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






Wednesday, 19 February 2014

February Visit to the Gardens of Elsebeth

Last Tuesday the Club visited the garden of one our our members, Elsebeth, who has a campo garden of some 6 hectares between Competa and Sayalonga.

The recent high winds and rain held off and the sun came out while members drifted into several groups to visit various parts of the garden.

Elsebeth and her late husband have gardened there for over 25 years and the now mature orchards, carpeted beneath with wild alyssum and other small flowering plants, were laden with citrus trees and avocadoes.

 Elsebeth is a dedicated gardener who, she told us, smuggled cuttings from the vanilla plant flown across continents before before arriving in her conservatory.   They grew so well that they had to be found a new home.  So last year she imported an aluminium greenhouse from Denmark in which to house these delicate plants.  So far the plants in the greenhouse are learning to settle into their new environment but the mother plant in the conservatory has, at last, produced bean pods.   When these pods begin to flower they need to be hand-pollinated - and there are only 12 hours in which to do so with special tools (in Elsebeth's case dentists' tools).   In the wild the plants are pollinated by the Melipona bee.   The plant was first discovered by conquistador Herman Cortes in 1520 but attempts at propagating the plant failed until, in 1841 a slave, Edmond Albias, who lived on the French island of Reunion, discovered the method of hand pollination.  Due to these labour-intensive methods vanilla is the second most expensive plant in the world after saffron.

Some of us ventured into the "pine forest" where the pine needles were deep as drifted snow and the air filled with scent.    Under construction is a circular "fire pit" primarily for burning garden debris but doubling as an architectural feature in its own right.   The garden is definitely worth a further visit if for no other reason than to see her hundreds of roses in bloom.






After the tour we all enjoyed tea, coffee and Elsebeth's home made cakes in the conservatory and also had the chance to tour her beautiful and interesting antique filled house.

I think all members left the meeting impressed and inspired by both Elsebeth and her surroundings.

We we were pleased to welcome two new members, Louise and Doug.   ...................... won the raffle prize. 

Thanks too to Chris and Linda who brought produce from their garden and to Gill Jordan and Brian Kirk who brought along some plants for the plant sale.


Mosiaculture

(In case you missed this item in Digame!.....)
Once every three years, there is an international competition in horticultural sculpture, called "mosaiculture," in a major city in the world. 
This year it is Montreal . 
This is not topiary but rather creating sculptures out of living plants. 
The greatest horticulturalists in the world, from 20 different countries, submitted plans a year in advance.  Steel armatures were then created to support the works (some 40 feet high); they were then wrapped in steel mesh and filled with dirt and moss and watering hoses.
Then they ordered 3 million plants of different shades of green and brown and tan, and these were grown in greenhouses all over Quebec . 
In late May, these horticulturalists came to Montreal and planted all of their plants in the forms at the Montreal Botanic Gardens, and they have been standing for three months now. 
There were 50 major sculptures along a path two miles long. 
They were incredible. 
If you would like to visit a few and walk along the path  click on                                                     http://myvirtualgarden2.blogspot.com/2013/09/mosaiculture-exhibition.html

AGC Financial Update as at 11 February, 2014.

Brought Forward                                                                                                 713.51
February Subscriptions                    40.00
February Raffle                                22.00
February Plant Sales                        15.78
Annual Membership to Mediterranean Garden Society      40.00

Carried Forward                                                                                                 751.29

Thank you to everyone who brought along surplus produce and plants for sale at our meeting. 
A great collection of €15.78!!!!

During early 2013, Carol gave an excellent presentation on Garden Design and recommended some books on the subject.
Two of these books are now in our Garden Club Library;
  • Gardens are for People            -    Thomas D Church     &
  • The Education of a Gardener   -   Russell Page

Please see Greg to borrow them.
Cindy

Monday, 10 February 2014

Where am I ?

The Starr GPS equipment has re-calibrated our directions to the lovely garden of Elsebeth on Tuesday.
Clear your memory banks of all previous Roue-Finding information and go for the simple option:-
  • From Competa/Archez: take the road to Sayalonga and look out for the 4Km sign.  Elsebeth's house is on the left just BEFORE the sign.
  • From Sayalonga: Elsebeth's house is on the right just BEYOND the 4Km sign.
  • We will put up signposts and someone will be at the bottom of Elsebeth's drive to direct people.  Carol and Greg.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Directions - Corrections



Thanks to several AGC Members and to Elsebeth - here are the revised routes.
There will be a special prize for everyone who gets there (see blow)
 
Directions: for those coming from Archez
follow road to Archez Cruz and take the turning to Sayalonga.   
The road has 2 sharp, right hand bends followed by a Z bend.   
Follow on to the next left hand bend and road becomes almost straight.  
About 200m from this last bend you will see a concrete driveway to the left.  Go up this drive to be shown where to park. 

Those coming from Competa
take the Sayalonga road and follow to Archez Cruz  - 
see directions above.   

For those coming from Sayalonga - 
go past the track on the right to Bodega Bentomiz and the road straightens to a bend to the left.  
Follow on to the next right hand bend where the road straightens.  
About 300m from this right hand bend you will see a concrete drive on the right.  
Go up this drive to be shown where to park.

Looking forward to seeing you all again,
Greg

(Special Prize ? - Seeing all your other AGC friends! What more could you want!)

Pond Plants Coming



As we have fed The Heron, given away the survivors and removed the pond…. 
There will be a few Pond Plants available on Tuesday.
Just find Brian 
(not easily lost…. X)

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

AGC February Visit

Elsebeth has kindly invited us to see her garden next Tuesday, 11th February
We hope that as many of you as possible can come along as this is a very relaxed and interesting garden full of incident with lots of mature fruit, nut and flowering trees. 
This campo garden is large and sloping and you will need to wear sturdy shoes. 
Of especial interest is the new, aluminium greenhouse, shipped from Denmark, which Elsebeth bought specifically to cultivate her vanilla plants that are growing very well in the protected environment. 
Could be a great inspiration to all, particularly, the cooks among us.

Don't be deterred if it is raining as Elsebeth is happy for us to shelter in her lovely home too. 

Directions: for those coming from Archez - follow road to Archez Cruz and take the turning to Sayalonga.   The road has 2 sharp, right hand bends followed by a Z bend.   Follow on to the next left hand bend and road becomes almost straight.  About 200m from this last bend you will see a concrete driveway to the left.  Go up this drive to be shown where to park.

Those coming from Competa - take the Sayalonga road and follow to Archez Cruz  - see directions above.  

For those coming from Sayalonga - go past the track on the right to Bodega Bentomiz and the road straightens to a bend to the left.  Follow on to the next right hand bend where the road straightens.  About 300m from this right hand bend you will see a concrete drive on the left.  Go up this drive to be shown where to park.

Looking forward to seeing you all again,

Greg and Carol

The January 2014 Visit to Viveros Sanchez, Trapiche - a few pics