Hi everyone. As you can see, I was so happy with my beautiful field of poppies and yellow marguerites, that I have taken a section of the photo to use as my new header for a while. I thought it was time for a change so this will do while I am thinking of something different. Although it is still really Spring time, this picture really shouts "Hot Spanish Summer" to me. I also followed through my plan to have it enlarged and printed on canvas, so it is now hanging on my wall. The colours came up a bit darker, but it is still lovely, and adds some colour to my plain walls.
Today's post is mostly about flowers. We have been careful in our use of the car this week, only going on truly necessary journeys. It is awaiting a spare part, but our mechanic has made it OK to use while we wait, but we are not tempting fate by taking it too far. So I have been home a bit more than usual, and I have managed to do a little gardening in the morning before the sun is fully around to the front of the house. All the weeding I did recently seems futile as the rain and warmth have made them grow again at an alarming rate, so yesterday I once again weeded around the roses as they are so lovely and deserve to be seen.
Three years ago, late in the summer, I bought a little rose plant from Lidls. It was labelled as a yellow flower which I wanted as we mostly have red and pinks. It was little more than a stick and its stem was waxed, but I planted it and watered it, and hoped something would come of it by the next year. Nothing happened! All the next year I kept it free of weeds, fed and watered it, and gave it an encouraging talking to, but nothing! I didn't give up on it though, and last year it grew quite a lot, at least doubling in size, but still no flowers. So this year I was excited to see a lone bud on it. I have been watching it swell with interest, and this week it finally opened. So here is my new YELLOW rose.
One of us is colour-blind, and I don't think it is me! However it is such a full flower, and opened such a dark rich red, that I am happy to leave it in its corner, and hopefully it will reward us with more flowers in the future.
It is a shame that it is planted right next to our other red rose, but that is an old plant that has gone very 'woody' and may be coming to the end of its life. But for now it too has beautiful blooms on it.
Next comes this absolute beauty. I think it is my favourite one. Isn't it lovely?
Then, lastly, we have a pretty pink one. No matter how hard we prune this back each autumn, it sends stems up to four or five feet high, so the flowers would be above my head, but the bed is sunk a good foot below the path, so I can still see and enjoy it.
There are some other little surprises as we move around the garden, looking in the many pots we have across the front. Last year I bought four Peruvian lilies that the seller promised would bloom each year, but they hadn't shown any signs of life this year. Then suddenly up they shot and I now have two yellow and one orange out. I think the second orange one may have died. The other bud is last year's amaryllis that I am hoping is going to flower soon.
The bright pink daisy to the side of them is known locally as 'Claw' because it claws its way across paths, rocks and mud banks, and is often smothered by these gaudy flowers. I love it, though it does have to be kept in check, or it would clamber its way over everything else.
On the steps I have a pot of minature red roses that again came from Lidls, and when I realised it was not one plant, but four tiny cuttings, I separated them and spread them around the pot. Knowing they have a fairly short flowering period, I added two small pinks to the pot, and they are all doing very nicely.
I lavish quite a lot of love and care on my plants, but some of them seem to thrive on neglect. In the corner of the porch there is a pot where I tend to dump plants that are not doing well, and I only remember to give them some water occasionally, as I know they will probably end up in the bin anyway. But this week some of last years bronze chrysanthemums have given us new flowers, and above them an old geranium is looking really good again, so I may have to find them a better spot now.
Similarly, we once again failed to keep good hanging baskets by the front door. It is often too windy for them so they get battered, and they are in full sun so it is difficult to keep them hydrated. So last year I added some rather straggly succulents to them which had a few flowers on them, but nothing exciting, and as everything else died off, we took the baskets down and left them under the garden tap while we decided whether to bin them altogether or try using the mesh and liners again this year. I guess they have been dripped on each we time we use the hose, and somehow the succulents have really taken off, and though they are still just on the ground, they are now a mass of bright pinky-red daisy flowers. Some of the tropical plants are almost fluorescent in their colours. I think they all have a fairly short flowering season so I guess they need to attract the insects as much as they can.
At the same time there is an ever changing display of wild flowers that we see as we walk the dogs each morning. On Monday we drove the car to our mechanics workshop out on the campo, and took the dogs with us to walk them home. It is almost an hours walk, and they were worn out when we got back. Crossing the campo the predominant flower was no longer marguerites, nor the lilac flowers that grow in with them quite often. Now it is thistles. Big fat thistles that will soon be covered in flowers and then leave a cloud of thistle-down seeds clinging to everything.
And the field bind weed that grew along the edges of the poppy field, are trying to cover as much ground as they can, and they also grow up fences and anything else they can cling to. I even saw one climbing up a thistle so they flowered together at the top of the stem. Their flowers are much smaller than the usual white convolvulus that was such a nuisance in our garden in UK, but they have so many of them, that you just see an area of pink.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing all our lovely flowers, but they have not occupied all my week. Having got the car back to 'use with care' while we wait for the part to arrive, I persuaded Chris to drive down to Mojacar with me for some essential shopping. We soon did what we needed to do, and as it was such a lovely morning, we walked along to one of our favourite cafés for a drink and a snack. We passed what has for a long time been a feature point on the playa - a large fountain set on a roundabout where the main road meets with the beach road. It has been closed and covered for a few months, and lately I have seen several men working on it so I was eager to see what they were building. Well it is now finished and I have to say I am a little disappointed. It now consists of a large square concrete building with a statue of the Andalucian symbol - Indalo man - on the top. On two sides water pours in a straight sheet from under the roof to the reservoir below, (You can just see it on the white side in the picture), but the other two sides are plain. I am hoping they will grow some plants up them or something to make it more interesting, but I would rather to see the old traditional fountain that was there before.
But ending on another smile, last Saturday we had our choir Spring concert. Unfortunately we could only have the theatre in the afternoon, which wasn't ideal but we had a good turn out for it, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The accoustics in the theatre were not good so we really had to sing out, but our MD was very pleaded with us. The theatre was inside Albox Town hall, and one of the staff there took this photo, but he said he couldn't get a very good one because the stage lighting was bouncing off the banners behind us. But it isn't too bad.
Despite looking white or blue, all the men's shirts were light lilac to go with the ladies lilac tops. I am sitting next to the gentleman in the 'white' shirt, but I was happy to learn that although he needed to sit between the songs while David was introducing the next ones in both English and Spanish, he wanted to stand to actually sing, so I was able to sit and stand with him. We were praised by friends in the audience for being so synchronised! One of the Town Hall staff was in the crows nest high above the back of the seating, and she recorded a video of us singing one of our songs. Unfortunately she put it on facebook so only those with a Facebook account can see it. If anyone is interested, This link will take you to my page and it is the second post down.
Proceeds from the sale of tickets was donated to the Albox cancer charity, and this morning, representatives from the choir presented them with a cheque for 700€.
Tonight we are singing again, and this time the venue is closer to home, just between Mojacar Playa and Pueblo. It is another charity concert, this time arranged by Paws-Patas, the local animal rescue group. They have been responsible for advertising, sale of tickets etc, and we just turn up to sing! There is a repeat performance tomorrow afternoon, so they should make quite a lot for their funds. Of our current two dogs and four cats, three were adopted from Paws, and they do carry out very good work with all the abandoned animals we get here.
I need to think about getting ready to go to it now, so I will end with one pretty sky photo I took this week, and then I will link up with Rocking Your World, and Annie's Friday Smiles. I am sorry I didn't get to visit everyone last week, though I did manage some. I will try to do better this week.