WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Inside and Outside !!

Spring is truly here. Today I am working in my garden and ... inside!!.. Some flower seedlings that i will throw around the flat surfaces .. the veggies, I have a little place for them..not too many as unfortunately, the rabbits and hares come around and eat them at night.. So I lost interest.. But this season i will try again.
Also if the gates are left open.. the horses come and eat everything just about.
My garden is a rustic garden. Its not a design garden, its simple and easy to keep really I have too plant plants that grow well and adapt to the Alentejo hot climate. My oleanders give the most show during summer..
Some of my pots ready for their new plants.. upon my next visit,which will be shortly to the garden centre.
The twin pots below.. I am planting white rambling roses in. I want to try and get them to creep up the side of the cottage walls. I also have compost fertilizer for my plants today..


Paints at the ready.. some left over colours from the final touches i made to my little rose heads painting.
I am all set up to paint this ceramic plaque of Mary and baby Jesus. I bought it about 6 years ago, and never got around to painting it. I really like it and would like to hang it on my bedroom wall.

I took these images from the web. I like the colours and will use them for colour references..
This image, is an old Byzantine icon image.. but i think these colours are beautiful .
This one, I am not sure.. possibly Russian or Greek orthodox.. but this is how i would like my end result.. to take it to the carpenter and have it framed in wood.. Where I could "antique" it afterwards and paint angeles on each side..
Am I ambitious or what.. but it starts today..
Its 23 deg. Ideal for spliting the day .. for Inside and Outside..
Wishing you all a happy tuesday.. with warm spring weather.


  1. Hello Val:
    Gardeners always have to be optimistic and think that this season will be the best ever. otherwise, all is lost! It is very difficult keeping your plants protected from so many unwelcome garden visitors but if you get the plants growing strongly before planting them out, they have more chance of survival.

    The plaque of the Virgin Mary and Jesus is very attractive and we look forward to seeing your finished result.

  2. Dear Val
    You try most ! Outside with your flowers and inside with your painting ! Both lovely ! If your weather is nice stay out to relax ! May be the painting is for us inside with this grey weather !And I love more the natural gardens !The Nature is the most perfect art !
    Have a nice day

  3. Hi Valerie

    I can sense your joy and enthusiasm as you welcome spring and all the excitement of the season.

    I love white roses and I am sure you will do wonderfully. (Fred Tilston VC was a master rose grower- their garden was used as a backdrop for weddings- so perhaps it is in your genes)

    I love your project on the Holy Family and no doubt you will do wonders. I will look forward to seeing it.

    Off for a run and see what the tide has washed up.

    Helen xx

  4. Dear Helen,
    Thank you so much for your kind comments.. Indeed it must be in the blood.. I love roses.. I dont have enough. My problem is getting help.. Its too much on my own.
    I am looking forward to painting our lady..
    Hope you find a letter in a bottle.. who knows..another story for you to tell us..
    best wishes Helen..


  5. Thank you Olympia,
    Yes.. its beautiful weather here.. I am in and out..
    I have started painting.. so will be inside for a while.. I might take it outside.. but time goes by so quickly.
    Have a happy tuesday

  6. Dear Jane and Lance,

    Thank you for always writting such nice comments ..I do so enjoy reading them.
    I think that is what i will do.. seed them first...then plant.. did that years ago and it does work.
    I am not a very good veggi gardner!.. I must confess i have a young Ukranian man, that comes to help now and again.. his wife helps around too.

    When next i see him..i will ask him if he plays mah jong..!!
    Happy tuesday

  7. Hi Val!

    I planted red currant bushes in my garden and have lots of strawberiies, plus the tiniest wild strawberries which grow wild!

    I bought Rocket seeds and Cosmos. I have a cottage garden with hollihocks, lupins (I bought more of them!) sweet peas a loads of roses which I love.

    In my garden in Italy I have olive trees, figs, some small cacti (prickly pears) and wild herbs, bay leaves, fennel and I just love to grow my own basil and LOTS of chillies! I think they are truly magnificent "things" to look at!

    Good luck with your painting project, dear Val!




  8. Dear Val - you are so very busy, you have really got lots of spring energy.
    I shall look forward to seeing the plaque when finished, and all your seeds when they grow.
    Animals are a gardeners nightmare, I get quite disheartened when I plant healthy runner bean plants, and during the night the snails come and snip the lovely strong stems in half.

  9. Hi Val. I have been trying to grow a rose up the side of my porch for years, but I am not very good at growing roses. I can't wait to see how your new project works out! I hope you have a wonderful day inside and out!

  10. Gardening is such a great meditation... I 'll have to wait a few weeks, but I will start too.

    And your painting is indeed ambitious, but when the is a want there is also a can ; )

    Looking forward to see the result dear Val!

  11. Hello, I too have already sown in the garden with many flowers, but above all I planted many flower bulbs. Now begin to plant the roses!

  12. Fastifloriale..

    Its an exciting time.. I always buy new flowers in spring.. some have to be replaced..
    We had harsh early morning frost.. no rain and very hot.. lots too do..

  13. Dear Demie,

    That is so true.. I want to do it and i know i can..
    thats posative thinking..
    I am half way through Mary and baby jesus..
    and the seeds are sewn..

    I am tired now.. will rest a little.
    thank you

  14. Thanks Lisa,

    I have been in and out.. the seeds are sewn..they are really just fillers..i didnt get to the veggi plants yet.. and i am half way throuh Mary and baby Jesus..
    finished for today.. whew..not stopped.

  15. The flower seeds are just to fill in spaces..
    will attack the veggies tomorrow..
    Half finished Mary and baby Jesus.. a very productive day..
    I am tired now..
    going to have a cup of tea and put my feet up...the sun is still shining..i will have it outside.
    Rosemary.. put sea salt around the root of your beans.. the snails hate it.. an old trick..you might know it already.
    Thanks Rosemary..

  16. Wow Anna,
    You are truly productive.. I dont know where you find the time to do all that..
    As i get older, i find i cant do as much.. but i keep going. I am waiting for Petro the Ukranian that helps me around the garden to come back from Ukrain.. then we will really attack the garden and clean up..
    I have sturdy plants. The seeds are a filler
    I am half way through Maria and baby Jesus.. I have had a full day.. tea time now..
    ciao amici..
    Thanks Anna.. bacci

  17. Val: Your garden will be beautiful. We do have rabbits here but mostly people have problems with deer in their gardens. Thankfully we live in town so don't have them bothering us, but then we don't have all of the beauty of the country either...Judy P.S. Your painting is ambitious but will be just beautiful when finished.

  18. Thank you Judy,

    With patience we can do a lot. I am half finished Mary and baby jesus.. and the seedlings are sewn..
    It was a busy day yesterday..
    Will finish the other half of the plaque today..
    Then i will get it framed.. Its easy really.
    Lots to do in the garden..spring cleaning and all that.

  19. Dear Val - you seem to be quite busy! I always love to plant flowers and herbs in spring and then watch how they grow and become big and strong and I love rambler roses! I think they look magnificent in front of a wall. I can't wait to see your finished plaque - I wonder what colors you will choose! Nice to see, that your blog is going well now. It has developed into a wonderful and interesting site! Congratulations! I am so glad that I met you! Happy evening Christa

  20. Thank you Christa..

    I appreciate so much your comments.. You have always been so kind.. I too am glad I met you..
    Tomorrow, i start the clean up around the cottages.
    Am painting the cottage inside and out..
    spring is here..
    I hope that my seedlings take..
    my plaque is half finished..

  21. I'm looking forward to gardening too. I have deer that like to eat my flowers, they even eat roses thorns and all! Good luck! Thanks so much for stopping by, Laura

  22. Thank you Laura..
    How wonderful to have deer in your garden.. Try take some photos for a blog..
    Am rather thrilled today..as it rained for 45 min.. not had rain for 4 months..
    Happy weekend..


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