VOICE choir will be heading up a singalong session at the Alberdini hotel on Thursday at from 8.00 pm

Last, but not least, ONE VOICE will be joining the former Còmpeta mayor's choir on Saturday, for a multicultural singing event again at the Còmpeta church at 8.00 pm.
 Hope we may see you at one of them!
 Very best wishes,
 Carol and Greg

Monday, 17 December 2012

AGC Christmas Lunch 2012

 Just three photographs taken in the       Blue Room of El Pilon Restaurant 
in Còmpeta on December 11th.

Good food, good wine and good friends.

Happy Christmas to all AGC Members!
We look forward to a fruity and flowery 2013  

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Name this Plant!

We have been given this lovely plant, does anyone know what it is? Robert & Jean

Reply to editor.agc@gmail.com please - we all need to know now!..... won't sleep!

Last Call for Xmas Lunch !!

Thursday 06 December 
is your last chance to advise Cindy - 
( cindyjones19  @  hotmail.com )
if you are joining the 
Garden Club Christmas Lunch  
11 December at El Pilon at 1pm.
Come on!
We want to see you there!

Friday, 30 November 2012

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas....

Our Garden Club Christmas Lunch will be on
 Tuesday, 11th December at 1pm at El Pilon Restaurant, Competa.  
The cost per person will be €15  for a three course table d'hote  to include 1/2 bottle wine.  
There will be a choice of three primeros and three postres and the following segundos;

a)  Pollo al Chilidron   -  chicken stew with peppers, garlic and white wine.

b)  Pez Espada  -  BBQ swordfish with an anchovy and green olive tapenade

c)  Burrito vegetal   -  vegetable burrito with guacamole and rice

Please advise Cindy at cindyjones19 @ hotmail.com if you are joining us 

before Thursday 06 December and at the same time indicate your choice of main course.  You are welcome to invite a family member or friend to join us.   
Thank you

Fruit Trees and Xmas Trees

Our bare-root trees have arrived!

We have apricot, cherry, plums, persimmon, apple (Granny Smith and Starking), quince, pomegranate, peach, donut peach, nectarine, almond and walnut. Also the decorative purple plum, prunus pissardi.
All at €6.50 each - a bargain and perfect planting time.

We now have Christmas trees in stock. 

One size only, 1.5m - 1.75m, rootballed, price €17.50

And we've a delightful range of poinsettias - with a difference - cyclamen, etc. Some are potted to make a lovely gift.

Come and drool over our oranges and pink grapefruits - with fruit - at €35 each.

Lorraine Cavanagh, Viveros Florena, Competa, Malaga, Spain.
 Winter hrs: 10 - 4.
Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Tel:         00 34 689928201
Email:       florenaspain@hotmail.com

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Jigsaw - just to pass the time when it's raining

Picture of an  Aechmea Bromeliad


Use your mouse to complete the jigsaw....soothing 

Lunar Calendars

 I'm about to send for a Lunar Calendar for 2013 (as discussed during the recent presentation by Andrew Sloan)
It costs 7.95 GBP plus postage
Does anyone else want one - if so, we can economise on the postage.

janekirkspain @ gmail.com

Monday, 26 November 2012

Visit to Montes Negros Organic Farm

On Saturday 24th November some members of the Garden Club plus other friends visited Montes Negros Organic Farm near Canillas de Aceituno. 

We all met in the car park of Bar Cruce at El Trapiche prior to the 15 minute drive up the mountains to the 7 acre farm. 

On arrival we were greeted by a huge Scooby dog and several cats. 
The farmhouse was rather rundown but our host, Rachel, was very welcoming and friendly and soon took us down to see the well constructed chicken run and hen house made from recycled pallets. Only one, very healthy, chicken made an appearance; the two others had already put themselves to bed. 
Beyond the chicken coup was another small, furrowed, bed from which potatoes had been recently harvested. 
The land was very stony and unpromising for growing vegetables but hard work has gone into creating a small vegetable bed showing spinach and other produce.
From there we started the walk on steeply sloping ground passing a cement capped well and then on to part of the neighbour's land where there was an impressive primitive 1.5 m round well built entirely of mud and stones and standing some 3m from the ground. 

The braver of the group leaned over the parapet and peered down into the well which was probably dug by hand many years ago. 
From there we got down to the fast flowing river and, those who wore wellingtons, waded upstream. 
We were all delighted to see a wild turtle and, after picking it up to show to the snapping cameras, we then watched it swim and float downstream glad to be away from us.
The return to the farm passed slopes where olives were once planted but the previous owner had ripped them out and replaced them with grapes; none of which had survived leaving a rather barren landscape except for the masses of wild lavender. 

Our walk nearly at an end we passed what could have been taken for an alpine meadow full of almond trees, the ground beneath covered with green clover which is "mown" and fertilized by 4 horses owned by a neighbour.
Then we all enjoyed tea, coffee, and homemade cakes and bread as well as chutneys, jams and relishes on the terrace from where we had hoped to watch the sunset - sadly hidden by cloud that day.   (Carol S.)

A second account of the visit is reproduced after the following photos. Ed
Inge & the Turtle

Follow Me !!

River Walkers
Empty Bed !

Alternative Version received by the Editor.....


A Walk on the Wild Side.....
Well, it must be said that the description provided in the Advertisement for the Organic Farm Visit was an example of Aspirational rather than Factual....
Many AGC members were rather bemused at the entire thing. 

However, there's nothing like a little Adversity to bring out the best in people! 
The old Adage of Keep Calm and Carry On  was well and truly to the forefront as the group set off to stagger up the steep slope and then - (rather like King George's Men) stagger down another steep slope.

One member said he thought they should all have been roped together and he lamented that he had not thought to bring his spiked shoes and pitons.
The answer to the question "Was your Journey Really Necessary?" was a resounding "No!"
Most members had seen 2 or 3 olive trees and a lemon tree before. 

A few had seen locations that had previously been home to vines etc. that had subsequently be grubbed out......
Several had also, in the past,  paused to regard an empty vegetable patch.....
A slight frizzon of excitement was engendered by the appearance of the Single Chicken.

The unexpected appearance of the little wild turtle proved the hit of the afternoon!
Some members returned to their long ago childhoods with a satisfying (if ankle-turning) trip along the river itself....complete with squeals.....
Returning to the Homestead ( that so much Potential.......) we did enjoy a jolly repast.

Driving homewards, we reflected that we had thoroughly enjoyed the company of fellow members (as always) and that, at least we would be in time for Strictly Come Dancing...........

Ready! Steady! GO!

Such Potential

Restorative Victuals

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Having Problems accessing the Webpage for our Blog?

There seems to be a few people who are experiencing problems - either with accessing the Website or in NOT receiving the Emails that I create regularly sending the new Posts and photos etc.

  • Accessing the Website:   Simple <Click> here and go to  www.axarquiagardenclub.blogspot.com   Whilst you are there "Bookmark" the page and then every time you want to visit it - you can either go to your list of Bookmark and <Click> on it OR go to the Search Box at the top of your screen. When you start to type in "axarquiag"   our Website address should pop up and you can give it the old <Click>
  •  Not receiving these regular updates in your email In Box ? First step is to look in your Trash box to see if Google, or whomever, has decided you're too young to receive such communications and blocked anything coming from the Axarquia Garden Club.  Open one of the "banned" emails and the system will ask if you are sure you know what you're doing... before letting you Un-ban me!

  • If none of the above works - email me editor.agc@gmail.com
Anyone who knows a member who is experiencing troubles (ONLY about the Blog!!) tell that person to email me at the address above.

Axarquia: True vintage

 The Axarquia has a long and rich history of wine making
 By Jon Clarke  (published in The Olive Press online)

THE Axarquia was producing top quality wines way before Rioja and Ribero del Duero got into the mix.
Indeed, in 1933 the region became the first in Spain to have its own DO – or denominacion de origin.
But the area can also claim to have one of the longest traditions of wine making in Spain, with vines first being planted by the Phoenicians up to 3,000 years ago.
They were later heralded by the Roman poet Columbella, and back in 1502 the Catholic Monarchs were so keen on the fabulous sweet wines that they took the first known measure to protect the regional wine from imported products.
A century later Malaga wine producers formed a guild, the forerunner of today’s ‘consejos reguladores’ (control boards).
It came about just as the wines started to become fashionable abroad, particularly in the UK from the 17th century.
At the time, there were said to be around 14,000 wine presses in Malaga and – along with Jerez – many British merchants moved to the area.
Evidence of their success can still be found, for example, at Venta Galway, high in the Montes de Malaga hills, named after an Irish merchant who settled there then.
But, as was the case in many European regions, the industry was destroyed by the phylloxera bug that arrived in the late 19th century. It wiped out the vast majority of vineyards and the amount of land under vine dropped from 100,000 hectares at its peak to just 6,000 hectares today; many for raisins or eating grapes.
So the crucial work being undertaken by a number of companies today to make the sweet wines fashionable again is vital as a dynamo for the region.

RHS Photo Winner taken in Spain !

BRITAIN’S Royal Horticultural Society has announced that an image, taken in Spain as the winner of its annual Photographic Competition.
The picture of an olive tree surrounded by tulips was taken by Josie Elias, who scoops up the €1,200 prize money and title of ‘Photographer of the Year’.
“We stumbled on the Iris Garden at Plantas Distintas in Marnes, near Alicante. I was particularly intrigued by the contrast of the gnarled old olive tree and colourful spring flowers,” said Elias.
Competition organiser James Arnold said: “We have had a record number of entries this year, doubling figures from last year.
The judges have been astounded by the extraordinary quality of the images which people have produced from all over the world, it’s simply breathtaking and it was very difficult to choose a winner.” 

(See the picture The Olive Press or Ask Google ! )

Danger to the Fig Industry in Spain

SPANISH farmers are warning that the fig industry could collapse after environment ministers refused to approve the use of a chemical which aids production.
Hydrogen cinnamide is used to protect the crop from adverse weather and is already widely employed in Portugal.
But the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment has blocked its use in Spain, providing only ‘evasive answers’ by way of explanation.
“What we need are politicians able to provide solutions to the problems people are facing,” said Alicante farmers’ union leader Eladio Aniorte.
“There is no other substitute to hydrogen cinnamide and it is vital to get proper development of the fig tree.”

Garden La Palma - helpful advice

Taken from The Olive Press Online -  Garden La Palma

FOR all you fair weather gardeners I suppose you can sit at home and watch it continue to rain and complain that the weeds are growing.
As a commercial grower we have more than just a problem with weeds.
Here in Velez-Malaga we have had 230mm of rain since the weather broke on September 27 and we are now struggling to get new crops planted and the present crops harvested.
Our customers in the UK expect a continuous supply of perfect product from early October until the end of June.
Failure to supply is a severe loss of brownie points.
In the following months articles I will give you an insight into life as a UK supermarket supplier!
My advice for you veggie growers is to be patient until the weather improves and then get stuck in.
At this time of year you can say that nearly all the types of vegetables and some soft fruit can be planted.
Look around and learn from the local growers and get a feel for the do’s and do nots.
For instance DO NOT IGNORE FUNGICIDES as the present wet weather will cause severe plant losses with mildew and botrytis.

As we move indoors and leave the barbies and al fresco dining behind, protect your terrace furniture with weatherproof covers; a selection of which can be found at Garden La Palma.
As this paper goes to print our star plant of the month will begin to show its colours.

The poinsetia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) with its strongly coloured leaves adorns many places from roundabouts to hotel receptions and local bars.
As producers of poinsetia we make plants available in all their different guises.

Christmas is just around the corner so order your Christmas tree now.
We will be taking delivery of trees at the beginning of December and we should have a selection to suit all tastes.
At home we prefer the species that do not drop their needles and tend to be more bushy.

Lastly on a more lighter note;if at any time any one would like to see behind the scenes and experience some of our commercial operation ask for me in the Garden centre and a visit can be arranged.
Until next month just keep pressing your olives.

(Maybe our President can arrange for the Club Members to see Behind the Scenes..? )

Thursday, 15 November 2012

AGC November 2012 Meeting - photo album

Cindy - probably demanding money with menaces (subscriptions due now!)

                                                  Andrew Sloan - our guest speaker

Views of the new planting 
of drought tolerant plants

Note the wide spacing between the planets - 
allowing them to achieve their natural size 
without the need to transplant

                                                    The use of rocks & stones            
                                                    enhances to natural beauty 
                                                     of the growing plants

Aloes come in all colours, shapes and sizes,
from trees to this delicate, slender beauty

                                        Andrew became an expert
                                        propagator of seeds by following
                                         the well worn path of Trial & Error!

A full report of the fascinating presentation is to be found below.........

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

AGC November Presentaton : A Report

Tuesday November 13th
Presentation on Aloes, Agaves, Succulents and other drought tolerant plants 

by Andrew Sloan

This was one of the most articulate presentations I’ve heard in many a year. The fluency of the descriptions was reinforced by the lovely photos that were displayed on the white screen in timely fashion by Andrew’s lovely wife, Margarita.

Andrew &  Margarita have lived amongst 2 acres in Alhaurin El Grande for 15 years and their garden had developed like most of our gardens – bit  of this here; couple of those there; some of those a friend brought round over there and all these here that we “liberated” from friends’ gardens….. The contents of one’s garden can often tell the story of our time here in Spain.

They followed that excellent advice to install the irrigation before planting the gardens, thus ensuring minimum disruption to young plants.
The growing realisation that they needed to husband their water supply for the sake of the purse and the state of the planet, meant that they decided to remove thirsty plants and redesign their gardens so that they held drought resistant plants.
Andrew conceived a passion for Aloes and has rapidly become an expert – through his reading, Internet research, travels and conversations with people all over the world. 

He freely admits that he learned more from his mistakes than from his research (like all of us).
He is active on Facebook where there are different groups for various types of plants, all called Planet.... He especially likes Planet Aloe & Planet Agave where he interacts with and receives advice from other members especially from California and South Africa.

(He also emphasised how useful the MGS forum on the internet has been for him. 
The MGS is much more than a very interesting journal every 3 months  Mediterranean Garden Society) 
Andrew's  photos told the graphic story of the replanting.

A trip to the gardens of Israel proved most informative as did visits closer to home – the Cacti Gardens in Casarabonela (which AGC members visited earlier this year) and Parque La Paloma in Benalmadena.
La Paloma hosts a 2-3 day Fair each July when one can buy specimens from as little a €2.50. 

(I see an AGC “Jolly” coming up….)

We were given many a handy tip on propagating and nurturing the plants – such as:-
•    To create a “water basin” around and under each new plant so that one could pour in 20 litres of water that would slowly seep down into the earth – making a moist path for the roots.
•    To use a sterilised medium into which to plant the seeds. He would microwave or cook the growing medium in the oven for 50 mins at 325 degrees F.
•    Seeds are inexpensive and available on line from www.koehres-kaktus.com
      & www.made-in-afrika/com )
•    Whatever one does, the importance of ensuring that the soil is well drained (add river sand) and that one knows which areas are alkaline and which are acid.
•    Aloes don’t like to be in large pots – 6” (15cm) is the maximum for young plants
•    Recommended is a book called The Dry Gardening Handbook (which can be found in the AGC Library! ) 

Whilst awaiting your turn to read it – visit the author’s website www.jardin-sec.com
•    One of the really valuable elements of the book cited above is the Drought Resistance Code Number attached to the description of each plant. Andrew aims for those with the designation from 4 to 6 – this is roughly equivalent to the number of months the plant can survive without water.

We then diversified

Learning about the 114 Olive trees on their land. 
The enjoyment they get when friends come round to help with the harvest and go away with a litre of the golden elixir of life!
All of Andrew's olives are hand harvested and his trees are not battered like so many are around the Cómpeta region.
Andrew emphasised the importance of bi-annual pruning so that (in the Spanish way) a bird can always fly through the branches in any direction…
One can judge the age of an olive tree by its girth. If a man can just  put both arms around the trunk – it is probably a hundred years old.
Many of Andrew’s trees required four people to cuddle them!

Some of the precious plants in their garden were attacked and eaten by the wild rabbits. 

They were advised to collect human hair (preferable that which the hairdresser had cut off and saved for the purpose.)
Andrew obtained some old tights from Margarita and stuffed in the hair. 

“Sausages” of these were placed around those particularly precious plants and the depredation halted!
The Members where then treated to a refinement on this strategy when we explained that wild boars can be kept off one's property (even the vegetable garden) by a man urinating on the aforementioned bags of hair! ................ It works even without the aid of the hair bags.
(Indeed, so efficient is the production of Brian that this writer's garden has never endured a single porcine trespass!)

Andrew had introduced the concept of Lunar Planting and Gardening – first described by Rudolph Steiner and a system adopted by almost every older village gardener, presumably handed down through many generations.
The moon’s cycle of 28 days – waxing, full moon and then waning – affects the cycle of plants. Different stages of the moon exerting a force on a different part of the plant – some days are good for the growth of leaves; others for roots. Some days are beneficial to fruits, others to  flowers. 

 It is possible to buy the Lunar Calendar. Andrew had the Spanish version Lunario 2012 (www.lunario.es).
An AGC member, Gill, buys her English version (complete with wall chart )  off the Internet. http://www.lunarorganics.com/

We all agreed that Andrew should come back in five years time and bring a new set of photos showing the development of his gardens. 

(He originally thought ten years would really show the maturity of the landscape but we felt that 10 years was likely to outrun the “maturity” of some of the members…..)

The morning certainly proved fascinating and was marred only by Cindy demanding money for the annual subscription – albeit without menaces!

Membership Subscriptions due now. €10 each
Contact Cindy
cindyjones19 @ hotmail.com

Financial Report from our Treasurer

Financial Update

Brought  Forward                          --------                             534.76

Beth Chatto Library Book                                    21.00

Andrew Sloan expenses: dinner & petrol           50.00

Raffle                                         13.00
Plant Money                              12.00
Subscriptions                           250.00

Carried Forward                                                                 €738.76

 Although the club funds look "high" at the moment, I have yet to pay out for the recently purchased club microphone.

Viveros Florena Offer

From 13th to 17th November inclusive 20% reduction on all ornamental trees.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

AGC Members Visiting Montes Negros. Programme

 Montes Negros, near Canillas de Aceituno on Saturday 24th November at 4p.m, meeting point El Bar Cruce, Trapiche.
 The visit starts with a 50 minute walk ( of medium difficulty )around the organic farm and the river followed by tea and cake on the terrace whilst watching the sunset. 

We advise you wear closed, comfortable walking shoes and a stick is useful in a few areas.

The menu, based on seasonal produce, will be Marmalade Cake, Almond and Orange Cake, Scones and jam and fresh bread with cheese, pickles and chutneys, plus tea, coffee and infusions. 
Everything is made using our own home produced organic ingredients. 
The afternoon costs €5 per person.
 All of our products are available to buy directly as well. 

We also have a range of organic staples such as flour, pulse, rices etc.

To reserve your place, please tell Carol 
Rachel writes - send me an e-mail to mercadobiologicolavinuela@gmail.com  with your name, e-mail and mobile number
ring Rachel on 655 987 105

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Tour of Monte Negros Organic Farm

Carol has spoken to Rachael from  
The Monte Negros Organic Farm 
about our Club members taking the tour 
on Saturday, 24th Nov.  
(The 11th is fully booked)
 Obviously,  these tours are proving to be very popular !
Please let Carol know, as soon as possible, if you would like to go. 
Cost per person €5. 
The farm owner, Rachael, can take groups of a max. 15 people -  
so first come first served !

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Announcement of the AGC Annual Meeting

The next meeting will be held at  
11.00 am on Tuesday 13th November 
at the Centro Ocio Cómpeta  
(next to the doctor's surgery) . 
 We have invited  
Andrew Sloan of the Mediterranean Garden Society 
to give us a talk.  

Andrew lives in the Alhaurin area and his specialist subject is Aloes.  
He wrote a very interesting article on these and related topics in the most recent Med. Garden Soc. booklet.  

For those of you who may be interested in finding out more about his article you can find this on the MGS website.  

Alternatively, all the publications are in the Club library which Greg brings along to most meetings and you are very welcome to borrow them.  
Despite their stuffy appearance the booklets contain interesting reading very relevant to our area. 

I hope there will be a full turn out at the meeting so please feel free to bring along any friends who may be interested.
Come laden down with your Subscription Money......
Best regards,

Organic Farm Visit

This announcement appeared earlier in the Blog. but is still relevant.
If anyone is interested please contact Carol or Cindy - if we cannot make the Nov 11th  or 24th dates, they may be able to arrange an alternative date for all AGC members. 
Sounds Yummy!

 Visit to Montes Negros organic farm near Canillas de Aceituno. 
Guided walk followed by tea and cake.
Join us on our farm on Sunday 11th November or Saturday 24th November at 4p.m., meeting point El Bar Cruce Trapiche.
The visit starts with a 50 minute walk around the farm and river followed by tea and cake on the terrace whilst watching the sunset.
The menu, based on seasonal produce will be Fig, Rosemary and Honey Cake, Almond and Orange Cake, Scones and jam and fresh bread with cheese, pickles and chutneys, plus tea, coffee and infusions. 

Everything is made using our own home produced organic ingredients and the afternoon costs 5 euros per person.
All of our products are available to buy directly as well.

(To reserve your place, please send me an e-mail directly to 
mercadobiologicolavinuela at gmail dot com with your name, e-mail and mobile number, or ring me directly on 655 987 105 and ask for Rachael. )

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Viveros Florena - the only place for Water Retentive

Water Retentive Products – 50% Reduction on Irrigation and Organic Too!

Bio Humus
: A substrate composed of 90% organic material and 10% natural silicates with a very high natural mineral content. It enhances the long-term growth of the roots and allows the plant to absorb 90% of the water given by irrigation/rain, reducing losses by evaporation and rapid absorption into hot, dry ground.
At the same time it channels better absorption of nutrients.

 It is extremely beneficial in dry soils, nutrient poor soils, and in desert-like climates. It even enables growth in saline conditions.
Bio Humus is applied once only for new plantings. Dry,  it resembles dark compost and becomes gel-like when wet.
It is sediment extracted from glacial lakes, formed over thousands of years by the decomposition of algae, plankton and reeds and has extraordinary water retentive properties.
These same lakes are silting up because of an abundance of the material, so removing it is, in fact, beneficial to the environment and gives us gardeners a remarkable material too.
Where dredging has taken place, native fish are returned to the new increased depth of water to restore the natural balance.
It is available in 25 litre sacks which will retail at €25, sufficient for planting 12 trees; thus approx. €2 a tree – a one-off application that will carry on functioning in the soil for up to 10 years. The saving in irrigation is generally 50%. Work it out!
This important product is currently in use on mango trees in the south of Spain.

Humate Extract: a 100% organic liquid concentrate derived from Bio Humus.

It stimulates the development of beneficial fungi and root growth to such an extent that the plants become much more self-sufficient.
It can be applied to new/existing plantings either by foliar spray or through radicular irrigation. 

It complements Bio-Humus.
It is available in 2 litre pots, priced at €70 but – wait for this – the dilution rate is 1:1000 applied by foliar spray or 1:10,000 in the irrigation system. 

It will achieve results at least as good as those of chemical fertilisers but at much less cost and no contamination of crops or soil.
It need only be applied once a month.

Mycor Glomus
: 100% organic material based on six strains of fungi.
These fungi live on the roots of plants forming a symbiotic relationship, one that is mutually beneficial; if the plant thrives, the fungi thrive so they look after each other. 

They have been shown to increase root growth up to seven times, thus reducing the watering and feeding requirements significantly.
The huge increase in root growth makes this product eminently suitable for anti-erosion plantings and ground stabilising.
It comes in a powder form to be sprinkled onto the roots before planting or it can be injected, in paste form, into the roots of existing plantings.
It is available in 2 litre pots, priced at €70; apply 40 ml. per tree.

We are the only local stockist of these important ecological products.
Call and have a chat with us if you’d like more details.

Lorraine Cavanagh, 

Viveros Florena, Competa, Malaga, Spain.
Winter hrs: 10 - 4. 

Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Tel:     00 34 689928201
Email:  florenaspain@hotmail.com
Author of Mediterranean Garden Plants.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Gravel Garden in the AGC Library

During our September meeting, when Carol gave an interesting talk on irrigation. 
She made several references to the Beth Chatto book on her Gravel Garden.
This book is now in our garden club library, please see our librarian Greg at our next meeting.

November for Annual Subs

  November is Subscription Month!

Make Cindy, our Treasurer happy!!

Please remember to bring your renewal money to the AGC Meeting in November
(venue to be announced)

October Accounts

Brought Forward                                                                                         €582.76

October Raffle    (Income)                                  €12.00

Entrance fee to Gib Botanical Gardens  (Expenditure)        €60.00

Balance Carried Forward                                                                               €534.76

More photos of the Working Party of the Year

Some photographs of the Garden Club Working Party building the steps at Linda Innes's finca.  

Five members, Carol, Greg, Cindy, Graham and Hugh together with two extra helpers, Tom Robinson and Terry built 19 steps in Linda's garden.   A great mornings work :-

Sunday, 14 October 2012

THIS is why the Axarquia Garden Club is SO GOOD!

I would like to thank the members of the gardening club for the offers of help when I initially asked for assistance with a project (building wooden steps) that Con could not manage; and to those who were able to come along this morning.
In no time due to the equipment, man and lady power things were taking shape....and by lunch time the job was done. 
Many thanks and fondest regards,

Friday, 12 October 2012

October Visit : Report

We were pleased to be able to hold this month's meeting at Viveros Florena, with Lorraine giving us a very informative and interesting talk on growing and maintaining citrus trees.
 She had 3 specimens - a 2 year old, 5 year old and an 8 year old tree to show us.  

All trees are grafted.  

The 2-year old orange tree (about 1m tall in its pot) - she advised not to let the plant fruit for the first two years to allow the tree to grow in structure and strength.  
The 8 year old tree needed to have its centre stem reduced in size to encourage side branching.  
The older trees can be allowed to fruit and must be pruned after fruiting to allow light and air to get into the centre branches of the tree; the plant only produces fruit if the sun can get to the branches.  
Citrus trees do best in full sun and fruiting can be limited if grown in some shade.  

To improve the quality of the fruit you can remove some fruit.  
Sometimes the trees do this naturally but after natural shedding there may still be too many fruits and these should be removed.

 Leaf miner insects can burrow into the soft young leaf growth but, unless the tree is more than 25% infested, these insects do not damage the trees nor limit fruiting.  

Scale insects cause a different problem but systemic insecticides are expensive and commercial growers don't use them.  
If ants are present in great numbers around the tree, this is an indication of scale insect infestation as the ants "milk" the honeydew and also attack the natural predators of the scale insect.   Deterring ants with ant powder or sticky bands round tree trunks will help alleviate the problem and a weekly Neem spray, which is a natural preventative, will help with against both pest and disease. 
Citrus trees, in the ground, need feeding with a balanced fertiliser (not too much nitrogen which produces soft leafy growth) every 6 weeks.  

Those in pots need feeding monthly.   
Though citrus trees are quite drought tolerant they do require twice weekly, deep watering during the summer and continuing into the winter if there is little rainfall.
 Good news for those living at least 600m above sea level:  they will flower and fruit.
 The meeting ended with coffee and home made cakes plus plenty of discussion.
Best wishes,

News from Viveros Florena

Special Offer!
From 13th to 19th October,
inclusive, all our climbers will be discounted by 10%.
Keep looking - we'll have special offers every month.

Lorraine Cavanagh, Viveros Florena, Competa, Malaga, Spain.
Horas de verano:    9 - 2. Summer hrs: 9 - 2.
Horas de invierno: 10 - 4. Winter hrs: 10 - 4.
Cerrado los domingos y los lunes. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Tel:     00 34 689928201

We are open normal hours over the holiday weekend - so Friday and Saturday open 10am - 4pm and closed on Sunday and Monday, as always.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Help with Avocado Cultivation please

Hello - Please kindly put this question into the forum thanks: 
Avocado watering needs ?
Hello all - I have a question regarding how much water is needed/best for growing avocados Here on the Andalusian Southcoast (Competa)
We have a small plot of land with about 100 mature trees and plenty of  agricultural water for them -  But am in doubt just HOW much water the trees need month by month during the year.
Right now each tree has 6 pieces of drip-jets each jet giving 4 Liter/Hourly.
Have been talking to an agrarian and he said (with our system) to water 3 hours every day in July/August - It translates then to 6 x 4 x 100 x 3 = 7200 liter each day which I find a bit excessive even for the 2 hottest month's ?

 (Sept/Oct he said - 2 hours every day )      
 I simply find it too much - But what do I know....?
I will be glad for any information regarding water-needs/quantities/month

Kind regards Erik - email:   edcprivat at gmail.com 
(no ending e in privat as we are Danish :-)
Also - copy to editoragc@gmail.com please

Monday, 17 September 2012

AGC Meeting Tuesday September 12th 2012

Carol Starr

I thought a good topic for discussion this month would be Irrigation because I think we’ve suffered the hottest, driest summer since we arrived nearly 9 years’ ago. 

Our own vegetable production has been a wash out (excuse the pun) and my usual method of sprinkler irrigation rotated round the garden beds at approx 3 weekly intervals has managed to keep plants alive but certainly not thriving. 
Even the prostrate Rosemary - the one plant that could be relied on to give green cover through the summer - has gone yellow because there wasn’t enough rain thru’ the winter.
When we first got here - I had a vision of creating a luscious, green oasis using plants adapted through millenia to cope with the sub-tropical climate. 

I felt quite strongly against using precious and environmentally costly water resources in our arid climate and was convinced that using the right plants in the right place etc. would produce the garden I wanted.
I was inspired to think this might be possible from visiting the now world famous Beth Chatto gardens in East Chelmsford, Essex, the driest part of the UK, and by reading her book. 

She started her ¾ acre Gravel Garden on her former car park as an experiment to see if the SPECIES Mediterranean plants she planted would survive without irrigation, relying totally on annual rainfall.
After the first year her resolve not to water NEARLY collapsed - but she desisted and the results have been astounding. (see book)
The soil she began with loosely resembles the type of soil most of us have to contend with - very stony, limited topsoil and very free draining - precisely the conditions that med. plants prefer.
What she did:-
Average of 20” of rain a year - temps up to 30degC
Plants from Mediterranean area
Planting method:-
Ample watering in after planting and then relying only on rainfall
Ample mulching - gravel and straw in 2nd year - emergent weeds hoed out in first year.

Armed and enthused, though not naive enough to think similar planting techniques could cope with OUR CONDITIONS without any additional water thru’ the summer, I decided not to install irrigation but to use a sprinkler moved around the garden at 2-3 weekly intervals.
I was also further encouraged in my beliefs by reading. 

Heidi Gildermeister’s Mediterranean Garden - a Waterwise Approach - Majorca.
Again, emphasis on soil preparation
Rainfall from 8“ to 40“ a year
Drought tolerant plants from Mediterranean basin
Provision of shade
Use of paths and placement of large boulders for plant roots to tap into trapped moisture

 Olivier Filippi’s book The Dry Garden Handbook. South of France.
This book further confirmed my beliefs though his approach is largely what the farmers do here - trenching.
Again, emphasis on soil preparation
Mediterranean plants - the right plant in the right place.
He suggests planting in 24” dia wide and 8” deep craters/basins to hold, as a rule of thumb, 20-30 litres/plant given at 10-14 day intervals for up to 2 years until plants are well enough established to cope
Water must get down beyond the bottom of the root ball so that the roots go down in search of water rather than stay at the top of the soil thereby making them susceptible to drying out.
Therefore, the message is that deep, infrequent watering, following best-practice planting - is better than a little water delivered frequently. 

Since we can’t all plant the Olivier Filippi way - we haven‘t all got the space and who wants to see craters or basins (but I’m convinced this method would work) around their gardens for up to 2 years? 

And what about if you change your mind and want to add or subtract planting? 
Incidentally he further advocates that plants are propagated and grown using long, ridged pots where their roots are encouraged to go down rather than coil round the pot as they grow.

Carol has compiled a list of drought tolerant plants. Please contact her and she will email it to you. Ed

Financial Report September 12th 2012

Financials Report September 12th 2012

Brought Forward                                                                             725.58
August Summer picnic; Music, Wine and Water       172.82
Subscription                                    10.00
Plant Raffle                                     20.00

Carried Forward                                                                             582.76

Friday, 7 September 2012

AGC September Meeting

Just to let you know that the next Garden Club meeting will be held on Tuesday 11th September at 11.00 am in the Centro de Ocio, Competa.  
The theme of the meeting will be Irrigation.   This year has proved particularly testing for all of us and I hope to promote a discussion on how our plants have survived and what techniques we have used, bearing in mind the cost of water and restrictions on its use. 
 I will also illustrate and produce a list of plants that have survived and flowered in our garden throughout the hottest period of this year, despite the drought.  
I hope to hear as many of your comments as possible.
Very best wishes, and hope to see you at 11am on the 11th

Botanical Gardens in Gibraltar

Reminder for October visit to Botanical Gardens, Gibraltar.
A gentle reminder to everyone; if you are interested in visiting the beautiful
 Botanical Gardens in Gibraltar on Friday 12th October 
you need to email cindyjones19 (@) hotmail.com
                            Full details were advised in our Garden Club Blog of 26 August.

World's Biggest Coffee Morning

You are probably aware of the magnificent work that MacMillan Cancer Support provide in the UK.
Every year, throughout the world they ask companies, clubs, groups and societies to support them with “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning” fundraising event.  
Last year the day, in its 20th year rose over £10million.
This year you have the opportunity to support the event, here in Competa on a slightly different idea as the funds will be split 50/50 between MacMillan Cancer Support and Cudeca.
I hope you can join me and help raise funds for these two charities on;-
                                    FRIDAY,  28th  SEPTEMBER
                               SALON de ACTOS    -  11am

For just €4 per person to include tea/coffee with a free refill and homemade (hopefully delicious!!) cake.
RSVP  cindyjones19 (@) hotmail.com   or telephone  665156467.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Cindy Jones

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Opportunity to Visit Gibraltar's Botanical Gardens

It was disappointing that we did not have enough members interested to run our own private tour to visit the beautiful botanical gardens in Gibraltar during June.  
However, it is now possible to go on Friday 12th October.
The Phoenix Club in Torre del Mar run monthly bus tours from Algarrobo Costa to Gibraltar for the bargain price of e10 return!!! 
The Phoenix club run a cash raffle on board and a collection for the driver but neither of these is obligatory.  
The bus departs from Lidl's carpark at 08.30am and returns from 
Morrison's carpark at 16.30.  
You will need to make your own arrangements from the border to the Botanical Gardens, either by taxi, approx cost £5 for 4 persons or take a free bus.   
The Garden Club will pay for the entrance fee and tour of the Botanical Gardens.
You must take your passports!
If you are interested in going on 12 October, 
please email cindyjones19 @ hotmail . com
 and pay €10 to Cindy at our next club meeting on Tuesday, 11 September.
Thank you

Thursday, 16 August 2012

AGC Annual Summer Picnic

Like all AGC occasions, the Picnic was a resounding Success!
There were the correct ingredients of course - 
a lovely venue in a wonderful garden; super hosts; lots of great AGC friends; a plenitude of excellent food and ....... a few drinks.
Geoff Murrell (plus dog) entertained us all evening. There was even a cameo appearance by Tom.
The evidential material is published here -

Special Birthday celebrated

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Hot Weather Gardening Tips

Ready for the heat in Spain - Tips on how to cope in the garden


AGC Annual August Picnic

 Linda and Chris confirm they're holding the picnic party on 14th August.
Their home & garden make a perfect picnic venue and they're excellent hosts. 
The picnic-party will begin at 7pm
Geoff Murrell will be providing the music

 Everyone to bring along their own drinks and a plate of picnic food to share on the table.

Chris and Linda live in the campo, so an address is difficult.  
For those who don't already know where it is, take the road past Portichuello, pass "Park Lane" and continue uphill until the road branches.    
There will be garden club logos marking the way to Chris's and Linda's which is at the bottom of a 1 mile track.
ICarol will not be organising a convoy from VdP as Chris will be ferrying people from the top of his track - there is a convenient spot on which people can park their cars as well as ample parking at their house for those who want to drive down.

If you wish to  have accurate details of the address provided by Chris and Linda - please email janekirkspain@gmail.com
I am not putting those detailed direction on our website - for obvious reasons.

IVA rise for Club Members

Expect to pay 21% IVA on flowers, ornamental living plants, seeds, bulbs and cuttings.

Sale of plants at Viveros Florena

Would you please advise your club members that our sale starts 24 July until 28 July and then we are closed for the month of August.
50% off nearly all plants..

Lorraine Cavanagh, Viveros Florena, Competa, Malaga, Spain.
Horas de verano:    9 - 2. Summer hrs: 9 - 2.
Cerrado los domingos y los lunes. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Tel:     00 34 689928201
Email:  florenaspain@hotmail.com 
Author of Mediterranean Garden Plants.
Facebook - Lorraine Cavanagh's Garden Centre.