Early-Morning Call to the Garden

Early-morning gardening will be a memory of this spring and summer in Mallorca. To be honest, it hasn’t entirely been a matter of choice to be working in the garden before we can see the sun over the valley ridge.

You have to be up early to see the cactus flower

In previous years we’ve done little to the garden once the hot weather starts – apart from sporadic watering. But we’ve had to take action after the demise of several substantial agave plants, courtesy of the snout-nose weevil. That something so small can cause such destruction still astounds me.

Our early-morning gardening has seen us clear the dead plants one by one, leaving large, empty spaces. We had to find replacement plants that weren’t spiky, to make future gardening less painful. We also wanted more colour and flowers. Because we already have some pink oleanders that have grown well with little attention from us, we decided to buy some in red and white.

Gabriel the Garden Guru

We went to Viveros Hermanos Llabres (established 1940), after seeing it recommended on the Mallorca Gardeners Facebook group. Why had we never been before? We’ve now made three visits and each has been an informative experience, with pleasing purchases.

Arriving for the first time, we couldn’t see anyone around – until an ancient Mobylette pootled into view from around the back of the building. This was our first meeting with the nursery’s Gabriel, who told us his beloved (and rusty) 70-year-old Mobylette had belonged to his grandfather.

Gabriel’s an affable chap with a good sense of humour and excellent knowledge of plants. Tell him whereabouts you live in Mallorca and he’ll know the plants to suit its micro-climate and type of terrain. He’s a straight talker too and will put you right if you’re thinking of planting something that’s not going to work here. Thank goodness I didn’t mention my yearning for a magnolia.

©Jan Edwards 2022