Costa Blanca, March 2012

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pamela

  • Sr. Member
Costa Blanca, March 2012
« on: March 11, 2012, 08:04:27 PM »
My March garden is looking quite sad in a way.....I have never seen numerous large hibiscus trees we have looking so forlorn. They are completely denuded after a those cold 2 weeks in Feb.  As well we have had no rain for months and I have had to hand water some new plants.

But on the bright side my Ipheion uniflorum Rolf Fiedler looks a picture.  I was kindly given some plants by some friends in Crevillente.   There is very little colour in our garden as is usual at the moment other than some Crocosmia Lucifer, Chasmanthe floribunda, a few Muscari macrocarpum and M. armeniacum which are flowering at the moment. The Iris germanica has just finished.  I.unguicularis is always happy flowering here, a few I. reticulata are peeping through and I noticed some buds of Jasminium polyanthum. The Nisperos are loaded but I think the fruit will be later this year as they are still quite small. Lemons and Grapefruit are heavy with fruit. I can't by pass the lovely Vinca difformis exquisitely pale and interesting under the pines.  Now thats an underestimated plant. Lovely Euphorbia rigida has braved the cold.

We now have had some warm sunny days. After hard pruning our Salvia guaranitica in November it is really putting on some serious growth.
This beautiful plant performs well for me. 
Some Salvias which came through our cold shock well are S.canariensis. S.discolor, S. desoleana, S leucantha, S.uliginosa, S.somalensis, S.greggii, S.africana-lutea, S. interrupta, S.chamaedryoides.
S. blepharophylla looks a little worse for wear at the moment.
Oh, and the pots of Clivia miniata on the steps are starting to bloom and the first blossoms of Echium candicans I see today. Can't be bad! I am looking forward to April!




Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

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ritamax

  • Full Member
Re: Costa Blanca, March 2012
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 09:10:10 PM »
Thank you for the botanical news from Costa Blanca! What was the coldest temperature in Javea in February?It went below zero a couple of nights in Orihuela Costa, I lost a Pachystachis lutea, but nothing else. How do you cultivate Iris germanica there? I know from Basel, that it should be a baking hot spot with sandy soil. There is a very large Iris germanica collection in Basel, which flowers usually in May.
What is your experience with grasses in Costa Blanca? I don't see them in gardens and in garden centers I have seen only Pennisetum and Cortaderia, which is on the list of invasive plants. Most of the gardens in our region contain mostly the invasive plants from Jan van Eijle's list! Do you know how seriously should one go forth with this list? Would it help to deadhead the invasive plants before the plant sets seed?
Best regards to Javea!

 
Hobbygardener (MGS member) with a rooftop garden in Basel and a garden on heavy clay with sand 600m from seaside in Costa Blanca South (precipitation 300mm), learning to garden waterwise

pamela

  • Sr. Member
Re: Costa Blanca, March 2012
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 07:43:33 PM »
I am sorry I didn’t see your post before Ritamax and I am now replying to your questions. Regarding  the temperature in Javea. Our garden is not directly in the town of Javea which is east facing but we overlook and are affected by the Bahia de la Granadella which is south facing  (south of Cabo la Nao) and because we have hills and ridges behind us we do not normally get the very cold winds.  But this year we did and they were quite cold. Probably not below zero but nearly, with wind chill!   If the temp was below zero I would have seen damage on the Agave attenuata which is very susceptible. I don’t grow ‘grasses’ as they are not ‘right’ for my garden except for Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrascens  and O. japonicus .  I know Jan van Eijle very well. He works/advises from time to time at l’Albarda the amazing mediterranean garden here where I am a guide, (have you seen it?)   He is highly committed to indigenous plants and very knowledgeable.  I don’t see why you should not follow his list to steer you in the right direction.    Deadheading does stop spreading there is no doubt but also rhizomes can be a problem.  To be perfectly honest I have a range of plants from all mediterranean climate areas but I do leave and encourage indigenous seedlings where ever I can. Iris germanica grows well here…..don’t water in summer!
Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

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ritamax

  • Full Member
Re: Costa Blanca, March 2012
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 09:39:00 AM »
Thank you, Pamela! I haven't visited the l'Albarda garden, yet. I get to go to Spain so rarely, that I hardly get out of my garden, when I am there. It is frustrating to be an absentee gardener, little chance growing plants from seed. In the meanwhile, I found the official invasives' list on the web site of the Spanish governement and has been shocked ever since! http://www.magrama.gob.es/es/biodiversidad/publicaciones/ (Atlas de las plantas aloctonas invasoras en Espana). I found a nursery in my region specializing in "plantas autoctonas" http://www.viverosmuzale.com/index.html
I will have to fix the automatic watering system for the summer and I am quite perplex how long and how oftten should I water. I planted a lot in winter (one bed of Callistemons, Grevilleas, Metrosideros etc. and one bed of Teucrium, Coronilla, Pistacea lentiscus, Olive etc.) and I have tenants in summer, so my keyholder cannot come and water from the hose. That means I have to turn the sprinklers on, but a lot of plants don't seem to like overhead watering. Last summer when I didn't have any new plants, yet, but still a grama lawn, the cypress hedge, bougainvilleas, ivy hedge, yucca, ficus trees, I had the sprinklers run 20 minutes in the late evening and everything was still alive in the autumn. The sprinkler watering cools the soil for the night and washes the dust away, but everybody seems to be totally against it. So there is a dilemma, but to change the system is not possible at the moment. Happy to hear your thoughts on this! Rita
Hobbygardener (MGS member) with a rooftop garden in Basel and a garden on heavy clay with sand 600m from seaside in Costa Blanca South (precipitation 300mm), learning to garden waterwise

pamela

  • Sr. Member
Re: Costa Blanca, March 2012
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2012, 09:54:27 PM »
Dear Rita
It is very difficult being an absentee gardener, I know because I have friends who are just that.  Looking at your list of plants there are a number of excellent plants which would be really suitable for your lifestyle i.e. Teucrium fruiticans, Coronilla glauca, Pistacia lentiscus and of course the Olive ..all great plants here among others which you haven't mentioned. Which Callistemon? (some need more water than others) and which Metrosideros? (not an easy plant.  Both of these plants from the Antipodes are really difficult here under good conditions. We just do not have the right soil.   I do have some of these plants but one needs to be here to monitor it. The Yucca should need no water over the summer, it depends how old the Ficus is (and which one) and age is also a factor with Bougainvilleas.  Overhead watering is not good in our environment, the sea air here is too moist. You would be better with low sprinklers. Unless you plant totally indigenous plants you will have to water the new plants in the summer. Even newly planted indigenous plants wll need one summer water to get their roots down.   I must say in my experience most new exotic plants here need to be on a watering system for 3 summers.  Yes, plant indigenous plants as much as you can and leave all seedlings.  The Spanish Government frankly make me laugh..they are the biggest hippocrites when it comes to planting invasive plants in the roundabouts and public areas. For instance Lantana camera among many others is everywhere.  They rarely use indigenous plants because they are not 'colourful' enough.

Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

*

ritamax

  • Full Member
Re: Costa Blanca, March 2012
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2012, 07:14:16 AM »
At last in Spain! Two days of pruning, weeding and deadheading in a gorgeous weather, very relaxing! All the plants are alive, some look great like Gazania, thyme, sage, teucrium, coronilla, crassula, ficus (2 large trees), some not so good like ceanothus (strangely small and "wrinkled" leaves) and strelitzia, which doesn't grow at all. The callistemons are ok (an unlabeled one and Callistemone leavis), Metrosideros has new shoots. Should I feed or should I not and with what? Pittosporum and tecomaria capensis have lost leaves at the base, polygala also a little. Only coronilla has grown a lot. Dahlia in a pot from last year (which flowered 6 months) has come back, also hibiscus syriacus, which was completely dry in the autumn. Olivier Filippi wrote, that Lavandula stoechas doesn't tolerate alcalic soil and that oleander doesn't like overhead watering - I can see that.
Avout the invasives' list in Spain. I think it is a pity, that gardeners, biologists and environmentalists don't communicate enough. The bedding plants used everywhere are useless to pollinators. In Spain they are invasive. Gardeners want "instant colour". Native plants are often humble in look. How to combine everything in a harmonious way...
Hobbygardener (MGS member) with a rooftop garden in Basel and a garden on heavy clay with sand 600m from seaside in Costa Blanca South (precipitation 300mm), learning to garden waterwise