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.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

In the middle of it.

I  am  privileged to  be outside enjoying the delights of  these balmy lazy hazy days of  summer. Here at my lovely home. Waking at 5.30am to catch the sunrise,picking up the hose pipe and watering the flowers. Watching the early birds flying too and fro.      The sun  going down at 9.30pm  .Sitting under my pergola having my cold glass of rose,( a drink I have rather taken to this summer). Its home and I feel I belong. Its what I should be doing and I enjoy it.
   We all waited so long for these warm days after a very long winter.
 Taking it all in and  smelling  the roses and the sweet flowers of all abundant with their colours  mother nature makes magic happen.

  When I was a little girl, my mother was the gardener in our home.  Her name was Ellen,dad and family called her Nell ..She was always known as Nell.(I miss her) .  
 She had green fingers, and a most magnificent garden , anything she planted would grow.     I suppose not realizing it, I learnt a lot from being with her in my youth and then when I had my own garden, it all came into use.  Those were special times. I hold them dear.

 When I married. Mr M, he would do the garden, head gardener and chief mower. He would mow and clip the trees, I think he liked to disappear amongst all the trees ,while mum was in the house doing what mums do! 
 We had row's and row's of magnificent blue and pink hydrangeas. large stralitzias. enormous azelias over 7ft high .. , our hydrageas were the size of a dinner plates.  They really were the show of our garden.  We lived far from the city way out in the country"it was called the bush in Africa in those days" Still is these days.    Monkeys here and there all over everywhere.
our vegetable patch was raided all the time by them, We gave that up. 

  It was not until about 12 years ago, having started a new life for myself. That i really began my initiation into the garden scene.  
                              Planting everything from young shoots and roses from the garden centre..and this and that.  I commented yesterday to Olga. (Olga helps me around the garden and house , along with Pedro my handyman,)  how the trees and shrubs and flowers and roses have grown so so well.   My back wont allow me to do too much bending ,they are both a great help to me ..  Since Monday, its been very productive,  I was out there with Olga working and enjoying every moment.  I decided to leave the cleaning of the cottages.. and just concentrate on (my project)  and the garden for a few days.  we achieved so much.  just 4 hours Monday and Tuesday morning and its looking lovely. lots of fertilizer this week as the flowers are becoming parched very quickly with this heatwave.   I dead headed my roses- some were just like paper flowers.  Raked all the fallen leaves off the oleanders ..we were two happy bunnies.       Every day for a week its been over 40º.. but I love it. We start early at 8 when the sun is not so hot.   Afternoons its far far too hot to do anything.
                             This soleno creeper  needs to be attacked  and clipped now.. its growing out of all proportion.. it flowers all the year round. I want to see if I can take some cuttings and see how they come along.

Looks as though i am having a yard sale..   knick knacks. st Joseph. tea pot,candles and jugs  waiting to go back in their places on the finished cupboard. 

           After having refreshments and a little sit down .. Work on the restoration of my old chairs and cupboard started.
                          I think we were a little messy, but both feeling very happy with ourselves.
                               I mixed the light green and this is the first step. Its now drying so we can start the next phase. Tomorrow.
            The chairs are all glued and screwed and ready for tomorrow's painting
                                  This is the table that the 4 chairs go with.. hoping to get it all looking nice once again. I have had it for about 11 years.. It needs some TLC.
                              The rim of the drawers and the cupboard will be red.
 Around the rim of the flowers on the doors will be red.  New handles and I think it should look just dandy.    So I am still in the middle of it.   Hoping to try to get it finished by the weekend.

wishing you happy days.



  1. Dear Val,
    What a lovely picture you paint of warm mornings in the garden. So satisfying to view the results of a busy morning spent tidying weeding and feeding your plants.
    The light green paint looks lovely on your furniture and the red will contrast with it nicely.
    Thank you for sharing your days with us.

  2. I did enjoy this post, Val, as it gave such a good glimpse of your life past and present. My mother too was a wonderful gardener, as was her father, and anything I know about gardening, I've learned from them.

    I'm not surprised you get up early to be able to do things before it gets too hot. Our temperatures are much lower than yours (about 25 to 28C, but with a nice cooling breeze) and even so I can't work in the middle of the afternoon except in the shade of the trees.

    Your furniture is going to be so lovely when it's finished.

    Now to see whether this comment posts as it should.

    1. hello Perpetua..
      everything was going fine, until i lost all my nearly 18 or 20 comments again.

  3. Hi Val, I'm loving that furniture, the colour is gorgeous and I don't blame you for starting work early in the day. Your garden is lovely and you really work hard to keep it like this. I've just returned from Brittany and catching up with my post reading. Catch up again soon.
    Patricia x
    PS I did leave a message on your last post but it doesn't appear to be there. x

    1. Thankyou Patricia..

      my comments are dissapearing again...
      dont know what is happening..
      enjoy Brittany..

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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