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.

The Twelve Days of Citrus

Citrus are so beautiful with their deep green glossy evergreen leaves, white waxy scented flowers and glowing edible fruits; they make perfect and very special Christmas gifts. A gift that is going to last for years, be handsome and useful too – it’s got to be better than a pair of smelly socks! So here are twelve of the best for you to choose from:

1. Sweet Orange: The classic and, perhaps, the most versatile. There are many good varieties, but some of the best are Washington, Valencia



The sun roses (cistusspp) are some of the most lovely, fleeting and delicate of flowers and yet the plants are as tough as old boots! They’re the ones you see growing wild in the campo, smothered in pale-petalled tissue-paper like flowers in springtime. Thoroughly Mediterranean,native to dry parts of the Iberian Peninsula and the Canaries, they grow in impossibly rough ground, rocky, stony, and in full sun, exposed to all the elements and they obviously relish it.


There are some 20


This year, for the first time at the Garden Centre, we will be selling bare-rooted roses for a short period of time and they will be roughly half the price of their potted counterparts.

By the time you are reading about them, they should have arrived and we’ve a mouth-watering selection of hardy teas, floribundas and climbers. Ginger
Syllabub, Hot Chocolate and Ice Cream might set your taste buds going but there are also wonderful hues and shades that will delight your eyes – Burgundy

Gorgeous Grasses!


Many of you have asked if we can increase our range of ornamental grasses in the garden centre – so I'm pleased to tell you that we have. In fact we've gone very grassy!


Ornamental grasses have been popular and well used in the U.S. for many years but their presence in gardens in Europe has largely been attributed to the Dutch gardener, Piet Oudolf. His whole style of gardening, using soft swathes of grasses and perennials has been named prairie planting and he makes great use of

Lilac Vines


Wisteria must be one of the most recognised and loved climbers – even non-gardeners know it – and yet, strangely, it has no common name, no loving nickname. For me, wisteria is oh so romantic with its fabulous drooping racemes of lilac flowers, swaying and dancing in the breeze.
We tend not to plant it much here perhaps thinking it won’t enjoy the heat or will take years to settle into flowering. That’s not true here; you can often buy small plants in full flower and

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