Adventures in Boots – Andalusia – April 2016

Recently I visited Andalusia again. I love this part of Spain & have been several times but never in March & I was surprised that spring wasn’t more advanced in fact it was really chilly. Spain is a wind energy leader in Europe with about 20% of its energy coming from wind power & Andalusia is a main wind power region. What does this mean for garden owners in this region? Well the wind is something they have to contend with especially in the flat exposed areas where it’s whipped up across the marsh land & golf course.

I was amazed to hear the gardens experience the occasional frost & this year some damage has been noticed on the mainly evergreen planting in the gardens. Not really a problem as the dead growth can be pruned off but couple the frost with winds that hamper growth & the variety of plant specimens limits choice. Add into this concoction frightful soil which is full of builder’s rubble & patches of the gardens which are susceptible to flooding, garden owners have a real struggle to make their out door spaces really lush all year round. Despite the challenges one of the gardens I saw was full of very heathy looking large shrubs which the owner lovingly tended all year round with the help of an experienced local gardener. The garden largely contained evergreen shrubs; tamarisk, azaleas, magnolias, choisya along with palms, cordylines, hibiscus, oleander & bougainvillea. I was surprised to see so little traditional Mediterranean planting-lavender, rosemary, sage, were all absent.

And in the summer the scorching winds whoosh across the water from Africa making container planting very high maintenance-pots need to be watered twice a day & water isn’t cheap!

Garden april

The cacti in the gardens gave an excellent display as did the succulents even in a cold & windy March they looked very good. I’ve always wanted to grow a garden in a really dry climate-such a challenge especially if one was to conserve water supplies, so different from what we’re used to here in England.


TTFN, more next month-Helen