Wednesday, January 25, 2012

That looks better !

As you know by now, most of our plants have to live in big pots as we have very little bare earth for planting in. However, there is one tiny square at the front of the house, so we tend to put a bit of all sorts in there and most of it grows very well. Too well in fact, and we had reached the state where we couldn't walk round to the gate with the dogs, without snagging our legs or trousers on rose thorns, and risking a trip on the various plants that were crawling out across the path. We had cut the branches off that stuck out across the path just before Christmas, but already it was encroaching on our space again. So on Monday, it being a lovely sunny, but not too hot day, we both decided to attack it! Here is what it looked like before we started.

The main offender was a lantana plant which I love for its firey red, orange and yellow heads of flowers which bloom for most of the year, but it is a very invasive plant and it had just about swamped everything else. It was a tiny plant in a little pot when we bought it a couple of years ago. So our first job was to cut most of that down. This uncovered our roses which Chris pruned back hard, while I filled a big dustbin time and time again, and took it all out to the big bin in the road, which fortunately is just beyond our wall. Then we rediscovered a tiny mandarin tree that had never grown, and we now know this is because it was completely rotten at the base. We have replaced it with the fig tree that self-seeded in there this year. We had to cut some of its roots to move it, so it may or may not survive.

Lastly we cut back all the climbing plants that covered the circle of stones in the centre. They had so much dead wood under them that we decided to clear them completely and see what comes back up during the year. I am sure some of it will. Everything grows so abundantly out here, and it is quite difficult to destroy anything. It all looks a bit bare right now, but I am sure it won't stay like that for long. Here is what it looked like when we had finished!

About a year ago we were similarly brutal with the jasmine that grew all over the wall at the back of this little patch, because we wanted to repair some pipe work behind it and repaint the wall. Already, as you can see in the photo above, the jasmine is all over the wall again and it has so many buds on it. It will look and smell beautiful in a month or so. It has pink flowers, and blooms at a different time from all the white ones we see around the village. The perfume is so strong and it wafts all through the house. I love it.

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