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

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Oasis de Capistrano Visit May 2012

Who could have dreamed that such an "Oasis" was hidden in the corner of a busy seaside town?
Residents are free to roam through these gardens all the time! Heavenly

Friday, 4 May 2012

Visit to Oasis de Capistrano

This month's visit will make quite a change for us. Jill and Ian Caldwell have recently bought an apartment on the coast and would like to host this month's visit to Oasis de Capistrano, Nerja. Instead of looking at the individual gardens of dedicated owners we will have a chance to see the results and ask advice from the 8 professional gardeners who maintain this lovely urbanisation in Nerja. 
There are, among other things, grass, pools and palms and I hope you can all come along.

For those who want to make their own way to Nerja, please see Ian's instructions sent as part of Carol's email to all members. Otherwise, please meet at 10.00 am at the Mirador (near Venta de Palma/Portichuello) where we can organise car and petrol sharing and go in convoy.

ALL DRIVERS: please note that you will need to remember to turn on your lights and observe the strict speeding limits in the tunnels otherwise you will receive a fine.

Best wishes and see you on Tuesday next,  

Gibraltar Trip Cancelled

Sadly, due to lack of response, we have to cancel the visit to Gibraltar to the Botanical Gardens, Sorry, Cindy

Accounts at end of April 2012

Here is the financial update as at today for the blog. 

Brought Forward €735.53 

Club Membership to Mediterranean Garden Club €40.00 

Translation Fee for Joan re February meeting €30.00 

April Plant Sales (a record thanks to Jill) €22.58 

April Raffle tickets €26.00 

April - 2 new members subscriptions €20.00

New Total carried Forward €734.11 

Thank you, Cindy, Treasurer.

Lady in Distress

I have a ongoing supply of quality horse manure. 
The horse has a bed made of rice husks which are totally natural and degrade well. 
I also put in all vegetable kitchen waste. 
There is very little straw in the mix. We have three separate bins each of which takes about 5 weeks to fill, so the oldest is usually around 3 months old. 
It needs to be collected in sacks which you must provide. 
Please get in touch if you would like to collect some of this "black gold" which is excellent for enriching soil and as a mulch for garden plants and around landscaping. 

Please contact me at magwood(at)live(dot)com or 697 679 656 Maggie

Fruit in Bags

Many thanks to Birgit for sharing this with us. You can, of course, copy and paste the text into a Translation program if your Spanish in rusty.

A friend sent me this link. It is in Spanish, but with many photos:

regards Birgit

A Subversive Garden

There is a website called www.TED.com which offers fascinating mini lectures on thousands of subjects. 
The link below will take you to the one I've chosen this month. 
You will need to turn up the sound and spend about 8 minutes enjoying this....

My Subversive (Garden) Plot

May 2012 Quiz

The May Quiz

1. How can you keep an area of soil weed-free, without digging? 

a) Cut the tops of the weeds off with scissors, to prevent them from seeding 

b) Cover the soil with a light-excluding mulch or mulch-fabric 

c) Ignore the weeds and they will eventually go away

2. When a gardener makes a 'drill' what is he/she making? 

a) A machine to make holes in the ground 

b) A shallow trench in which to sow seeds 

c) A loud noise to scare away birds

3. A 'kumquat' is a small Japanese variety of what sort of fruit?

a) Citrus 

b) Plum 

c) Pineapple

4. Harry Wheatcroft was a renowned breeder of which type of plant?

a) Fuchsias 

b) Begonias 

c) Roses

5. Name the evergreen hedging conifer that has created many a neighbourly dispute?

a) The British Leyland cedar 

b) The Leyland cypress 

c) The Lakeland cupressus

6. What is the Latin name for the Rowan Tree? 

a) Sorbus 

b) Malus 

c) Prunus

7. On what would you use the spray containing the chemical 'Glyphosate'? 

a) Persistent weeds 

b) Greenfly, blackfly and whitefly 

c) Black spot of roses

8. What is the popular name for the Antirrhinum? 

a) Snake-bark maple 

b) Snapdragon 

c) Dog's tooth violet

9. Who, or what, is Müller-Thurgau? 

a) A botanist from Victorian Bavaria 

b) A variety of grape 

c) A summer pudding using raspberries and yoghurt

10. In garden design terms, what is a Ha-Ha?

a) A ditch forming a boundary but not obscuring a view 

b) An area of the garden using mirrors or other illusions 

c) An arbour or other secluded seating area


1. South Africa

2. Alpines

3. Bulbous

4. Aloe Vera

5. Planting seeds

6. Succulents

7. Western Brassicas

8. Slugs and snails

9. Frost

10. Weed

The Millenium Seed Bank

Great to think that this exists.....


Organic Seeds

 According to the Horticultural Trades Association half of garden owners intended to grow food in their gardens last year, 12 per cent of those first timers.

The obvious starting point for most gardeners are seeds, which are both more plentiful and cheaper than investing in seedlings. But, for a truly green garden, you need organic seeds and sourcing them isn’t as easy as you’d think. Many seeds on sale don’t match up to the organic standards on soil quality, while others are contaminated with GM materials.

‘The best seed goes into organic packets as you cannot get away with any defects,’ says the Soil Association's Ben Ruskin. ‘The slightly second rate seeds can be treated and then sold as non-organic, although not all seed companies do this. Seeds that have been produced in organic systems, should be more suited to organic production.’

So if you’re planning a patriotic flowerbed to mark the Jubilee or Olympics, or digging your way towards the good life, you need a seed supplier you can trust.

The Ecologist Magazine has done the hard work for you and rounded up the eco-friendly companies that offer seeds that result in truly green fresh produce.
Real Seeds

With a great selection of vegetable seeds on offer, a blog and handy hints for beginners, Real Seeds is a one-stop-shop for allotment owners. All seeds are chosen based on what tastes good so don’t expect to find flavourless hybrids.  The company also won the ‘Best Seed Company’ gong in the 2011 Horticulture Channel Awards, and were rated an ‘Ethical Best Buy’ by Ethical Consumer Magazine.

Find out more: www.realseeds.co.uk

The Organic Gardening Catalogue

Supplying a range of seeds and produce including vegetables, herbs and flowers The Organic Gardening Catalogue is a joint venture between Garden Organic (HDRA) ‘Europe’s leading organic gardening organisation’ and Chase Organics based in Horsham, Surrey. With over 50 years of experience, Chase produce all their seed organically with no chemicals used before or after harvest. They were voted ‘Best Mail Order Gardening Company’ by readers of Grow Your Own magazine last year.

Find out more: www.organiccatalog.com