The weather has been glorious today and the flowers have burst forth even more. For me it is the very best thing to sit or wander somewhere in the gardens and observe the beauty and abundant teaching that the plants give. If it be the wild or those that we have planted, it is brilliant to be living amongst them all. We went for a stroll down to the river before the Sun went down and we came across this Orchid. Over the next few months we will see a fair few different species of Ophrys that grow on the land. This photo is the first to appear this year. I think this is the Sawfly Orchid Ophyys tenthredinifera.
The centre is transforming and it feels good. Much of the flooring has been done downstairs, with preparation of walls progressing. Now with the terrace doors finally in, this teaching space has become more alive and real.
Very soon, for at least three months the Equipa Quatro team will stop work at Ceratonia. This is good. Pause and take time to feel our feet on the ground, Breathe.
Then later, jobs such as the final work on the outside walls will be done. And then the Plants will be given their chance to climb.
Solar panels and hot water from the Sun will be installed any day now. We are moving forward with the plumbing. Pleased to say we have had our first shower!! We are still waiting for EDP to make another step towards us getting power... In the meantime the generator is on for spells of time. Plug sockets and even some lights have been installed, so when the jennie is on, we can actually plug things in and they work! Like now, I am on the computer and as we also have recently got a limited amount of internet Gbites a month, I am writing this from Ceratonia. I do still have to go to other premises to work from. But step by step, that part of life is gaining space here at Ceratonia.
Cleavers (Galium asparine) Agarra-Saias Very important lymphatic medicine. Perfect for a Spring time cleanse!
Pomegranates (Punica granatum) Romãs We bought 20 tiny sticks last Autumn. Was very unsure what would happen... planted each with loving care in its own pot. Wow every one has come to life (last month just a tiny drop of blood red where each leaf has now burst through) and soon will all be planted. We have not had such luck with all the plants we have bought, but overall so far so good!
Raspberries (Rubus ideaus) Framboesa These were also just sticks a couple of weeks ago.
Now I say tasty, but super care needs to take place when this plant has been processed!! This is the Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) Medronheiro. Here in the Algarve a very potent alcoholic drink is made from this. Caution is needed with this drink! But it is also a medicine and we will be learning more about this over time. 5 of these young ones were planted today. The soil type may not be their cup of tea.. but we shall see...
Iris with many other wild flowers, including if you look carefully, little white flowers, they are Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum).
I think a Fedia, member of the Valeriana family.
Just found this today a beautiful delicate Anemone, not sure which one yet.. The bigger leaves are not part of the plant.
A Centaurea possibly the pullata species?
The first plant planted, Viburnum tinus. This plant got munched by the goats, but survived and has just come into flower!
Gorgeous Tulip coming through
Our first Peach blossom. We planted another two Apricots, Nectarines and a Peach today. Maybe a tad early but with all this rain it is too good to miss the opportunity.
Wow that was a lot of rain, some say the persistent nature was unusual for these parts! Much activity in the gardens with the soil so wet, we have dug deep in different areas. Exciting finds and changes have occurred, for example we have found a fantastic vein of sand that has now become the Desert Orchard. We have planted some cactus, Euphorbia and a Yukka, with plenty more to come. Drought resistant fruit and nut tress have also found their way into parts of this zone, like a gorgeous Fig, some Pomegranates, Quince and Almond trees.
There is now a larger space that we will be landscaping into the Physic garden with pergolas and spiral beds.
Bulbs planted last Autumn are bursting forth, very pleased with the Madonna Lily's. Also enjoying watching all the bulbs that were already here come up, Scilla and Asophodels in abundance and many other delicate flowers to be. Insects are also appearing more and more. Huge bumble bees and gorgeous plump worms. Butterflies flutter when ever the Sun comes out, mainly yellows and oranges and the toads have continued to sing. Last night a brand new sound from an insect or mammal that has woken up.
The veg patch is doing well with plenty of seeds germinating, but we did have a visitor-possibly a dog dug in, disturbing things. We have had to take action, giving the plants some protection. Raspberries planted with Yarrow are doing fab!
Would like to take a moment to mention the markets which are our main place we are buying the trees and plants. Algoz and Messines markets are fabulous, good quality, price and a great experience. We have to get there early otherwise no parking or space to think. So by 8.30am 30 or so trees bought and breakfast to be had. Grills ablazing and vinho tinto flowing and it is only Monday morning! Basically we have not joined in with all the local ways.
Our Madonna Lilies (Lilium candidum)
Another favourite place to buy trees and plants. This is Didi's shop!
This is our first Rose in flower this year! Corny but it came into bloom on the 14th Feb! The Rose links to the love and thanks that we have for all that have helped us.
As we move into the next phase of Ceratonia we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone that has helped and supported us so far.
A special thanks to Michael and everyone at Equipa Quatro, Marlene Uldschmidt and her fab team. The Smiths and Fayans especially for the Makita radio\torch and vegetable seeds. Thank you to Vale da Lama who have given us the confidence to proceed as we are. To observe and listen and tread lightly. Thank you to the different gardening groups especially the MGS! Obrigada for the sage advice of Antonio and fun Portuguese lessons and the recent Vines which we will wait and see if they take! Thank you to the lovely people that have come so far and helped us with the gardens. To all the Herbal people that have continued to give such wonderful support and encouragement.
A huge thank you to the land that has already given us so much- To the amazing plants that guide and encourage us everyday. To the Algarve com respeito e amor.
Can bring tears to the eyes at times! Like when the builders have been doing their thing and forget to turn a tube here and there at the end of the day. Which meant when we put the generator on we had no hot water or a flushing loo last night\this morning! Just a little example of the fun that can happen. But we did have an amazing experience last night and that was the sound of hundreds of frogs or maybe toads.. singing their hearts out.. they may have been mating! We have had some big rains and yesterday afternoon was incredible, the sheer amount of water that came out of the sky was massive and I think woke the frogs up!
So the Centre continues to form, internal walls basically finished, floors downstairs being cemented as I write, one of the reasons this morning had an extra bite as the condensation was rather a lot, I felt like I had my head in a cement mixer! Our flat upstairs is getting cosy though and this week the wood burner arrived, should be installed very soon. Electricity has still not arrived, in many ways we do not miss it, but having said that life may be a bit easier if we did have it! The generator of course is a great help and last week I got my old laptop working and we watched a dvd film, was great, if a bit expensive! No internet as yet, but I am on it. We are waiting for the plumbers to return and finish- much work for them to do. The biggest thing we are both very much looking forward to is a SHOWER!!
The gardens are our very favourite part of life here. The first veg plot is full with Radish, lettuce, carrots, beetroot, spinach and peas, with thyme, sage, calendula and nasturtiums as good companions. Feels fabulous to be growing our own vegetables and the radish and calendulas have germinated and are looking strong. I also created the first green manure fertility patch and I am very happy to say it has germinated well and looking an abundant green. As I said the rains have been full on recently and of course all the seeds, young plants and saplings are loving it, can't say the same for Cato!
When we first arrived last August we created a lovely area which we have called 'Oak Hedge', here we have planted Roses, bulbs, Tecoma capensis and all sorts. This week I planted Melissa, Oregano, Calendula and Nasturtiums, some of my big favourites in this area. The rains came just as I was finishing, giving them a good water. I felt so grounded and at Peace and that all was well, doesn't matter how complicated everything can seem to be, flare ups of emotions and tiredness. Planting and watching my dear friends grow, gives me so much joy and reassurance. I must make a note re Calendula, I have not mentioned her before on this blog but this was actually the first wild flower I saw in bloom on the land and that was back in September. She continues to bloom and become ever more present where ever I am. Calendula has helped me so much over the decades, supported me and many of my patients. Enabling growth and trust in our ability to go forth and really live the lives we want to.
Corey has likened ourselves to replanting a tree, takes some time to root in and adapt to the new environment. Happy to say slowly but surely we are getting there!