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, 30 April 2014

AGC May Garden Club Meeting

The Axarquia Garden Club’s next meeting is at 11.00 am on Tuesday 13th May 
 at the garden of Mitch and Chris France in Canillas de Albaida campo.  
We all know Mitch is an accomplished musician and artist but may not be aware that he is a talented gardener too.  
Mitch and Chris have created a garden full of interest and packed with flowers.  
We know the members will enjoy this visit and glean lots of ideas for their own gardens.
We hope to see as many of you as possible.  
There will be the usual library, raffle and plant sales if anyone has any surplus to bring along.

Directions:  from Canillas take the road to Archez,  DON’T TURN LEFT to Archez but turn right at the fork in the road and continue down to the Roman bridge and go up towards Hotel Cerrillo. 
Just after the sharp right-hand bend on the road you will see a concrete track to the left (before reaching Hotel Cerrillo).  
Follow this track down until it curves to the right and park there. 
There will be signs.  
Parking is fairly limited so if you can share a lift please do so.   
Looking forward to seeing you,
Carol and Greg

Monday, 21 April 2014

Information on Vetiver Grass

 Carol & Greg are following up on this information and the AGC Members may be able to join them in a visit to see it in situ.
Watch this Blog for information Jane

When I first terraced our garden I was immediately faced with an erosion problem on one of the terraces.  The entire terrace was slipping.  After extensive research to find an easy and cost effective solution to the problem I came across Vetiver Grass.  I tried to find it in Spain so I could plant it on the problem terrace.  I finally found the grass with a supplier in Italy and ordered 100 plants.  The plants cost me 1 Euro each and the shipping from Italy was 40 Euro.  
When I received the plants I planted the plants one foot apart in the crack that was forming on my terrace.  I did install a dripper system to get the plants established.  I have had these plants growing now for over 3 years.  I have no erosion problem at all on this terrace and no longer water the grass.   After 3 years of growth the plants are now ready for harvesting.  I have been selling the plants to individuals with great success.  
I am selling the plants for 1 Euro each.  This grass needs no special soil, fertilizer, or care.  To plant a slip (one stalk) you just make a small hole, and put the slip in.  Nothing labor intensive.  The plants are planted approximately a foot apart, so the cost
for 30 linear meters is 100 Euro, a very cost effective way of stopping erosion.  The Vetiver Grass can handle a great deal of water, or no water at all once established.

Below are some very interesting links to explain Vetiver Grass.  The roots grow 3-4 meters deep in one year and the roots have the strength of 1.6 mil steel.  Also included are some photos of different uses and different looks you can get from the plant.  
The Vetiver Grass will resolve an erosion problem anywhere.  We have been growing these for approximately 3 years and have over 50,000 plants with new plantings every week.  

We have also added some photos of our first plantings, 3 years later, and our latest plantings on our terraces that had erosion.  Now we have no erosion where the plants are. 

There is a world of information at the first site listed below and it is in many languages that you can select from.  There is also a Wikipedia site and a couple of interesting YouTube sites.

If you have any questions please let me know.  You are welcome to come and see the plants.  Vetiver Grass offers an easy, inexpensive solution to any erosion issues that your clients may have.

You can contact either myself or Dave by either email or cell.  
Mine is 34 695 263 594   
Dave’s is 692288657
Best regards,

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lovely flowers - seeds from Carol, hopefully......

These are photos of
 Linum grandiflorum rubrum.   
An annual origination from Algeria.  
 I will try to collect the seeds when ready and distribute to members who would like some. 


Treasurer's Report March 2014

Brought Forward                                                                    751.29

Subscriptions                         30.00
Plant Raffle                            13.00                              

Carried Forward                                                                     794.29

The Plant, a rose, (surprise colour!!) was won by Bernie.

Monday, 14 April 2014

AGC Visit to La Concepción, Málaga

Thirteen members made their way independently to  the Club’s second visit to the Malaga botanic garden, La Concepcion
They met at 12.00 for a guided tour by our delightful Spanish guide, Jessica. 
The day was very warm and still and we appreciated the cool shade provided by the 100+ year old trees under-planted with many luscious plants normally grown as indoor plants such as Monstera deliciosa (Mexican bread fruit or Swiss cheese plant) and ferns.   
Generous clumps of orange Clivia enjoyed the shady canopy. 
Pools, streams and waterfalls furnished our way up through the trees which included Jacaranda, Chorisia, and giant ficus rubber trees, with their impressive roots creeping like giants claws over the ground.
 Of particular interest was the Draceana draco popularly called the “dragon plant” whose bark, when rubbed, exudes red sap. 
This tree was particularly interesting as it’s trunk has leaned to the horizontal to catch the available light and produced stalactite-like roots towards the ground in order to support itself, however, the gardeners “helped” it by placing props underneath the trunk and, since then, the plant has become “lazy” and these stalactite roots have stopped growing. 
We arrived at what was the focus of our trip which was the Wisteria Arbour  - this time in full flower.  
Planted 150 years’ ago it has reached mammoth proportions and in places has crumpled its impressive Victorian-style wrought iron framework. 

The members also enjoyed seeing the mansion house which was built in 1855 by the Marquis of Casa Loring and his wife who first created the garden. 
The house formerly contained 50 rooms (needed for their 9 offspring - none of whom provided an heir to the property). 
We all enjoyed the calm, cool of the quadrangular atrium containing the wrought iron balconied upper storey from which all the bedrooms led.  
The estate is now owned and maintained by Málaga City Council.

The end of our tour concluded with a group photo on the “Secrets Seat” designed so that 19th century couples could sit with a chaperone between them and communicate privately.  
We tried it and it works!
We all then enjoyed a very pleasant lunch at the garden’s cafe

Written by Carol & Greg.
Members' photos

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Join us on Digame

Some AGC Members may not be aware that there is another Blog / Website that covers a large area of The Axarquia and often carries items of interest for our fellow gardeners.
At the moment I try to repeat the relevant Digame News items on the AGC Blog, but I'm aware that I often forget.
Hence my suggestion that you also subscribe to Digame
It is simple to sign up-
Just visit the website
On the top right, there is a box with the heading Subscribe
Follow the instructions - and there you will be!
Hoping to hear from you with a contribution soon

Garden Designer Extraordinaire

I hope you find this story as fascinating as I did after hearing him speak on World Service Radio

Purple Day - a Huge Sucess

Carol and Greg would like to send a huge thanks to everyone who attended our Purple Day Open Garden event on Sunday 30th March.
You all helped us raise a staggering €654.44 for Epilepsy Action!
We were delighted and completely overwhelmed by your response.  
Thanks to everyone who came along on the Day to support us.

Special thanks go to Jo Robinson for stage management, set design and all publicity.   We thank Tom Robinson for the excellent Dawn Chorus sound track  The “cava and cakes” theme wouldn’t have been the success it was without the excellent cakes provided by Liz, Elaine and Sally.  
We thank Jo and Tom and Lin and Rod for contributing cava and pouring the drinks.   Thanks too to the people who donated plants for the plant sale.
Finally, we would like to thank all friends, readers of Digame, members of the Competa Reading Group, DIVA, Axarquia Garden Club and One Voice choir who came along to support us and gave so generously.
The donations have been made in GBP to the just giving website.  
To see this type justgiving.com/gregory-starr.  
Click on “Remembering Paul Starr. “ 
Two pages down and you will see Gregory’s page and Georgia’s page from last year’s Purple Day event.
Thanks and best wishes,
Carol & Greg