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.

Thursday, 3 May 2012


Once every two weeks Pedro comes to help around my little inside garden. I dont know what i would do without his help. His wife Maria, comes too sometimes. Its difficult to keep the garden pretty on my own. We all work well together.
The olive grove itself is left wild, and the wild flowers and food for the horses grows naturally each year. I have fenced off an area where my two little cottages are and that is where i have the garden.. Its a simple country garden. I try to keep to bushes mainly. Alentejo becomes very very hot starting next month. I am enjoying the flowers now during this month of May.

What happens to me is. That during the rains now of the winter and spring. The flowers grow so quickly and start blooming but i get loads of unwanted weeds. The fields are lush and green and the olive flowers have started to grow already.
The olive flowers
I saw this wild vine growing on the ground.
It would be a good idea to get someone to make a graft.!
I have a grape vine growing at the bottom of the land.
Would be nice to get them growing again.
Pedro. We were just checking the rose bushes. They are amazingly big and lovely. Pedro arrived from the city of Liviv in the Ukrain 10 years ago. The Ukranians learn portuguese very quickly. So we can at least communicate. Now and again i look up a word on wikepedia.. but communication is good. He has been with the family 8 of those years. He has now moved to work in the Olive factory. He is a great help to me.
Full of pink buttons and buds
I took this photo upon the hill close to my home..its wild lavender in proffusion.. all over.
Hardy, Issa(in the middle) and Jeffrey-Cassidy all wanted to join in
wild red poppies.. taken on approaching my quinta. Not so many this year. They grow also at the sides of the roads, but the municipality are clearing everything around the hedgerows.
Now here I start with some of the bushes and creepers i have in the inside garden.. I have no idea of the names! This one I call a bottle brush tree.. I have two and they are very lovely , a very bright red.
I am not sure.. but i call this a "clemetis" Oh gosh! whatever..its beautiful
This one I love ..it grows ever so quickly and gives flower all the year around. I call it "Soleno"
This purple bush- I have no idea what its called. I was told, but i am sure by now , you all know i am not good with the names of flowers.

This lovely pink flower grows like a thick bush..but its not a bush..its so soft and sways with the breeze. They last a long time in the vase. The Salmon coloured rose is all perky today after the rain.

We have had rain for the past 2 days here. Rain that we need desperately..it will fill our wells and the dams.

I hope that some of you recognise some of the plants i have shown. !! would love to know their names.
If any of you are out in your gardens today. Happy gardening day.


  1. Hello Val:
    Yes, as you say, the problem with much needed rain is that it does produce weeds in profusion. However, if it is possible to get on top of them now and next month, then it should become easier thereafter. You are so fortunate to have Pedro. Good help is always hard to come by.

    Oh, Val, the lavender growing wild. How perfect is that!!

  2. Thank you dear Jane and Lance,
    It is true, the weeds take over very fast. I have the
    tree bark around some of the bushes.. I am off to buy more this weekend. It seems to disappear into the ground and i have to put more each year.
    Its looking better already.
    happy days to you both
    Pedro is a true help.

  3. Dear Val, I would kill to have your rose bush with the many pink buds. The white star with yellow center blossoms reminds me of a potatoe vine. So glad you have help. For the first time this year we are employing local boys to help us with the clean up. It makes a big difference. Happy weekend. ox, Gina

  4. I do remember somewhere in the back of my mind the name of the white flowering creeper.. but will have to find out. I dont think its a potato creeper..but then again not sure.
    I can imagine, with a grand place like yours, you would need some hands on , now and again.
    Its great to see it all looking nice.
    Torrential rains at the moment.
    kind regards Gina, happy painting

  5. I love your rosebush and your pups. And the garden is pretty too. Nice place to be. sandie

  6. Dearest Val...

    It all looks so beautiful and sunny, I feel like I'm beginning to tan! I love all your plants and flowers and truly wish I could "import" the blue sky and the roses! Mine are just beginning to grow again, after a very long Winter. As I write, it's raining outside and the heating is on, especially as I have been here, writing all morning and early afternnon!

    You make me wish I could fly to my house in Italy, right now, to enjoy my own olive trees in flower, my fig trees and my plants... SOB!

    Thank you for sharing a little "slice" of your home (including your lovely dogs!)

    It's all really lovely, for a lovely lady such as you!



  7. Thank you so much for posting these beautiful photos, Val. You're lucky to have so much beauty around your home! (And what adorable little dogs!) I think the climbing purple flower may be a type of Clematis, but I'm not sure.

  8. I am very pleased that you liked my post today Haworth. I have worked hard over the years to make my surroundings pretty. I like it.
    I am thinking that maybe that is the name of the purple flower.. will find out.. thank you for your kind comments.
    Happy Thursday

  9. I am very pleased that you liked my post today Haworth. I have worked hard over the years to make my surroundings pretty. I like it.
    I am thinking that maybe that is the name of the purple flower.. will find out.. thank you for your kind comments.
    Happy Thursday

  10. I am very pleased that you liked my post today Haworth. I have worked hard over the years to make my surroundings pretty. I like it.
    I am thinking that maybe that is the name of the purple flower.. will find out.. thank you for your kind comments.
    Happy Thursday

  11. Dearest Anna,
    Thank you for your kind comments..They are much appreciated. I can tell you Anna. It started to rain again about half hour after i took the photos. It had been raining all night. There was a little ray of sun that shone over us and i quickly took out my camera.
    Its been raining all day since. I had the heating on a little.. I must confess, that my roses this year are magnificent. I feel sorry for them being bashed about by the heavy rain..but they seem to thrive on it.
    I too wish i could send you a little sun.
    devia tir muitos saudades de Italia. baci amiga.

  12. Thank you sandi
    My dogs had a ball, running in and out ..they never leave me.
    Happy days your comments are appreciated.

  13. Hello Val
    Your garden looks wonderful, Pedro is obviously a great help, the Roses are very healthy looking, are they scented? I am not sure of some of your plants, I know you have evergreen clematis, which are different to ours, and the White climber is a Solanum so pretty we had one growing on an arch in Cornwall.
    The photo of the Lavender growing wild is very special, I have never seen it growing like that before. Thank you for sharing.
    Thea x

  14. Thank you for your kind comments Thea.
    Pedro helps with the fertilizer around the roses I prune and cut them..he is a good hand around the place.
    The small white flower with the magenta middle is a Clematis..thank you Thea. I remember now the name. The other is Solanum, but i spelt it wrong..
    The lavander is amazing.. It grows every year, but this year is exceptional.
    Happy days

  15. Hi Val: Everything looks so beautiful. How fortunate you are to have the wildflowers so close to your quinta. Those purple flowers that you don't know is potato vine. At least that is what I've always called it. The leaves and flower are poison to the animals, although my daughter has a hedge in her back yard and the dogs are always chewing on it and they are OK, so maybe that's an old wives tale. But it is a very pretty bush.Happy Thursday..Judy

  16. Thank you Judy,
    I now know the name of the purple flower.. Its a bush really, but i am trying to make it creep. My dogs havent touched it so far! i think!
    Next time i buy a plant, i will write down the name..that is if i dont know what it is..
    Hope your project is coming along. looking forward to seeing it.
    Happy Thursday

  17. Here's a few names...the white and purple vines are Clemitis..the purple is, I believe, Jackmani but I can't remember the white's name. The last photo of pink flowers is Gaura...:)JP

  18. Thank you JP.. i thought the white and purple were clemitis..thanks for confirming.. I will look up jackmani this morning ..the white is Solanum, Thea confirmed that..
    glad that you passed by. i appreciate my blogging friends comments.
    have a happy friday

  19. Hi Val, the bottlebrush, I believe, is called Banksia, the white climber looks like a Thunbergia, the little white flowers climber is a Solanum jasminoides and the purple climber also looks like a Thunbergia battiscombei. I couldn't see the pink flowers, so I can't help there. The rose looks so beautiful !!!
    Have a great weekend.

  20. Your garden looks really pretty, it makes such a difference if you have someone reliable to help with it. How marvellous to have lavender growing wild on the hillsides, it's one of my favourite flower scents.

  21. Thanks Rowan,
    Maybe i am spoilt.. or should i say spoil myself. but i could never do all the hard work in my garden.. the mowing and cutting back the big stuff. living alone its hard. Pedro is a great help.
    I do the easier things.. and tend my roses.
    I was amazed to see the lavender this year..its all over.
    I think i will go pick some and put it inbetween the sheets.
    kind regards

  22. Thank you, Val! I had planned to go out in the garden and start the planting! After reading your post I even more feel like planting! I envy that nature is already that far! Here no roses are out yet - the tulips are about to finish now. Still spring. Enjoy your day! Christa

  23. Oh thank you so much Michelle,
    I now think i know these lovely creepers and flowers i have had for a while now in my garden.
    your comments are so appreciated.
    happy weekend

  24. Hello Valerie

    Your garden is beautiful and such colour. I love it. You are fortunate to have Pedro help with the major work.
    Being in a garden, when it is newly groomed and weeded, with a cup of tea in hand, is a great feeling.

    Helen xx

  25. Thank you Helen,
    We got some work done yesterday, but then the rain came . Its still here today. So will have to wait for the next clean up when the weather gets better.
    I do love going out with my cup of tea in the early morning.
    Happy weekend

  26. Thank you Christa,
    Nina skyped me wed. She said it was still cold in Luzern,but she had been able to put some new plants in her garden.
    here its raining now all day. But i got some things done.
    Happy friday Christa.

  27. Hello Val, in Italian we say "clematide" and the other was "solanum". how is the weather there by yourself? here is the sun, but I fear it will rain the next day. I wish you good weekend anyway! franc

  28. Grazi Frac..
    Sim e clematide e solanum..
    We are having rain all day today..
    Uma fim de samana com muito chuva.


  29. Val...What a charming blog you have!!! And you live in such a beautiful place. I so appreciated you commenting on my blog and that I am able to meet you. Your life looks so peaceful and I love your home. I'm thoroughly enjoying all your photos. I can feel a gentle warm breeze as I soak up the culture and the gorgeous flowers and countryside. And your little dogs are just as cute as they can be and I know great companions. I too am now following you and look forward to many wonderful posts. Thankyou for sharing your life with us.


  30. You have such a beautiful garden! So many bright, wonderful flowers. I'm glad you have someone to help you that you work well with. I would not be able to do it alone either.

  31. OH Val what a LOVELY garden! You have beautiful flowers but I'm not good with names either so I don't think I can help you very much. I know Clematis...I have two of them right now but hopefully will have more eventually. Our gardens are mostly in their second season and I have room for lots more plants but that will happen a little every year. Your roses are beautiful! I have never seen a real life olive tree before...do the little flowers open up more or is that as far as they go? It must be beautiful there at this time of year before the heat arrives. Thank you for showing us your beautiful garden...enjoy!
    Maura :)

  32. Val,
    I'm not sure my previous comment has gone through so will leave another one just in case.
    I so love your garden and I'm sure you can enjoy it very much this time of year, surrounded by such beauty. Your flowers and bushes are great and I especially love your roses. I can nearly smell them.
    thank you for posting such beautiful photos.
    wish you a most pleasant and relaxing weekend.

  33. Grazi Rita.
    This is the first message i recieved.. thank you ..for your kind comments. I do enjoy my garden.
    wishing you too a pleasant weekend.

  34. Dear Maura,
    Such appreciative comments you wrote about my garden. thank you so much.
    I do love it. It really is a simple garden.. yours is coming along too. Its taken me 7 years to get where i am.. it takes time effort and of course the "Green backs"!.. i tend to overdo it when i go to the nursery.
    The olive flower is just starting..it becomes a tiny little white flower ever so tiny.. lots fall off along the way before harvest in November.
    Have a happy day
    kind regards val.

  35. Thank you Lisa for you lovely comments.
    I couldnt do all the hard work without Pedro ..he is such a help.
    Its looking nice now.. but still needs more work. bit at a time.
    happy friday

  36. Thank you for this lovely post with beautiful flowers and sunshine. You certainly would appreciate having Pedro there to help with your garden. Everything grows so fast in the Spring/early Summer, especially the weeds! It must be a pretty sight to see the lavender and poppies growing so freely in the fields.
    I think I know the names of the plants you showed in your garden. Two of them are native to Australia.....the Bottlebrush or Calistomon and the large white flowered climbing plant Pandorea Jasminoides. The smaller white flowered and purple flowered with yellow centres are potato vines. The last one is the Gaura. I think it is lovely when it bobs and moves around in the breeze, like butterflies. It comes in white too. Lot of seedlings come up around the original bush and can be hard to remove if you just want a singe plant. Not so bad if you remove them when they are small.
    I'm going to enjoy seeing your lovely sunny, colourful pictures now that the weather has become much colder here. You will remember winter from your time in Perth, 'though Perth is a bit further North than Melbourne, so probably not quite as cold during the day time in winter.
    Have a great week-end.

  37. Thank you so much Betty , for naming the plants.. most of the blogger friends seem to know what they are.
    I especially love the Gaura.. it blooms nearly all the year. I did notice that little shoots were popping up around them. But i can transplant them elswhere..they make a nice show.
    My years in Fremantle were delightful.. I trully only remember good weather. Here its raining at the moment.
    Wishing you a pleasant happy weekend Betty.

  38. Hi Val: It's me again. Go back to my last post, I've explained something about my thank you's and it's easier for you to read than a big letter here..Happy Sunday..Judy

  39. Val,
    Your garden is lovely, and your flowers are blossoming very nicely. My favorite is the roses. I never get tired of looking at them. They planted a rose bush in my front yard, and the color is pretty, but they are drooping a little from the last rains. Hopefully, they will get stronger. I enjoyed your pictures of your garden. Flowers are the magic in our lives.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  40. Thank you Sheri.
    I do love roses.. i was married and had a bouquet of 13 18 yellow roses. (maybe you remember the song by Bobby Darin.. 18 yellow roses..
    I can imagine you are getting very excited about the wedding and running around.
    happy days

  41. What more beautiful work with a little help to enjoy such beauty of nature? Enjoy your beautiful garden along with a cup of coffee !
    Have a nice week

  42. Thank you so much Olympia.

    Hope that you are well.. wondering if you recieved my e mail to you!
    At the moment its been raining for a few days, and the poor roses have been really damaged.. i will be pruning them later today. The weather is a really wet April.
    x val


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