While daytime temperatures during the previous week were warm and sunny this week the sun has been replaced by mostly cloud and an icy wind driving temperatures down to as low as 9C. As well as the cold, we also have to contend with the humidity. Not the type of humidity usually associated with oppressive heat more a ‘dampness’ which seeps not only into the fabric of the house creating what is fondly known as the Algarve black mould on ceilings and walls, but it also penetrates into your skeletons so you are cold from the inside out.
This week for my six on saturday I decided to focus on my orchids and features that add further interest to the garden.
1. CYMBIDIUM ORCHIDS
Over the last couple of years, I have developed a passion for orchids. While I grow a couple indoors the suitable growing environment is limited so I have started to collect Cymbidiums which I grow outside under the terrace sheltered from icy winds and full sun.
My daughter bought me these two for my birthday in December
This is the first cymbidium orchid I bought. An acquaintance and avid gardener was moving back to the UK so she decided, as the new owners of the house were not interested in gardening, she would sell all her potted plants. I’d never heard of cymbidium orchids and as it wasn’t in flower I was hesitant. This one started flowering in October and it is still flowering now!
2. FERN – SUN AND SHADE
I love this fern because it is so adaptable. It grows in sun or shade and is not too fussed about soil or neglect. I’ve no idea what it is called as it was a cutting from about 15 years ago. I am sure the Mother plant has long gone but her off-spring shoots live on.
This is a cutting I found this week growing in the gravel at the back of the vegetable garden. This fern sends out runners so this probably started life in a pot where the roots escaped into the gravel. It is now rehomed in a pot waiting to be transplanted to the Buddha waterfall rockery (see below)
3. BUDDHA WATERFALL ROCKERY
I’ve spent years deliberating and experimenting on which plants to grow in a raised area at the back of the waterfall. The latest, a spur of the moment purchase from a local nursery a creeping plant with purple flowers. Yep, the plant looks lovely close-up but when viewed from a distance, meh.
A couple of years ago I introduced Buddha as a feature but I feel the rockery still lacks greenery aka contrast. The biggest problem is the light. In summer the feature is blessed with full sun and in the winter none at all. Ponderous. Then, inspiration struck! Why not grow one of the industrial ferns (see above) as it thrives almost anywhere? I’d already noticed some fern growing in the gravel so I pulled it up and repotted. Once the roots are established I will replant on the waterful rockery.
Hopefully, the lighter green fern will add an extra ‘something’. We will see.
4. FEATURE POTS
A great way to add interest or colour to the garden is to decorate pots and pebbles. This is the abstract mosaic project I completed this week.
and in position …
5. FEATURE PEBBLES
I finally finished the ghecko decorative mosaic pebble I started months ago. (well almost, he needs some eyes)
6. DECORATIVE SOLAR LIGHTS
I LOVE solar lights, especially the individual feature lights you can poke in pots or indeed anywhere you want to add evening interest or illuminate dark corners once it gets dark.
My Gnome bought me these as a little extra surprise Christmas gift.
at night they gradually change colour
That’s it for this week, folks. Now I’m off to check out other gardening posts from around the world.
For more info on six on saturday check out Mr. P’s blog