Hi fellow writers. I am going to give a shoutout for Flashes. Flashes is a literary website where we publish short stories, non-fiction, flash fiction, poetry and author interviews. Our goal is to give talented writers a platform to showcase their creativity, with an emphasis on original voice, innovative style and challenging plots. If you... Continue Reading →
My garden is plagued by pests and diseases. The latest victim is my beautiful Agave which is over twelve years old so I am hopping from foot-to-foot wondering what to do. When we are sick we go to the doctor, when animals are sick we take them to the vet... but where to go for... Continue Reading →
After watching several TV and Youtube documentaries on marine plastic pollution and the devastating impact on marine life, I decided to seriously review our plastic usage and recycling efforts, especially single-use plastics. https://www.facebook.com/lessplasticpt/videos/463573210817100/ One of the most alarming facts to emerge from these documentaries is that plastic breaks down into tiny pieces (microplastics) which then... Continue Reading →
There's a lot happening in the garden at the moment so it is demanding a lot of care and attention. This week I did not know where to start for the Six on Saturday garden update, so I decided to show how some areas of the garden are evolving as we head from spring towards... Continue Reading →
We first discovered the terracotta tippy pot display at the Oasis Restaurant near Milfontes in the Alentejo. How unusual, we thought, so I took a photograph. A couple of months later we decided to make our own version. The height of our display was governed by the length of the rebar we already had, a... Continue Reading →
On Sunday we went to our local beach for coffee. As we enjoyed the views across the yet unspoilt beach and rugged coastline of the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina while chatting to friends, we paused as the sound of haunting music caught our attention. At first, we thought the music was... Continue Reading →
This week I've been planting up pots to bring some much needed vibrant summer colour to the garden. Shrubs, cacti and succulents make a great low-maintenance backdrop, but the displays of annuals really make the garden pop with colour. I usually go to the garden centre and select a range of annuals but this year,... Continue Reading →
It's been a busy week in the garden with everything demanding my attention at once to the point I've been spinning on the spot. We managed to cut the olive hedge which had grown to around 12ft as it was casting a shadow over the pool sitting area as the sun dipped lower after 18.30.... Continue Reading →
I have a few pet peeves regarding tobacco smoke. The first is when smokers, in the company of non-smoking friends 'light up' which means their friends are forced to inhale tobacco smoke. Second-hand smoke is dangerous and there is no safe level of exposure I understand some people can't live without their cancer sticks and... Continue Reading →
... okay, a thousand seedlings may be a slight exaggeration but as I survey all the seeds that have germinated so far: petunias, basil, nasturtium and curly parsley to name a few, I don't have enough pots to prick out. Another week and another Six on Saturday (SoS). It is difficult to select my six... Continue Reading →
WoW!! Well, not quite this big! Photograph taken during a recent visit to Quinta da Ataboeira garden centre in Guia. Considering the Pony Tail palm is slow growing, I wonder how old these specimens are?
Thankfully, the water butts are full to the brim as are all the plastic water bottles. It truly is April showers with brilliant sunshine one minute and heavy rain the next. I seriously would not recommend a holiday in Portugal in April if you want a tan as the weather is too unreliable and it... Continue Reading →
This little pig went to the local market and bought a piggy sweet. yum yum! Doces do Algarve are traditional handmade marzipan sweets. They are super-sweet so if you want a shot of sugar they are perfect! They are normally shaped and carefully painted as fruit, vegetables or fish, (or at least the ones... Continue Reading →
Mother's Day came with a monetary 'allowance' to spend on plants. Needless to say, I was like a kid in a sweetie shop when the OH drove for over an hour on Wednesday to visit my favourite garden centre, Qta Ataboeira. If you want succulents and cacti, for me, they are the 'go-to' place. They also... Continue Reading →
Where do the weeks go? We desperately need rain but despite the forecast showing a shower or two, we have only been gifted 1cm since last Sunday. If it does not rain soon, we have already been warned there will be a shortage of water in the Western Algarve. Sitting in the garden eating breakfast... Continue Reading →
My gardening six this week focuses on a new project to extend one of our succulent gardens and identify ALL the succulents. Research seems more labour intensive than the physical aspect of digging, moving rocks and planting. Is anyone else confused by all the different names? 1. Succulent Garden - Work in Progress I originally... Continue Reading →
A busy week of seed planting and pricking out seedlings means I've already filled our two cold frames. I've discovered, there's something quite satisfying about growing seeds... I think. So far so good. I've now gone crazy and ordered 5 packets of seeds from a friend who is putting in an order with a UK... Continue Reading →
My weekly smile this week comes courtesy of a dear poetry friend at writingforums.com. My Christmas Pippy Pig never arrived so my tenacious friend sent another! It now sits pride of place on my desk. Parcel delivery to our house can be a little unreliable at times and seems to depend on the tenacity of... Continue Reading →
Another great week in the garden! We've had plenty of rain as well as warm sunny spells so seeds and vegetables are off to a good start. As I posted in 'My Garden in Bloom - February' I am amazed by the number of cacti and succulents in bloom and it looks as if this... Continue Reading →
Looking through my february photographs I am amazed at the number of different flowering plants. The weather in February was a mixed bag of sun and rain, and our in-house weather station recorded temperatures as low as 4C at night while rising to over 22C plus on several occasions during the day. Spring Bulbs -... Continue Reading →
We've had glorious weather again this week and the night time temperature has not fallen below 10C in our micro-climate. Unfortunately, we've had no rain so once again we rely on our temperamental irrigation system. 1. Upcycling Plastic in the Garden As I've been struggling to find plastic plant markers in the shops, I decided... Continue Reading →
My smile this week came courtesy of an unexpected source: public toilets. Eew... yes. Seriously. The journey to Coimbra, in northern Portugal, for my post op visit with the knee surgeon is long and tedious so we punctuate our journey with various coffee and toilet breaks (pit stops) to relieve the monotony. Our first pit... Continue Reading →
Where has this week gone? It seems like only yesterday I was taking photographs for last week's Six on Saturday and then touring fellow gardeners blogs to check out their progress. Despite the strong winds this week we did manage to cross one job of the gardening 'To Do' list. Or should I say, the... Continue Reading →
This poem is dedicated to the wonderful selection of insects we have in our garden.
The Ugly Bug Spring Jive
With the Herald of Spring the bugs start to arrive
in my Garden of Eden for the “Ugly Bug Jive”.
The weird and the ugly they give me the jitters
who may I ask created these critters?
There are black bugs and green bugs and stripey ones too
perhaps they’ve escaped from the Ugly Bug zoo?.
Grasshoppers and spiders arrive at my door
the Jive’s in full swing so they take to the floor.
The Ugly Bug Jive is now the “In” thing
and a great way to cheer, the arrival of Spring.
The birds, snakes and lizards come looking for lunch
The “Ugly Bug” guests look an appetising bunch…
Reading Trent's Weekly Smile I am reminded it is often the little things in life that brings us the greatest happiness. On Sunday we went to one of our favourite restaurants in Lagos Marina for Sunday Roast. For those not in the know, Sunday roast is typically British: Roast pork, beef or lamb served with... Continue Reading →
In years to come I wonder if Britain will regret its decision to leave the EU and if future generations will shake their heads in despair? I am not a political animal but with the uncertainty of Brexit looming over our heads like a black cloud in a blue sky, I fear for our future.... Continue Reading →
My SoS (Six on Saturday) for this week is a bit of a mixed bag. I've been more active in the garden and we are more or less back on track planting vegetables, clearing weeds etc. I've yet to scratch the itch of walking around a garden centre so perhaps we can add that to... Continue Reading →
Karen over at BlueSkyDays365 is also on a creative journey with watercolours and prompted this post. Having decided I'd like to paint I had hoped to join the local English art group, but like most things in life it's not what you know it's who you know. Apparently, according to a group member, it was... Continue Reading →
My biggest smile over the last week is due the birth of my fifth grandchild. A little boy who looks absolutely adorable! I continue to receive photos and updates via WhatsApp, but nothing can replace a real life cuddle. I am working hard on physio exercises to strengthen my knee, after my recent meniscus operation,... Continue Reading →
Where has this week gone already? It seems like only yesterday I was writing last week's SoS (Six on Saturday). My Six on Saturday this week focuses on vegetables. Temperatures at night still hover between 4C and 12C and daytime temperatures usually above 14C to as high as 20C. Probably higher if I measured the temp... Continue Reading →
Looking back through some of my garden photographs for January, I am amazed just how many plants were in bloom. With this in mind, I thought it would make a good point of reference to keep a month-by-month pictorial journal.Hibiscus Flowering in January Cacti and Succulents and in Flower - January **** January Perennials BromeliadBougainvillea, Lavender and Rosemary Orchids The Bird... Continue Reading →
This senryu is for Colleen’s Poetry challenge. Each week we are given two prompt words but we can only use synonyms not the words themselves. This week the prompt words are ‘slow” and “work”. This challenge is for syllabic poetry forms: Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry. Given the prompt words,... Continue Reading →
WoW! My fellow gardeners in the UK are really suffering with the snow. I hope your gardens are okay and there are not too many plant casualties. My Six on Saturday this week is once again restricted... Determined not to miss a week this roving reporter did manage to hobble round on her crutches (not... Continue Reading →
Fellow writers, I am pleased to announce that Flashes, in collaboration with WritingForums.com , challenges you to write a Valentine's micropoem, Loving, laughable, sweet or sour... Although this is a fun challenge, the winner, decided by a People's poll, will receive a $/€/£10 gift voucher. So what are you waiting for? Register, get writing and post your... Continue Reading →
This Tanka is for Colleen’s Poetry challenge. Each week we are given two prompt words but we can only use synonyms not the words themselves. This week the prompt words are ‘Cold” and “Storm”. This challenge is only for Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms.
This week's Six on Saturday will be brief. Photos are limited as balancing on crutches and standing on one leg is not conducive for taking the best shots. My OH gives me a daily update re what's happening in the areas of garden I can't access at the moment. Apparently, he's been busy weeding! 1.... Continue Reading →
If Piglet can't waddle on her crutches to her garden workbench at the back of the house, then think outside the box and create a mini work area which she CAN access! And that is precisely what my OH did. So... sensing my frustration at my lack of contact with the garden, he brought buckets... Continue Reading →
I am curious. Why are the women's toilet signs at Faro Airport reduced to graphics depicting legs and boobs? When and why did we lose our skirt? For the visually impaired this sign is confusing and ridiculous. I feel sorry for men, who, taking a half-glance at the sign, could be forgiven for thinking they... Continue Reading →
Yes, I'm now convinced my garden is a war zone: Me against nature. There is not a week goes by without some new bug or disease attacking my plants. I also woke up to rain this morning the first proper rain since November. My gardening activities this week are once again directed from my garden... Continue Reading →
This Haiku is for Colleen’s Poetry challenge. Each week we are given two prompt words but we can only use synonyms not the words themselves. This week the prompt words are 'MYSTERY" and "ATTRACT". This challenge is only for Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms.