Campo Cuttings with Lorraine Cavanah

  Lorraine Cavanagh is the author of 'Mediterranean Garden Plants' the best selling Mediterranean gardening book on the Spanish Costa's. Lorraine's garden centre 'Viveros Florena' is on the Algarrobo/Competa Road at km 15.  Lorraine writes a monthly column for The Grapevine providing advice and an insight into gardening in the Axarquia.

SMALL POTS BUT BIG POWER PART 1!

I find the world of medical herbs fascinating. We had such a cornucopia of medicines all around us for thousands of years – Mother Nature's touch of magic to help keep us healthy and happy. Then, because of our own stupidity, we lost many of them.

We lost the plants and we lost the knowledge of our ancestors. Many are regaining interest in these natural curers; some still look upon it as superstitious nonsense but even our 'superior' modern research cannot deny the evidence. Many common

STUNNINGLY STONED!

As the lush growth of springtime slowly shrivels away during the summer, by now, we are often left with the backbones of our gardens. The froth and frivolity disappears. In well-designed Mediterranean style gardens, a certain gauntness appears – greens are muted to sage-green, grey and silver – and the framework of the garden is better seen. It's a little like winter in reverse. Hard surfaces, sculpture and walling become more apparent and important.

There are, of course, many ways to

THAT AESTIVATING FEELING

We all know that feeling when the mercury edges over 35C - we just want to find as cool a corner as possible and laze the summer away. Everything becomes too much effort and the only sensible action seems to be to do nothing! Humans and other animals feel it too and, of course, many of our plants.

This feeling is a process for survival in extreme conditions, a temporary inactive phase. Just as many plants, animals (and maybe some humans too!) hibernate during winter there are also some that

DRUNKEN PARROTS AND CANDY FLOSS

Once you've lived here a while and planted all the jacarandas and mimosas you want to, it can be a little difficult to find trees that are a little out-of-the-ordinary. Following on from last month's article, we've got two more beauties for you in stock at the Garden Centre, and these are both spectacular flowering trees.
The first is tabebuiaimpetiginosamore commonly known as the Pink Lapacho or Pau D'Arco tree. Believed to be indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago, it is widespread through South

A DINOSAUR OF A TREE - THE QUEENSLAND BOTTLE TREE

 

One of the most fantastical trees, for me, has to be the brachychitonrupestris, Queensland bottle tree or kurrajoong and, luckily, it's one of the trees we can grow here.

Brachychitonis from the Greek brachymeaning short and chitona tunic which refers to the hairy, and extremely irritating, coat which lines the seedcases. Rupestris means growing among rocks. Itis a genus of 31 species, 30 being native to Australia and the last endemic to Papua New Guinea. The one we probably know best is

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