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.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Growing wild

This first photo is of my mint coming up again. It was so overgrown and too large for the pot..the little tiny green leaf at the back of the mint is "Poejos"..Pennyroyal.

I cut the lavander and the Rosmary early this morning. A lovely aroma is already filling the room.

Rosemary - Ros Marinus - Dew of the Sea
Wild lavender in Alentejo

"Mel" Honey. This honey above is manufactured here in the Alentejo from my area. Its divine and as you all know is good for ailments , and very healthy.

This Honey "Mel" is of wild lavender/Rosemary it is a very sought after
Honey here in Portugal..

Lavander flowers .. mine are blooming so nicely after these last rains. They tend to wither in the extreme heat of our summer.
Rosmary. This is a strong hardy plant.. it lives through all seasons.
How perfect this lilac deep blue purple is..ever so delicate.Yet a powerful healer and condiment.
A beautiful bush in my garden.. very wild at the moment.
Lavender. note the little spiky leaves are different than the rosemary bush.
Fields of rosemary and lavender . A typical sight here in the Alentejo.
I love to add rosemary or lavander to some of my meat dishes.also roast vegetables and potatoes. They have so many uses.
Hillside rosmary..

My old farmhouse where Mr M still lives, is called "Monte do Rosmaninho" -Rosemary Hill. I have mentioned that we are neighbours. There is so much wild rosemary and lavender in the hills around and the old house has lots of it growing around. We kept the name, we still love it. Here in Alentejo, people know who you are from the area or names of the land around the villages that you live in. If i say "Monte Conde, or Rosmaninho..they know who we are,and exactly where the farm is. Its very simple really and a nice way to know who our neighbours are.

Rosemary and lavender are of the mint family. I dont confess to know all about the mint family ..but these two varieties grow in profusion around here.
Its an evergreen and Indigenous to certain parts of Europe.
The flowers can be pink, purple, or deep blue.


"Rose of May"

Mythology has it , that according to legend rosmary was drapped around the Greek Godess "Aphrodite",when she rose from the sea born of "Ouranos's" semen.

The Virgin Mary, is said to have spread her cloak over the white blossoms of the rosemary bush when she was resting. The flowers turned to blue.. The shrub became known as
"The Rose of Mary" bush.

As today is the festival day and precession of Santa Agueda here in the village.. I thought this a nice post.
The fireworks were let off early this morning to call the people to the village.

Thank you to "Wikipedia" for some of the information.

My favorite use of these herbs are to season the vegetables.
Do you use these herbs.

Happy Sunday to you all


  1. Hello Val:
    How lovely to be surrounded, as you are now, with lavender in bloom. It really is the most wonderful of herbs and, when we gardened, we so much enjoyed seeing it as attraction to so many bees.

    And the perfume in your house must be simply magnificent.

    Happy Sunday!

  2. Thank you Jane and Lance.

    You are always so kind with your comments.
    Spring is a lovely time. I am sure the bushes are growing there too in Hungary.!
    Best of a Happy Sunday

  3. Dear Val - pleased to learn your strong connections with my name sake.
    I consider Lavender and Rosemary to be a "must" in gardens, the secret being to keep them nicely trimmed. Mint too, another essential in my view. What could be more lovely than lamb with mint sauce, Rosemary tucked under the skin of lamb and inside a chicken, and the dried flowers of Lavender, crushed and added to homemade ice cream. Take care.

  4. I adore Lavender and Rosemary and grow both...my lavender cushions on etsy are from my home grown lavender. I also grow lots of different mints. Unfortunately I don't have a garden, it's grown in the allotment we have. Suzy x

  5. They truly are lovely plants. How great that you grow them too Suzy.
    At least you have an allotment.
    thanks for your comments
    i will go see your cushions. i only just worked out what etsy is. !

  6. I had a very good girlfriend in South Africa called Rosemary..Always liked the name.
    I am making a little bit of rost turkey..so i went out to cut some stalks from the plants.for cooking.and thats how the idea came.. i enjoyed writing this blog.
    I didnt know they were both a member of the mint family.. I love mint.
    I have never eaten lavender in ice cream.. that sounds delicious.
    Thank you Rosemary
    Happy Sunday

  7. Dear Val, A lovely post for a lovely Sunday morning. Your photographs make me want to hop on a plane and come visit you. I would love the experience of having Lavender fields surround my countryside. I grow both herbs in my garden but have to replant often because of our harsh winters.

  8. How lovely Gina, you are most welcome
    I lost about 4 bushes this year , due to frost.
    Some years we get frost others not. I wish i had more growing around the place.
    Happy gardening Gina.

  9. What a beautiful picture you paint of all the herbs and flowers around you and the honey looks beautiful! I have a lavender plant by my front door and now when I see it I will think of you! I hope you are having a beautiful weekend!

  10. Dear Lisa , Thank you as always for your lovely kind comments.
    I live in the middle of nowhere really.. but if one takes the time to look ..we can find all sorts of lovely wild flowers. Here we have lots of the Rosmary and lavender.
    The honey is excellent.
    best wishes..
    val x x x

  11. Hello Val
    What a lovely post, I adore Rosemary,Mint and Lavender it is so lovely to brush past them on a hot summers day, we shall be planting new plants in our new garden, It is wonderful to see it growing wild in your country on such a large scale. We do have lavender farms in Norfolk but I have never visited them. I love the way people know who you are by what grows on your land, very special
    Thea x

  12. Have grown both rosemary and lavender and love them. That honey looks divine and how wonderful that is in your area. Thanks for stopping by, Laura

  13. Hi Val: Great post. I have always loved lavender and rosemary. Rosemary grows like wildfire around here and I have quite a clump in my garden. I use it for cooking and love oven roasted new potatoes with just salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil. There is a lavender farm close to where I lived in the bay area and she would spread her sheets over the plants to dry and they would smell wonderful when she made the bed..Happy Sunday..Judy

  14. I love these herbs too! I always have a little pot of mint and of rosemary, but lavender is a bit more difficult here in the tropics. At the moment we have a new lavender bush and hope to keep it going through the winter. The fragrance is gorgeous. Your honey looks wonderful too.

  15. I wish you luck with your lavender Patricia,
    It is more sensative. needs sun and shade.
    It gets hot there too where you are, like here, the plants suffer through the different seasons..spring is the nicest.
    A little honey in a fruit mix is delicious.
    wish you a peaceful pleasant Monday
    thanks for your comments

  16. Such lovely herbs and shrubs to have around the garden. I can imagine the smell of your friends sheets after they dried.
    The plants here dont flower so well during the summer months, spring is when they look their best.
    I love my potatoes , just as you described..
    Happy Monday Judy..

  17. A lovely post Val. I do like to grow Lavender, Mint and Rosemary in my small garden, but I would love to see it growing wild around your area.
    I like to use Rosemary in cooking, especially with roast lamb or chicken. Makes a beautiful aroma around the house while cooking:)
    I have several Lavender bushes and gather the flowers to make little bags to put in drawers with clothes and linen.
    That honey must be delicious. Very pretty label on the bottle.

  18. You have such a beautiful town, Val! How wonderful (and fragrant!) it must be to live near hillsides of Rosemary and fields of lavender. Here it is too cold for Rosemary to survive outside year round, but when I bring it inside in the winter, it never lasts until spring so each year I have to buy another plant. I do have a healthy lavender plant that grows well and gets a little bigger each year. Thank you so much for posting this! It was a lovely way to begin my morning and it made me smile to read it. Take care.


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