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.

Hedging your bets


I often get asked for advice on hedging, both for boundaries and delineating various parts of the garden. October is an excellent month to get planting so ..... let's hedge our bets!

There are several considerations and decisions to be made, the most important of which is probably the size you are looking for and whether you need evergreen or deciduous. Consider also whether you want a formal, compact look or something more relaxed.
The one most commonly used here is myoporum laetum or, as it

Trees please


September – for many the holidays are over; long sleeves are aired again for there’s just a hint of coolness on the skin.  It’s often a welcome respite; our brains start to function again, lethargic limbs begin to twitch and our gardens come back to life after their summer slumber.

With worldwide talk of water shortages, this year, more than ever, it’s important to plant in autumn so that new plantings have the full benefit of winter rains to establish. Start



The Sacred ‘Visionary’ Plants – Angels or Devils?

Through summer, these are some of our most beautiful perennials and shrubs yet their common names may seem a contradiction – the devil’s weed, zombie cucumber, hell’s bells, herb of the sorcerer, thorn-apple and, the one we perhaps know best of all, angel’s trumpet. Quite a varied collection!

Firstly, let’s define the difference between brugmansias and daturas, both of which belong to the solanaceae


ImageLooking around the campo you’ll see, thrusting skyward, what look like giant asparagus tips. These are the developing flower stalks of the agave americanum or century plant, pita in Spanish. It was once believed that the plants took one hundred years to flower, hence the misnomer; it is now recognized that climatic conditions and temperatures heavily influence the flowering, which can occur anytime from 8 years old up to the grand old age of 65 years.

Colourful Climbers

Of the multitude of wonderful plants that we can grow here, I always feel that the climbers give us the most stunning spectacle of colour.

And, of course, we have so many areas where we can use them. Remembering that most climbers can also be used as trailers or scramblers, opens up a whole new world of tumbling and soaring options! 

 campsis grandiflora

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