Now that the blinding heat of the summer has passed and the autumn is upon us we can start to think about planting out in the garden. Temperatures are now in the upper 20s and likely to remain in the mid to upper 20s right up to January. Crucially, there are also rain showers, at least a couple a week. Gardening here is backwards to how we do it in the UK. Here, you have to wait till this time of the year to plant to give them a chance to settle in, put down deep roots and grow before the dry, furnace of the summer arrives. Plants don't grow in the summer. They grow in the winter. So, now is the right time for us to fill in some gaps in the garden.
Habibi (our new gardener) has been shopping around the nurseries and I got a call from him yesterday to say he'd found the right one and could I come right away and choose some trees and shrubs. Yes. We hastened down to meet him and indeed this nursery did have fantastic stock and, like everything else here, it was all at a fraction of what we would pay in the UK. I needed 7 conifers to go into the long line we have planted marking our northern boundary. Our old gardeners planted about 20 last year but maybe it was too late or whatever but we lost 7. So, got some golden fir to replace them. They are about 5 foot high and cost £3.50 each.
More importantly we wanted some fruit trees to begin to establish an orchard on the terrace of land immediately below the swimming pool terrace, which we have now cleared. We made a good start with a grapefruit, a Jaffa orange, a myrtle (at least think that's what it is!!!), 2 fig trees. In December we will add an almond. We already have a lemon tree in the garden. I will also try a pistachio in the winter.
Finally some ornamental trees and shrubs: 5 bougainvillea - 2 white, 2 scarlet and one pink; a Yellow Trumpetbush (Tecoma Stans)..... and a few other things LOL. I got a bit carried away!
They delivered them all on their lorry. Honestly, they are very large specimens and I think the most expensive was about £7. Habibi and his pal are coming up on Sunday to plant them and do some other gardening work.
Apart from this, we have been doing some odd jobs around the place, lazing by the pool and last night we went to the weekly quiz at the O'Live Bar with our neighbours. Met up with 3 other British couples that they know and then split into two teams: men and women. The men won!!!!! We were in a tie breaker for 3rd place but blew it on the year in which Sainsburys opened their first branch. Annoyingly, one of our group gave the right answer and we all ignored her!!!!!
The chaps won about £35 and we have put it into a kitty for a firework party at one of the houses next weekend. BBQing again tonight.
For those of you with an interest in the politics of our island, true to form, the splendidly Christian and open-minded Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church has refused to sanction any of the new water reaching his flock in the south "because it's probably poisoned". Exact quote. I do wonder if the US Sec of State, John Kerry, actually understands what he will be walking into when he visits later this year! Heyho!