Or at least, coastal Andalucia in January. When the UK is frozen solid or at least under blankets of snow, here in sunny Spain we have daytime temperatures in the late teens and early 20s in winter.
This means with mild temperatures and rain – gardening!! Not just tidying up and waiting for snowdrops and crocuses, but planting veg and salad crops. Our fallow season is summer when it is just too hot and arid for crops.
Come autumn, the fields around us are suddenly ploughed over again and busy field workers are out there putting in tiny plants by hand. When I see their beautiful lettuces planted out, I suddenly realise it is time for me to plant some too. Except I am too tight to buy plantlets, so put seeds in. And I actually like growing things from seed – when they germinate.
Not sure I will buy seeds from Eroski again, Chase Organics, this is what I really need, and where I used to source my seeds in the UK. Of course, the fact that half of mine haven’t germinated could be a) due to the fact that I planted them too late and b) they got washed away as it chucked it down not long after I sowed the seeds. Nor is it very helpful when there is a chart on the back telling you when to plant things out – but doesn’t talk about where in Spain. The climate in the north might as well be the UK – there is a huge difference between Galicia, Asturias, Pais Vasco/Euskadi, and Cantabria in the north, and Andalucia in the far south.
Anyways, so far I seem to have acquired a few cos lettuces, some reddish ones, and hopefully some rocket. There is an irritating weed in Spain that looks like rocket – but it doesn’t normally grow in straight lines, or does it? We shall see. I stuck some more seeds in this weekend for the hell of it. Oh, and I have a couple of onions coming too. And the robust chilli plant is still flowering and producing the odd green chilli.
Onto flowers. Well, the summer jasmine is still gracing the terrace in the depths of January, and the winter jasmine is about to come into bloom. Normally they don’t overlap. They have some complicit agreement whereby the one agrees to suddenly stop flowering exactly as the other one comes out. The plumbago continues to flower, although I’ve pruned it well back, and the marguerites are tough as old boots and are blooming yet again. I must have chucked out hundreds of mini-plants that had germinated from seeds. Ojalá the lettuces germinated as well as the marguerites did.