Gardening in a Mediterranean climate can be very difficult. Our first problem is lack of water and in summer, temperatures reaching 48C. Just looking around the countryside you can see many plants we nurture in the U.K but that grow wild here, a few of which you can see in the random photos I took last week, the flora is definitely waking up to the longer days and gradually climbing temperatures.
A beautiful garden is important to me and while Catalonia is not famed for its gardens it is possible to cultivate flowers here. I have discovered after much trail and error the very best plants to grow are the cheapest ones in the Garden Centres and on market stalls. They are cheap because they are easy to grow and to propagate Take the common geranium for example, with a mere three Euros investment in the first year you can fill your garden with colour in subsequent years. Small cuttings taken when the plant gets “leggy” at the end of the summer will provide many plants for the following season. Geraniums can be planted anywhere and will not disappoint when the heat rises and the rain fails to fall, they will delight with just a little water, if necessary recycled from the shower. I only like red geraniums but have now realised red is not just red! I have many different shades of red all of which add life to the garden at Casa Siempre. BUT I want a lawn, maybe that is quintessentially British but never the less it is what I want! Growing grass is just one whole different ball game, sure to be covered in a future blog. For more information look at http://www.mediterraneangardensociety.org there is a lots about gardening in Mediterranean climates and a Catalan branch that organises tours ,talks and activities for its members.