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.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Meanderings with Jeffrey-Cassidy ll

I dont need to travel far to find beauty. I am surrounded by it.
I woke this morning, today I had coffee and walked around the garden , changed and went meandering down to the bottom of my land.
If you dont want to get too hot, its best to walk here early morning or at dusk, otherwise its just too hot.

As soon as i dress and change my house shoes, Jeffrey knows that i am getting ready to go out or for a walk. I have a suspision that he knows the difference in my dress. If I put on my going out shoes and he sees me brushing my hair. He immediatley goes to my car. This morning he knew by my shoes, it was a walk.
I turned back and took a photo of Rose Cottage. The wire that you see in the foreground is an electric wire.. its so the horses dont come inside my inner garden.

This morning Hardy, Jeffrey's son decided to come along and little Isaa was behind me.
Peepo.. i can see you. See how the grasses have grown so high and still growing.

This is where i wanted to show you. Its what i call my "secret garden". Its a most beautiful small area with a natural spring . The spring fills a very large pond that is inside the fence. It has to be fenced, because of the animals . I do sometimes have sheep here and its to avoid them from falling in.
However, what has happened. Over the last 10 years, I have just let it grow wild. Its now so wild, that i can hardly get inside the old gate. Inside its a paradise. Now rich in overgrowth and overgrown ivy that is creeping all over. I could hardly move .
This is the border of my 5 hectares. I am not sure what this large tree is.. I know its a family of the elm or oak. Possibly poplar tree.. they are all around the secret garden and seed themselves. Their green and silver leaves swaying this morning with the early breeze.
Looking back at the cottages. My pump house on the left
Flowers in my secret garden. !!
Grape vine. I came away realising, that its time for a clear up within the "Secret Garden".. I am not sure wheather i will get grapes or not this year.. they give a few white grapes each year. I leave some for the birds.
Whew! are we resting a little while mummy!
The pond is not looking too great and possibly needs a clean out.
I can ask the municipality to come and pump out the water and then fresh water from the spring will renew everything once again.
The fir trees
This palm tree is so so large.. but it grows close to the ground.
Its in need of some attention.
Top of the palm tree
Bottom of the palm tree. You can see where the fence is stunting its growth. Time for action. This fence is more than 40 years old.
I thought the old Yuca had died off, but here it is with a growth growing out of the side of the stem trunk.

i love this wild flower.. its not a dandilion. !
Wild Iris.. there are a few other clusters, but they have died off now.
wild perfection
I was so surprised to see the wild rose creeper full of the most enormous rose heads.. trying to pop their head through the fence.
Jeffrey sniffing for a catch amongst the wild ivy.
Fig tree

Wild river mint mingled amongst the the barley
This rose creeper has left me stunned. Here I am , feeding my roses and trying to keep the bugs at bay. This one is as healthy as anything. wild and happy ..its scent knocks you over. Its so peaceful here. The birds are twittering away singing their "ode to joy"

I have the kettle on now. Time for "elevenses" today a little cream puff treat-
Jeffrey and clan drank a whole bowl of fresh spring water and are now panned out, as the heat is on its way for the day.

Wishing all my blogging friends a happy Monday


  1. Hello Val:
    Now this is indeed absolute perfection, to be able to go for 'a walk' without leaving your own property and, on the way, to experience such a rich assortment of plant life. How splendid to have your little Secret Garden with its own spring and pool which, we imagine, is a great attraction to birds and insects drawn to the water, Dragonflies perhaps? And frogs and toads? Wonderful.

  2. the dogs are adorable, very lovely :)

  3. How lovely to have a wild secret garden. Jeffrey and friends looked as though they were having a good time:)

  4. Thank you Rowan,
    I wanted to fit this in on the first blog..but it was too much.
    I am amazed at all the wild flowers.

  5. Thanks Gorkçe..
    The dogs love to go for walks with me.. they think they are going to find something..

  6. How right you both are. The frogs and toads were croaking away , the birds chirping their harmonious corus.. butterlies flittering around, dragon flies and sometimes i have had wild ducks land there..
    its a little hideaway.. i am loath to clear it up..but i must just cut back. I am indeed lucky dear Jane and Lance.
    Thank you always for your kind appreciative comments.
    Is'nt it just delightful.

  7. What a beautiful tour of your secret garden. I wish I could have gone on your walk with you. I love the wild rose. So hardy and fending for itself. That's the kind I need.

  8. Looks like you have a lovely huge yard and the dogs love to go walking with you there. sandie

  9. Thank you Sandie..
    my property is large and i enjoy it very much. The dogs included

  10. I too would have loved your company Lisa. Its so beautiful here. I think we all live in lovely places and blogging helps us share.
    I thought a few years ago about transplanting the rose. i decided to leave it in its natural state.. it smells divine.
    happy Monday ..

  11. Dear Val, Dogs are amazing. They always know. They know that it is time for a walk or work outside when I put on Levis or time to pout when I put on a party dress.
    Your secret garden holds so many varieties of plants and trees. And that rose is a stunner. Don't change a thing. It is beautiful as it is.

  12. I am so glad that you liked my post Gina.
    yes i agree totally, dogs are amazing. Mine watch my every move. They are my faithful companions.
    No, i will not change a thing. its all so lovely.
    thank you for your encouraging comments Gina.
    Happy Monday.

  13. This is just beautiful, Val... I know, because I do just what you did this morning, in Italy. Nature is just so wonderful, you could get lost in the beauty of every single plant, the blue of the sky, the clouds, the smell of the earth on a rainy day.

    I can't wait to get to Italy! Like you, I want to feel part of nature... I want to be there, with the cats and the lizards.. I want to eat figs and prickly pears and freshly made cheese... I want to grow basil with leaves as big as my hand! Oh, you have made me so nostalgic!

    Thank you, Val, for sharing the sights and the feelings. I was right there, with you!



  14. Dearest Anna,
    I know that you understand the way I live. Its the same as Italy. Its the best thing in life. Its food for the soul.
    Funny, I was thinking this morning, that i should have put my wellies on, but it was already getting warm , because i thought maybe a lizard or snake would pass my way..but Jeffrey and Hardy would chase them away.
    Its been so hot today.. absolutamente fantastico.
    O sol a brilhar..
    I do hope you get to Italy soon.!
    Thanks for always leaving such kind comments Anna. I love to read them. ciao e sonhos de ouro.
    felicidades.. baci.. val

  15. Hi Val, I love your wild garden there is so much to see and the dogs looked as if they were enjoying it too!
    The wild iris and the rose were beautiful.
    Sarah x

  16. Hello Val
    What a wonderful post, thank you for taking me with you on your little tour, your secret garden looks wonderful a real haven for wildlife, beautiful rose. Can you send us some sunshine please!
    Thea x

  17. Here it goes Thea.. i have sent it by air post..
    hope mr. sun arrives soon for you.
    Fans are on here and swimming. summer has arrived
    Yes, the bottom area is really lovely..but its so much work to keep it as it really should be.
    Thank you for your encouraging kind words Thea.

  18. Thank you Sarah.
    The wild roses have enormous heads they smell divine..
    Jeffrey and Hardy ran around litteraly like "mad dogs" they love it when i go for walks with them.
    Thank you for your comments.. val

  19. hello Val, thankyou for a beautiful post. Your property is so peaceful and beautiful, and to have your own secret garden is really special. Wild iris and wild rose are gorgeous - we have to try hard to grow them here. It is a magic place for you and the dogs.

  20. Val - thanks for taking me around your secret garden. It's good to see this beautiful nature through your lens - it animates me to go out now for a walk to see what I can find! Happy day! Christa

  21. Hi Val: Another beautiful walk with you. I think everyone should have a spot that they can call a secret garden. I will have one sometime soon I hope, once the kitchen is done..Happy Tuesday..Judy

  22. Hi Judy,
    It is a lovely little secret place.. but needs lots of work and not sure if i can manage that. Its nice as it is wild.
    looking forward to seeing your new kitchen.
    Thank you so much for your comments.. missed you

  23. Its a lovely place Christa. but its so so overgrown and would be a big job to clear away the thick brush.
    glad that you enjoyed the walk.

  24. Thank you Patricia,
    it is lovely here. I am at peace .
    Our lord and our lady have been good to me and I thank them every day.
    My dogs love to be able to run around here.

  25. Hi Val,
    what a large *garden*!
    The dogs must be very happy to live with you!


    ♥ Franka

  26. Thank you Franka.
    Its not a garden .. I have 5 hectares of land.. its an olive farm.
    Yes its lots of land Franka.. the dogs love it and run all over.. more when i am with them.

  27. Hello dear Val
    Thank you for taking me on a tour of your lovely garden and property. This post had me remembering our previous home on 7 acres and I too used to love roaming around the grounds feeding the chickens and horses with our dog for extra company.
    Dogs really do bring untold joy into our lives don't they!

  28. So glad you enjoyed the walk with me Annie,
    You will know whats its like, I can see that.
    I sometimes think, that this is getting a little too big for me as the years go on. I have left most of the bottom just grow wild and now the fields too. I just pick the olives.
    I dont know what i would do without my dear 4 legged friends.. they are such a joy to me ..
    thanks for passing by. Your holiday post looked divine.. xx val

  29. How fortunate you are to live near some wildness! Nothing is more cheering to the soul.

  30. Thank you Jacqueline,
    I am fortunate.. but i do live in an agricultural area. Its beautiful..
    Today its very very hot.

  31. Beautiful gardens, Val! I like to walk and work in the garden in the early morning, too, before it gets too sunny or hot. Happy week to you, too!

  32. Thank you Haworth,,
    I am so lucky living here.. but then i have always been a country girl.
    I too love to walk early. It gets far too hot later in the day. At the moment its over 32o looks like a thunder storm..

  33. Thank you sheri..Jess and Nell.
    Its nice to change the header now and again..
    my roses are so beautiful at the moment.. why not put mine there.
    You must be busy with the wedding coming up.
    Happy weekend. Thank you Sheri..x

  34. How lovely to wander around your own little paradise like this! The flowers are so pretty and that Rose is amazing! There are always surprises to be found, especially in the Spring when everything gets going again. Seems like the dogs enjoy it as much as you do! Hardy is cute:)
    Hope you are well and enjoying some lovely warm days. We are certainly a long way from experiencing those days now, at the beginning of winter!

  35. Thanks Betty,
    I love living in the country.. wide open spaces
    always something differeent happening.
    The dogs do love it all.
    happy weekend


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