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, 18 August 2013

The battle

Now that I have my water back on, without  it cutting of every hour or so,    Its been wonderful, to be able to water the plants a little more than usual. 
 Our temperature 's are now up in the high 40's. The soil dries up quickly. I have ordered another load of bark covering for my other large rose patch. I can see the difference, on the first patch.. the roses are looking happier. 
     The hot sun during the day, is still attacking some of the weaker plants in my garden. It truly is a battle between water and sun and mother nature.    I water early morning,By late afternoon they are ready for more water.
 Some of you will remember, that i wrote in one of my posts, that I have a bore hole. So I cant use up all the water. It hasn't rained since May.    I need some for the house as well.
 Its sad to see some of the flowers withering. I took these photos of the roses early this morning.                               
 This white rose has surprised me and is doing so well, since i gave the patch fertilizer and now lots more water.   I notice the more plants that are together, the better they grow. I will be filling in some bare patches during the autumn.

. The top rose   is a beautiful apricot color.  This patch on the other side of the cottages  will be the one that is having the next batch of bark mulch .  Its pretty expensive, so I have to do it in stages.
A family lunch out with my eldest son Manel and DIL Heleen and my grandchildren . I heard the mobile noise tring tring.. it was a message from Manel. We have arrived.    Come over for lunch. They arrived last night after their summer sailing in the med. I was so excited to know that they were back.   
Its getting closer to the wedding.. and Manel also has his birthday next week, the children go back to school next month.. and its  new uniforms for the year.  sorting wedding day and transport and so on. 
we had lots to chat about.

We decided to go to a smaller cute traditional restaurant in our village . We had a wonderful lunch and lots of catching up to do, as you can imagine.  Who's staying where and wonder what its going to be like. The whole family will be together soon. 

A really nice restaurant.. the food was excellent. mind you, we were all talking at the same time, such excitement.

Here is our young Max.. shouting "Grandma Grandma" look at me.. i can put my head under the water.  He will be off to school too next month. Starting Nursery.  
                             Took a quick photo of  The Alfange , Manel's weekend home , took the photo through the car window..  drove home again to my little 'adobe' next door..
Tomorrow is another day.   I will be there for coffee in the morning.
Having part of the family back..took my mind of the garden.  A happy day today. Garden can wait for a while,dont you agree!  What is better than being with family.  My heart was full of contentment today.

Hope you all had a happy Sunday with your families.



  1. i am sorry for your drought and heat wave. i understand how it would be hard to watch the flowers wither. the white rose is gorgeous, though!

    1. Thanks Tex..its pretty much the same most years.. we get used to it.
      I need to get more hardy smaller plants..
      The white rose has given me a great surprise.. it was dying.

  2. I hope you get some rain soon, we have had a wet summer in Virginia and it rained again this weekend until I have mud in the garden again. But it is good for the fall greens that I planted the other day.

  3. Thanks for your comments.
    Our weather here in the Alentejo, is pretty predictable ... its the same most summers. we will probably get rain october..
    pleased you had rain.. it certainly will help your greens.

  4. glad for the good news about your water. and you are 100% correct, there is nothing.like.family time.

    1. Its great that the water just flows.. I dont have to keep running down to the pump house and turning the mechanism back on again..
      agree.. family is everything.
      Thank you wild Magnolia.

  5. Hello Valerie
    What an exciting summer you are having. The wedding sounds very special. I love your little grand-son swimming and boasting.
    I hope you get some well needed rain


    1. Hello Helen,
      Summertime is always full of surprises in our family..but this year extra special, with the wedding of my second son.
      Max is just about swimming..
      We wont get rain until october..its the same every year.. we live in a very dry area during the summer months..
      Thank you for coming over and leaving your comment Helen.
      Great to see you painting again.

  6. Dear Val, A post full of happy news - and guess what? I also have a grandson called Max! It is a great name.
    You are having great family times, and getting together in the restaurant is always fun, and so much to talk about, too.
    Your roses are gorgeous always, and the white looks so good beside your cute statue. I am glad you have your water supply again, too!
    Happy days XXX

    1. Isn't that incredible.. we both have grandson's called Max. It is a great name.
      Summer is always full of something happening in the family..This year its my second son's wedding.
      I am happy with the roses.. but they are still drying quicker than normal...its so hot
      Thanks for your kind comments Patricia..

  7. Poor Val, it must be so hard for a keen gardener like you to watch her plants suffering in such a prolonged drought. For your garden's sake I hope you get some rain soon, though not on the day of the wedding!

    I'm glad you had such a nice surprise and a good lunch with your family.

    1. Thank you Perpetua.
      I am not much of a gardener, but I dont like to see the flowers drying and withering.
      Summer here is a long 3 months summer. We will probably get rain in october.
      Oh.no..cant think of rain at this moment.
      Too much happening. Short but sweet to see my son and co.

  8. Dearest Val ,it is so nice that you have the water back ! I unterstand how difficult is for the flowers and you try to keep them alive !I am also glad that you had a pleasant Sunday with your family !

    1. Thank you Olympia.
      Its such a relief to have the water just running perfectly now.
      Its a battle between my watering and the hot sun drying the ground..but thats summer.
      We all had a lovely day.. I was so pleased to see them.

  9. Your flowers are pretty,Val. Glad you have water now, would love to send you some rain, we've had more than our share ths summer. I agree there's nothing like family,,such a blessing. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I think them pretty too Sylvia.. I love my roses. Its my most favorite flower.
      We had very heavy rains during our last winter.. so will enjoy summer days while we can.
      Thank you for leaving your comment.

  10. Dear Val,
    Thank you for the lovely comment you left me. It must be so wonderful having all the family coming back together. The restaurant looks so lovley too, you describe such joyful and happy times.
    Sarah x

    1. Dear Sarah,
      Family are all too important.. and especially as we grow older.
      We always have a good time when together.

  11. Val,
    I am always delighted to see your roses. What a pretty color the apricot one is. So glad you had a nice lunch with your son and family. Some of my favorite restaurants in town are the small, traditional ones, as you said. They are so charming, and usually the best food. The big day is getting closer. I wish you so much love and joy on this coming day, Val.


    1. I am very surprised sometimes with my roses.. they start one colour as a bud then turn out another.. i love the apricot one too.
      The restaurant is so cute and traditional good food too.
      thank you Sheri

  12. I'm so glad you have your water back. Your roses are so pretty!

    That restaurant looks charming. You have a lovely family--there seems to be much warmth and love among you.

    1. Thank you Jen.
      Yes, had the water flowing for some time now.. no on and off and running to the well.
      There is a lot of warmth in my family..we all show that when together.

  13. ~ Dear Val, this is such a beautiful heart warming post of family love and values....Sending kind thoughts your way of the approaching wedding, how exciting!! My sons birthday is also this week! on the 23rd! Although I won't get to see him till after this...Val WISH i could bottle you up some rain water for those beautiful roses ***** We always have more than enough, here in the Lake district!! Sending hugs and twinkles for another wonderful week with all your lovely family! Enjoy! that's what life's all about ! Maria x

    1. Thank you Maria,
      Yes , its getting close now. I will be going to Lisbon next week.
      Happy birthday to Dean.. My eldest son is the 27th.
      Thanks for the offer of rain..but we will get our share, as soon as october arrives.
      I love the summer weather.. its just not kind on the flowers.
      Thank you for your twinkles..

  14. You know, we have heat like that here in Texas. Even with watering, my garden is suffering. But, this week we are experiencing temperatures in the low 90's. It feels so good in early morning. You must be getting so anxious about the wedding plans....I can't wait to see the photographs!

    1. Yes, your weather there in Texas is similar to ours. I have been a couple of times to Texas. I love the warm weather..but our flowers do suffer. today we have a very very high alert.. its 50.. i have aircon and two fans going...staying inside.
      I am getting butterflies about the wedding..
      will be posting after the event.. Thank you Meggie. x

  15. Oh my Dearest Val,
    there is no more then happier in this life to be stay together a whole family.
    I can Imagine how happy you are for being together with your children and grandchildren.
    I am so happy for you for sharing the value of family with us.

    have a great heartbeat untill the Wed day;)

    1. Thank you dear Ayu.. Malto grazi.
      It is wonderful when we are together.. we are all phoning each other.. i am getting excited as the day approaches.

  16. Oh Val I do hope you get some cooler weather with some rain too very soon. I am melting here just thinking about it. I lost my newly planted roses to our mini heat wave a few weeks back. The flowers just dropped and flew away in the subsequent wind. So now I just have the greenery and all the old buds left. Should I dead head roses like I would with other plants like geraniums etc? in the hope that the flowers will re-appear? Never ever had roses in the garden so know nothing. I love having family around me and treasure the time we spend together. Your unexpected lunch sounded great. Have you got your wedding outfit sorted yet? Can't wait to see the photos after the wedding. Speak again soon.
    Patricia x

    1. Hello Patricia,
      No.. its not cooler.. but i have to admit.. I prefer this weather to the cold cold winters.
      I get pretty depressed. October will be with us soon enough and it rains then.
      Dont worry about your roses blowing away..thats normal.. you just keep dead heading them... always clip horizontal... just above where a new little stem will be starting.
      they are hardy plants Patricia. They do love feed. yes, just like the geraniums.
      I am happy and sad at the same time at the moment. Mummy blues I suppose.
      I am sure it will be a great day. Yes I have my dress. ordered it and had it made for me in the states. I go to pick it up from my dressmaker tomorrow.. some slight adjustments. I will post after the wedding.xx

    2. Thanks for that Val, I'll start clipping my roses. Enjoy this run up to the wedding. I'll be thinking of you. xx

  17. I'm so glad you got to spend time with family. I sure miss mine. Love your roses. They seem to do well no matter what the weather. Enjoy your week my friend!

  18. Hello Lavender Dreamer..
    It really was nice to be with the family.. and to see that they had had a good holiday.
    If you take care of your roses..they are a very hardy plant..
    Thank you Dianne.. xx

  19. Hi Val,
    Your roses are beautiful. It gets quite hot where you are, almost like in Nevada....Enjoy your family.

  20. i am sorry for your drought and heat wave. 40 degrees is that near 120 in our temps? It would be hard to watch the flowers wither. the white rose is beautiful. Hope for rain! sandie


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