Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A labour of love

When we came to Villa Alba the front of the house had a very ailing grape vine growing, or rather not growing across the front of the house. On close inspection we decided that years of neglect had sadly finished off the vine. The pots the grape vines were in however were well worth reusing. They are yellow and blue glazed with a bold pattern, very large too. What to plant in them though. We brought with us two Plumbagos, a particular favorite because of the wonderful blue flowers they produce. I always think they are the colour of bluebells in a cornish evening light. So we planted them up and wished them luck, and they seem to have taken the good wishes to heart because they are growing well with lots of flower heads. John cut some bamboo to make a framework for them today and I have tied them onto this with bread packet ties, we always save them for this sort of Job.
We were also pleased to see that the jasmine has now got flowers coming, well the main one that was here, the cutting we got going is making lots of growth but no flowers as yet. Its a labour of love to garden in Spain, we use grey water to keep it going, we would feel really guilty if we were pouring fresh water onto the beds and pots.

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Golden Oriole

The weather is really hotting up now with high 30s forecast  for next weekend. The pool is lovely now, so morning swimming is now on the agenda. This morning I was having a coffee on the terrace after a swim when I had the fluting whistle of bird song that had tantalised us yesterday during lunch. I was delighted seconds later to see a Golden Oriole fly into the top of the pine tree in front of me. The Golden Oriole is Blackbird-sized, the male has an unmistakable and beautiful bright yellow body with black wings. It is a secretive bird which keeps to the high tree canopy. Its has a wonderful musical and   distinctive fluting whistle. It flies rather like a thrush - slightly undulating, John was pretty sure he saw one last year and it was in just the same place as my sighting so he was undoubtedly correct. Got a feeling Rebecca may be camping out at the bottom of the garden as shes very eager to have a sighting herself.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

The story so far...

Talk about time flies! cannot believe its so long since our last posting, we are so busy that the week whizzed past, still better than being bored and days dragging. So i thought a post doing a round up on what's happening in Spain and with us was called for.

Work has moved forward on our Los Tollos plot with the granting of the project licence, the three "boys" worked together to dig out the footings on friday, the mammoth task of building steps is almost finished through Jude's hard work. Picture will be posted of the progress as it happens.
 We have had some changeable weather  with a little more much needed rain and the garden continues to grow. The pansies we planted be last year continue to flourish and we plan to have lots more in the main flower bed this time. The rose bush that was here when we bought, and survived the mayhem of the pool build, is now blooming in pretty pink, the miniature rose bought from Lidl is still covered with flowers as is the white carnation bought for us by my brother and sister-in-law. We will however have to move the plum tree that was a christmas present from daughter and son-in-law, it really does not like the position its in so fingers crossed that a move will save it.

Lots going on with the in Spain with changes in rules and stronger reinforcement of existing ones with regards health care. Despite the dramatic coverage in some of the English language media it is not solely aimed at Brits in fact  they need only worry if they have been getting access to health care illegally.

Today is Mothers day here in Spain, everyone is here and son-in-law has a paella on the go. Its a traditional rabbit one, rabbit courteously of our neighbour. There a story behind that........

Last week John and i where have having our morning coffee at the far end of the garden when we saw a cat run up the large pine in front of us. We thought it would have a look around and come down and were more concerned about the Collared Doves nest than the cat. little did we know what a saga it would turn into. During the next few hours the cat stayed resolutely in the tree it did not seem bothered with the birds nest. By late afternoon we were convinced it was afraid to climb or jump down. We try to persuade it with friendly calls but as it was a feral campo cat it pretty much ignored us. Ah well we surmised it must be waiting for cover of darkness. It was not. Next morning it had climbed higher, silly animal if it could go up why not come down. By the afternoon of the second day  John and our son had placed a plank "bridge" to aid the cats descent. Did it come down, did it heck! Food was placed on the bridge, the cat meowed, we stressed. The men in our house are most decidedly not tall tree climbers, nor is the woman for that matter!! To cut a long story short we try all sorts and then Son-in-law Joaquin came to the rescue. Despite our misgiving, its a tall tree, he made a rapid ascent, so that the cat had no time to go higher which was its modus operandi, grappled the moggy and had to more or less toss it onto the highest part of the bank. It would have been impossible to carry it down as not only where all hands and feet required to make a way safely down the darn thing was intent on injuring the hero who had saved it.
So where does the rabbit fit in? Well he owners of the place next door feed all the feral cats and also breed rabbits for meat. They where so pleased with Joaquin for getting the cat down they gave him a rabbit as a reward.
The cat can be seen about the place none the worse for its ordeal and its my guess it wont be climbing trees any time soon. Sadly we fear it may have dined on eggs fresh from the Collared Doves nest whilst aloft.

The River at Blanca by Jude