Thursday, January 19, 2012

The winter flowers

We are fortunate here at La Pasera in so much that we enjoy a coastal micro climate. The village is sited on a coastal plane with the sea 1 km away in one direction and a 750m mountain, 1 km in the other direction.

View of the coastal plane from El Fito - Toriello is behind the peak!

This results in a mild winter with temperatures rarely dipping below 2 degrees which means no snow and rarely, frost. In winter, day time temperatures vary from 10 - 22 degrees with the odd day either a touch higher or lower. We experience strong winter storms and gusting winds can come with much force from the Bay of Biscay but generally speaking apart, from the occasional prolonged rainy period, the weather is tolerable and often mild enough to enjoy lunch on the terrace.

The weather affects our growing season in all sorts of ways and we still continue to learn about how plants grow differently to what we were used to in the UK. Wandering around the garden yesterday it was strange to see such an array of plants and flowers in bloom.

The Christmas Rose was a nice surprise as this particular plant originates from a division of my Great Grandma's plant from over 50 years ago. Propagated by my Mum then by me and eventually relocated to Spain, we were worried that it might not survive. Apart from snail damage, it has grown consistently for the past few years but rarely gets much bigger. We have divided it twice as an insurance policy so...time will tell.

In the wilder areas of the garden, Aconites, primroses and wild dianthus are blooming well and the hellebores are showing signs of flower. The crocus are showing through and several early ones are flowering.  Narcissus are pushing their fresh green leaves through and if you look very carefully the wild orchids are beginning to gain strength.

In complete contrast to the first signs that winter is leaving, the planted areas of the garden continue to produce flurries of colour such as training purple aubretia and the self-seeded white alyssum as you can see in the picture below. Marigolds give a very vibrant display most of the year and self seed in abundance. Incidently, the purple fleshy plant in the background is the frost tender purple aeonium which manages to survive outside here in the milder winters.


  1. Anonymous6:29 pm

    Wonderful blog Ian and Luis. My wife and I currently live in North western France and lead basically the same type of life as you both do, but must say, the area around where you are situated seems more to our liking. Keep up the good work. Kind regards

    1. Thank you for your kind words. The area suits us but it is not to everyone's taste. Most people expect Sun and although we get our fair share of sunshine and warm weather, we also get a higher than average rainfall - but that is why we have such lush landscapes.


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