martes, 31 de marzo de 2015

White and yellow

Yes, the sun is out and stronger than ever, although it really is too much this early in the season.  Temperatures have been high 70's to low 80's.  The bees are busy, the clay soil is rock-solid once again, and watering my latest plantings is a top priority.

Ah, but the flowers...!  The freesia are blooming, and I've got a pot of them next to my armchair on the porch.  Smells heavenly!

While many daffodil bulbs disappeared during the construction of the front walkway, some have survived and are slowly awakening.

The simple whites are my favorite

 Isn't the sun simply blinding?

I've seen some neighbors checking out my calleryana flowering pear tree, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more of these around the neighborhood soon.

Pompoms or snowballs?  Can't decide.

Guess who else is happy the sun is back!

As for me, I'm holding out for the rain to return...

viernes, 27 de marzo de 2015

The Rain In Spain...

...lies mainly in the plain!  

Dear Eliza Doolittle From My Fair Lady had it almost right.  After more than 2 months without a drop of rain, it has poured on and off for five days this past week.  So, now the rain in Spain lies mainly in my new patio!

The rain has softened our clay soil enough to dig out an area for our new patio. 

The area needs to be dug out to below the bottom step of the stairs.

The sun has come out today and it is supposed to be quite warm for the next few days, so that patio area will soon be rock-solid.  But, you know what rain and sun means... flowers!

Chaenomeles japonica


Looks who else likes the rain - Iberian imperial eagle and buzzard
(aquila adalberti and buteo buteo)

lunes, 16 de marzo de 2015

Bloom Day, March 2015

Once again, I am joining other garden bloggers for Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens, where bloggers from all over the world post photos of what is blooming in their gardens on the 15th of each month (yes, I know, I'm a day late).

Things have been moving quite slowly in my garden so far.  Plants are suffering because we have had virtually no rainfall whatsoever this winter.  The last precipitation I can remember was at the end of January when we had a snow flurry for about 5 minutes.  Since then, nothing, zip, zilch.  Absolutamente nada.  So, I've had to crank up the drip irrigation system quite early this year.  Of course, it has sprung two leaks, but that's to be expected.

Right now, I'm in love with my little almond tree, in its third spring.  
Can you see the almond trees in the background across the river?

They smell just like honey, and I was attacked by ants while taking these shots.

 After having the new walkway put in this year,
these are the only crocuses that came up.

The first daffodils, tucked under a Scotch broom.

Borage, and the calleryana pear just about to burst into bloom. 

Looks like we'll have new neighbors soon, so we've been scrambling to work on our privacy around the house.  

Yes, you can still get cheap labor, albeit an 11-year-old.
Never doubt the power of homemade brownies!

Wild almond trees across the stream

Happy almost spring!

sábado, 7 de marzo de 2015

Road trip through LaMancha

Our youngest son was selected for provincial basketball tryouts, so last weekend meant road trip!  And, luckily, instead of going north towards Toledo and Madrid, we travelled south through rural LaMancha and windmill country, hot on the tails of Don Quijote.

(These drive-by photos are not very good, but I'm sure some of my gardening friends would like to see how different the landscape is here.)

Today, many hills in La Mancha are dotted with modern wind turbines. 

These turbines are massive compared to the olive trees on the hillside below.

Surely Don Quijote must have visited this castle in Almonacid.  
It is still used for historical re-enactments and films.

Look!  Our first glimpse of an old windmill

The windmills of Consuegra, made famous by Don Quijote

We'll have to stop by one day to get decent photos.

Back to our village once again - it's always nice to come home at the end of a long day.