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, 28 May 2015

Directions and more details for the next garden club visit - 9 June - Cortijo La Calera, Los Romanes

I have had very few replies about the next garden club visit to Cortijo La Calera, Los Romanes on 9 June at 11.00 am. Thank you to the members who have replied already.

Are you coming?

I hope to coordinate travelling arrangements by car sharing if possible, and our generous hosts, Stephanie and Terry are providing refreshments for our visit so I would like to be able to confirm numbers.

Please let me know by email sunley.judith@btinternet.com by Friday, 05 June :

- If you are attending - How many people will be attending with you?

- If you are willing to drive, and if so, how many spaces you will have in your car?

- If you will need a lift?

- Whether you would prefer a meeting point of Competa or Sayalonga to coordinate lifts?

Thank you

Please do not hit reply or your response may get lost within the blog's management system,
instead email me on sunley.judith@btinternet.com


Stephanie has prepared these directions for visitors travelling from the airport. Please pick up the directions from Velez Malaga. Junction 272 is the El Ingenio shopping centre junction.

See from No 1 in the list below.

Viveros Florenas Open Day - Wednesday 3 June


As part of our birthday celebrations we are pleased to announce that Sue Rodgers of Nevada Naturales is our guest speaker for our
Herb/Cheese Open Day 
on Wednesday 3 June 2015
As well as giving a talk on herbs in the garden and their usage in traditional medicines, she will also demonstrate how to make artisanal cheese. 
We will learn how easy it is to make goats cheese, ricotta, feta and Jben (Moroccan cheese). 
And there will be lots of home made cheese and membrillo to taste.
After the huge turnout we had for our Bee Day, we have decided to hold 2 sessions of Sue's presentation to ease numbers and parking!
The first starts at 11am and the second at 2pm each lasting approximately 90 minutes.

Come and have some fun and take advantage of our Special Offers on the dayWe look forward to seeing you all.

Lorraine Cavanagh, Viveros Florena, Competa, Malaga.
Author of Mediterranean Garden Plants and Citrus, the Zest of Life.

Garden Centre, Landscape Designers and Constructors.
Opening Hours: 10 - 4, closed Sundays and Mondays.
Tel:          689928201
Email:     florenaspain@hotmail.com
Web:       www.viverosflorena.com
Facebk:   Lorraine Cavanagh´s Garden Centre

Please help these dogs...

Jo Robinson has brought to my attention the plight of some poor dogs that have been living in dreadful conditions and now need new homes, and I hope the animal lovers amongst club members may be able to help.

Please read the details about these dogs below.

If you feel you could help out with that then please contact her on jojoinspain@yahoo.com 

"Thanks to the hard work of a few dedicated people these dogs now can have new homes. But they need short term fostering first.

It has been a long battle but finally we hope a happy ending! Many thanks for your time and hopefully, help! "
Jo Robinson

Not everyone can make a commitment to foster, and as an alternative Jo has asked if any members might like to donate some money towards the dogs upkeep and vet's fees.

If you know Jo you could make a contribution straight away, or we will make a collection at the next garden club meeting, for any members who wish to contribute. Even a small donation from members would be such a help.

In the remote countryside of Competa / Sayalonga, 6 years ago 11 puppies were incarcerated in a purpose built hell-hole of a building that was divided inside into 12 cages. Each cage was approx. 1 metre wide by 2 metres deep. At the back of the cage was a step approx. 1 metre high across the width of the cage. The puppies were kept in those cages for 6 years, with concerned neighbours not knowing what could be done about the situation and having no idea of the extent of the horror within those walls. Eventually, disturbed by heart wrenching screams and howls each night, they alerted the Costa Animal Society (CAS) to the plight of the dogs.

Animal rescue volunteers visited and found the shocking conditions in which the poor animals were being kept. There was no roof, the windows were broken, the floor was ankle deep in excrement, there was no food and the only water was a dark filthy sludge. Each dog was confined to the 1 metre wide step. Even with no roof and no windows, the stench was horrendous.

 Photos were taken and a denuncia was submitted on 19th December to Seprona at Velez Malaga who transferred it to Seprona in Nerja. They visited on 22nd December but found that the roof had been replaced so didn’t enter. They noted that there was nothing untoward but gave no feedback.

 By 29th January, as nothing had been done about the conditions that the dogs were still living in, Seprona Nerja were contacted by animal rescue volunteers and their officer Martinez said that he could see nothing wrong as there was no minimum cage size in law. A further denuncia was therefore submitted by the association of animal rescues, this time direct to Torrox Court.

Again, nothing appeared to happen and a group of neighbours whose lives were being affected by the pitiful screaming and howling of the dogs each night met with the local mayor and were advised to make denuncias to the Guardia Civil. 6 denuncias were therefore submitted on 10th February after which Seprona officers again visited twice. On the 2ndoccasion, they attended with the OCA vet and they met with the owner of the dogs.

 However still nothing changed. A further denuncia was made via the Alerta Animal scheme but again no action resulted. By this time, the neighbours could see that the owner was only visiting the dogs every 7 – 10 days.

 He was therefore contacted to see if he no longer wanted the dogs. He at first resisted, saying he loved them all. Animal rescue volunteers persisted and he was eventually persuaded that it was in everyone’s best interests for the dogs to be given up for adoption, so he signed over ownership and the association of animal rescues moved in to take out the animals, all of whom were clearly traumatised by their experience at his hands and were taken for veterinary care and assessment before being put up for adoption.


Sunday, 24 May 2015

New in stock - Viveros Florena

Very limited stocks of chocolate cosmos, cosmos atrosanguineus  With its dark chocolate-purple coloured flowers and chocolate aroma - irresistible! €5 plant

Small plants of cosmos bipinnatus Sensation Mixed  For a lovely meadow effect in your garden  great for cut flowers too. €1 plant


Sweet tobacco plant, nicotiana affinis or Jasmine tobacco.   Smells delightful, particularly at night. On special summer offer - only €0.50 per plant



Lavatera trimestris Beauty Mix, rose mallow.  A cheap and effective way to fill your garden with glistening soft colours. €1 plant 
We´re working hard to bring you plants that you want and can´t find elsewhere -
and the bees love them too!

The Viveros Florena Team

Lorraine Cavanagh, Viveros Florena, Competa, Malaga.
Author of Mediterranean Garden Plants and Citrus, the Zest of Life.

Garden Centre, Landscape Designers and Constructors.
Opening Hours: 10 - 4, closed Sundays and Mondays.
Tel:          689928201
Web:       www.viverosflorena.com
Facebk:   Lorraine Cavanagh´s Garden Centre

Garden Club visit 9 June - Cortijo “La Calera”, Los Romanes.

I will be posting the directions to our June venue at the end of May, when I receive them from our hosts.

Our meeting time, as usual will be 11.00 am, and it is advised that you allow say 45 minutes for your journey to Cortijo La Calera.

I hope to coordinate travelling arrangements by car sharing if possible.

As our generous hosts, Stephanie and Terry are providing refreshments for our visit on 9 June, please advise Judith via email sunley.judith@btinternet.com of the following by Friday, 05 June so that I can confirm numbers attending:

- If you are attending - How many people will be attending with you

- If you are willing to drive, and if so, how many spaces you will have in your car

- If you will need a lift

- Whether you would prefer a meeting point of Competa or Sayalonga to coordinate lifts

Thank you

Please do not hit reply or your response may get lost within the blog's management system,
instead email me on sunley.judith@btinternet.com


Monday, 18 May 2015

More photos from the May garden club visit in Sayalonga

Thanks to Kathleen Hollington for these extra pictures taken at May's garden club visit to David and Anna's garden in the Sayalonga campo.

You can read the visit report and see the original photos taken by David by following this link to the Garden club visit report

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Garden Club visit - 9 June 2015

I am delighted to announce the venue of our June visit as Cortijo “La Calera”, Los Romanes.

More details about the visit and directions will follow.

La Calera is approximately 20 minutes from Velez Malaga. We would need to allow about 45 minutes journey time and car sharing for this visit for those members without transport.

Tom and I came across the gardens of Stephanie and Terry when we bought some of their plants advertised for sale on Facebook earlier this year on behalf of AAR.

Stephanie takes cuttings from her garden every year and sells them to raise funds for AAR.

What a beautiful garden set amongst natural rocky outcrops, and there's even a cave! Tom and I were so taken with the garden that we asked Stephanie if she would host a future garden club visit.

She has kindly agreed to host June's meeting, on Tuesday 9 June.

Please mark 9 June at 11.00 am in your diaries.

Stephanie and Terry operate a self catering business from their old Spanish farm hamlet.

Their beautifully restored Cortijo situated amid olive groves with views of the unspoilt valleys and mountains now consists of three adjoining properties to rent, the owner’s house, a lagoon shaped swimming pool and wonderful gardens.

Stephanie is a keen gardener and Terry has completed many interesting construction projects, both of which will provide inspiration to club members.

You can find more details about the Cortijo here 

Here is their facebook page

Judith Sunley


Friday, 15 May 2015

Club Finances May 2015

Brought Forward                                                                                                             539.93

Thank You Gift Dave & Gill, Torrox              8.50
New Sturdy container for AGC mugs           7.00
                                                                                 Membership                        5.00
                                                                                 May Raffle                         50.00
                                                                                 May Plant Sale                  13.00
Balance carried forward as at 12 May                                                                              592.43

Cindy Jones

Garden Club Visit Report- Sayalonga 12 May

This was another well attended meeting with 26 members plus 3 guests. Thanks to everyone for sharing cars and organising the car parking on the day.

Cindy opened the meeting by introducing Ian Burpitt, a new member from last month. Although there were three other new members who joined last month, Sharon White, Maxine & Stan, as they were away they were not present at this month's meeting.  

Cindy also welcomed back returning members Linda and Chris Payne and also a new member this month, Jill Usher.

She reminded everyone about their membership cards and the 10% discount at Viveros Florena to be obtained when presenting the membership card.

Following a request from a club member, Cindy said she would also investigate a possible discount at La Palma.

If anyone has an email address for La Palma please let Cindy know or email the editor, thank you.

Cindy reported that she had been to see Dave and Gill in Torrox Campo (organic garden visit) to deliver a belated "thank you gift" and how David had sent his best wishes to the club members.
Cindy also reported that the six month trial period of running the garden club with Judith was expiring, following Carol and Greg's resignation - where does the time go?  

Should club members be in agreement, Cindy indicated that she and Judith were happy to continue until November mainly due to the sterling support of the following club members:
  •  Gill in investigating new venues and preparing directions with the aid of Olig the photographer.
  •  Mave with her secretarial support
  •  Astrid & Peter in administering the club library and 
  •  Maggie Gardner in looking after coffee urn and mugs.
Some-one asked what happens in November and Cindy said "I don't know". However as everyone seemed to be happy for the joint management arrangements to continue, Steve Brogan kindly "seconded"  continuation of these arrangements for the next six months.

Cindy added that she and Judith were disappointed but not surprised at the small response, with only 1 or 2 on ideas for what members what to see and do in the annual meeting programme.

So if members do have views please let us know!!

She also reminded those present that Judith and Tom would like help to tackle weeds at an elderly widower's garden as per the blog.  

If you can help please contact Judith on sunley.judith@btinternet.com

Finally she reminded everyone that the 10 euros subscription fee pays for our meetings etc and explained that together with the sale of raffle tickets, both provided funds to go towards our Summer Picnic wine.  

This explanation must have worked as we had a tremendous raffle ticket sale and raised  50.00 euros.  

All our visitors were extremely generous. 
Thanks to Cindy, Carol and Gregg for the visit reports, and to David for the following photos of the visit.

Visit Report
Twenty nine members were welcomed to view Anna and David's stunning garden on Tuesday 12th May.  
There are few, if any,  gardens on the Costa del Sol which match the fulsome splendour and skill of the planting in this garden.   The plants are brimming with health and vigour with hundreds of roses in full bloom playing the main role in this informal garden of winding paths around generously proportioned borders.  A carefully considered under-planting of low-growing flowering or evergreen plants fill every inch (cm!) of soil.  One plant of note was a sprawling, glossy leaved gardenia with its buds just waiting to burst.   The range of trees, climbers, shrubs, perennials, annuals and bulbs that Anna uses is extensive.  I liked the cobalt blue painted seats and enjoyed coming across tiny nooks containing tables and chairs from which to enjoy different views of the garden.   If this were a Chelsea garden it would be sure to win a Gold Medal.
A large and successful garden like this can only survive our climate with adequate water and this garden has the benefit of an agricultural supply and a well.  David designed and built the extensive irrigation system and, among other things, makes the metal supports for the plants.  Anna and David also employ part-time Spanish gardeners.  
As well as constructing the sinewy brick paths in the main garden Cele Fernandez's team built the beautiful rustic steps which lead to the lower terraces and the railway sleeper raised vegetable beds in the vegetable garden.   Vetiver grass helps retain the soil on the steepest slopes.
We also saw the fox-proof chicken house with its pampered named chickens and cockerels now accompanied by two rabbits.  Two greenhouses now aid the production of vetiver grass for sale for its uses not just as erosion control but in the perfume and medical industries.
Anna and David were excellent hosts providing home-cooked frittata, banana cake and courgette cake and tortilla as well as providing teas and coffees and wine and beer.   Visitors also enjoyed seeing their lovely home and being able to see David's garden photos, taken at different times of the year, on the TV screen.   Thanks too go to Frances who was called in to serve the drinks thereby relieving Anna to act as tour guide.  Another good idea was to provide a book in which people could write down any questions for Anna to answer by email.   I asked my question and have already received my reply!
Carol Starr
Former joint leader of the Axarquia Garden Club

Anna has indicated that she is happy to answer any queries and provide information about the plants shown. Please contact the editor with your queries and I will forward them on to Anna and David.

At the end of the visit Cindy thanked Anna and Dave for being such excellent hosts.
Congratulations to Alan who won the raffle prize;  a rose.

Linda and Chris volunteered their garden venue for our Summer Picnic on August 11th to wonderful applause and that's where we're going.  Chris said "unless some-one else wants to host it."   No-one volunteered.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Viveros Florena - Garden Club member discount

Don't forget that Lorraine Cavanagh has generously offered a
10% discount to club members
when you buy plants from Viveros Florena on
production of your membership card
which shows your
name and membership number.

If you haven't got your membership card yet please ask Cindy or Mave at the next garden club meeting.

Variegated Yucca branches available

In our garden we have a variegated yucca that has grown over the years very tall and wide, so we have cut off some of the branches.
We have done this in the past and just stuck the branches in the ground with a little growing powder and they have all taken and grown really well, but we now have enough yuccas.
Do any garden club members want any of these branches to plant in their garden?
(Editor pictures from Google Images for example only)
They are between 2 and 3 foot in length.
If so please email me on km.hollington@btopenworld.com before Tuesday to reserve one or more, and I will bring the branches to the May garden club meeting in Sayalonga.
Also does anyone want any Seville oranges to make marmalade etc, as we have quite a few on our tree?  Also email me to let me know if you would like any and I will gladly bring some to the May meeting.
Kathleen Hollington