Sunday, 12 February 2017


For two days now it has been raining almost non stop in the Alentejo, and many other parts of Portugal. Much needed rain to fill, or very likely, only partly to refill our water reservoirs. The southern part of the Portugal has not had a lot of rain the last two years, and although the rain is not always very convenient and will cause problems from time to time, I am truly hoping for a lot more this year.... 

Leaving Castro Verde this morning to walk the dogs, I passed a 'flood warning' sign, on the way to a small hamlet called Geraldo.

The usual gentle creek had turned into a wide river, and must have flooded the bridge yesterday during the down pour.

When walking the dogs I also found some rocks covered with lichen..amazing colours these lichen have.

Have you ever seen a lichen and knew that it was a lichen? Not many people know what lichens are, and who would? They seem as though they are from another planet! 

Lichens are bizarre organisms and no two are alike.

Lichens are a complex life form that is a symbiotic partnership of two separate organisms, a fungus and an alga. The dominant partner is the fungus, which gives the lichen the majority of its characteristics, from its thallus shape to its fruiting bodies. The alga can be either a green alga or a blue-green alga, otherwise known as cyanobacteria. Many lichens will have both types of algae.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Alentejo and a rainy day in February

The Alentejo never ceases to amaze me, 
often people complain about the lack of seasons, 
but there is no lack of those in the Alentejo..

The ever changing weather, the almond flowering all over the place, 
it may not be Spring according to the calendar yet, 
but it is definitely in the air. 
The amount of wild flowers appearing seemingly out of nowhere, 
are the first signs of change to come.

Was pleasantly surprised when I saw this shrub flowering along 
the roadside, with no irrigation. 
One to add to my continuously growing wish list, 
if only I could remember its name....

It is a Chaenomeles japonica (has just been whispered into my ear, 
thank you .... 
you know who you are...

Asphodelus, one of my favourites...

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Succulents.. a definite must have 

Succulents and cacti are not everybody's cup of tea, but when living in a Mediterranean climate, where the summers are hot and dry, they are a very welcome addition to any garden, patio, balcony, porch.  
Low in maintenance, easy to keep, most are easy to propagate, most are disease free/resistant, low water requirements, I mean what more could one want? 

They come in all sorts of shapes, forms and sizes, still many people find them boring. 
They are also so easy to propagate, meaning that with only a small investment, one can grow some more relatively quickly and easy.

Kalanchoe, so many different colours, shapes, heights, and so easy to 
grow and keep in a pot

Echeveria's, beautiful shaped, coloured and marked succulents, 
easy to maintain, easy to grow..

Aeoniums come in so many different varieties and colours, 
they are a welcome addition to any garden, patio, balcony, or porch; 
Mediterranean or not. 
There are thankfully so many different varieties available. 

Saturday, 4 February 2017

From Frost to Flowers

From frost damage to flowers and all in one week time.  It has been an interesting couple of weeks, weather wise that is.

One of the last things one expects, living 2 km from the ocean in the Algarve, is frost and subsequently the frost damage on some of these tender plants.

Unfortunately it did happen, and it left a trail of damaged plants; most of the many Agaves Attenuata were hit, also the Ensete Maurellii, and the young Ficus tree were damaged. The Musa (banana's) in the vegetable plot also fell victim to the frost.

One week later, and whilst the  frost damage is still visible, of course, other plants have started flowering, announcing Spring.

The pink flower of the Dombeya is a hiding place for a snail. And upon closer inspection of some of the flowers, quite some were providing a safe place for young snails.

Just some of the Chickens in my life... 

Chickens have been a part of my life since childhood. I cannot imagine not having chickens around and about in my life.

In all shapes, forms and colourings; they play a major part in day to day life here.


They recycle all the green waste, from weeds to kitchen scraps, everything is being recycled. 

In return there are the eggs, the manure and a weed free compost heap with fabulous soil.

The biggest 'problem' with keeping chickens, are the predators they may unwillingly attract.  

In Portugal there are quite a few;  the genet, mongoose, and fox just to name just a couple. 
All of these have unfortunately paid a visit to the chickens here, leaving a devastating trail of bodies and feathers. 

Spring is the time of the year where the chickens are the most vulnerable, whilst the genet will only attack at night, both the mongoose and the fox have attacked here in broad daylight.


Thursday, 2 February 2017


Beginning of February, and Spring is definitely in the air...

This becomes clearly noticeable when driving through the never boring landscape of the Algarve.

Of course, the almond trees are in full bloom, the Irises are appearing, showing off here and there, the Crocosmia (if it is still called that, as they keep changing names and classifications unfortunately) is adding some nice colour to the amazing palette of colours.. 

And then there is the always beautiful Asphodelus is popping up its buds.

I just love these bulbs... and their absolutely amazing and delicate flowers.

Unfortunately and unusual I did not take my camera with me today, and photos were taken with my phone.

Photos were taken Messines de Cima - Alte, Algarve

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

After years of contemplating.. do I or do I not... start a blog.. about plants, gardening, veggie plot, chickens, travel, beach, my dogs, my cats, my life here basically...

I was hoping facebook was a nice medium to write and share.. Unfortunately, it just doesn't meet my expectations at all. So will be writing regularly here, whether it is daily, weekly, monthly.. I am not entirely sure... I guess the famous saying 'time will tell' will indeed tell...

This is my first online blog ever, so will make mistakes... please be gentle...

Quarteira Beach, 31 January 2017