Caroline Fuller – Gardening in Mallorca

The Mediterranean climate and the prospect of growing something more exotic than in a northern European garden are only two reasons many people who move to rural Mallorca become keen gardeners.

Caroline Fuller at work in the garden

My guest in this episode of the ‘Living in Rural Mallorca’ podcast is not only an enthusiastic gardener, but also blogs about gardening. In addition Caroline Fuller contributes a gardening column (and a pet column) to the island’s English-language newspaper, Majorca Daily Bulletin.

Caroline – who lives with her husband David (known as o/h in her blog), their dogs, and chickens – talks about their no-dig lasagne garden, the lessons she’s learnt about gardening in Mallorca, and how a pair of David’s pants revealed something interesting about their soil.

We chatted over Zoom – you’ll hear the birds in her garden – and I began by asking whether gardening featured in their decision to move to Mallorca.

If you’re on the island and keen on gardening, check out the Facebook group: Mallorca Gardeners.

Caroline’s newspaper columns The Potting Shed and Pet Bulletin are published in the weekend editions of http://www.majorcadailybulletin.com

Blog: https://carolinamoongarden.com/

    PODCAST THEME TITLE: “Lifestyles”
    COMPOSER: Jack Waldenmaier
    PUBLISHER: Music Bakery Publishing (BMI)

From Mallorca to the UK . . .

Leaving the finca – for anything more than the occasional night away in a hotel on Mallorca – is not very practical. With eight cats – including our Birman, who lives indoors – we can’t just throw stuff into a bag and head off somewhere for a few days. It’s one of the reasons we haven’t had a proper holiday since we moved here, apart from a few days in Seville – when some kind, animal-loving friends looked after our brood a few years ago.

Hardly Plane-sailing

So when my cousin’s husband died suddenly recently, I returned to the UK for the funeral alone, leaving The Boss in charge of everything at home. My blog was neglected as I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find flights that were (a) into conveniently located airports, and (b) didn’t cost more than a week’s package holiday on Mallorca! Air links between Mallorca and the UK are woefully inadequate during the winter months, but things could improve next winter, as the Majorca Daily Bulletin has mounted quite a campaign  . . .

The Disappearance of Shorty

Shorty relaxing in the largest plant pot in the garden.

Shorty relaxing in the largest plant pot in the garden

To add to the stress of the past few weeks, Shorty – the ginger feral cat in our glaring – disappeared. He’s a very affectionate cat, who enjoys a cuddle. Or, more accurately, often demands one. He’s also very greedy and was never known to miss a meal.  When he didn’t turn up for breakfast one morning, it was strange enough. As the days passed, and my trip loomed, I began to fear the worst.

In the more densely populated UK, we would have wandered around the vicinity of our home, checking with neighbours that he hadn’t become shut in a shed or garage, or made himself at home with them. Here, where we are largely surrounded by fields, enclosed within dry-stone walls, looking for a missing cat is not so easy. We did, however, search the sides of the lanes to satisfy ourselves that he hadn’t been in a road accident.

Slimline Cat Returns

When I left Mallorca, The Boss promised to let me know immediately if Shorty returned, but there had been no news about him by the time I returned. But, to our great surprise and delight, the ginger one nonchalantly rocked up for breakfast on Wednesday this week – as though he’d never missed a meal.

Shorty had become somewhat barrel-like over the winter, because of his greed, and returned to us looking rather more streamlined. Where had he been? We’ll never know – but it could have been fat-cat boot camp . . .

 

 

Jan Edwards Copyright 2015

Mallorca lashed by storms

We have old friends holidaying on the island in a finca down in the southeast. Like many sun-starved Brits, they were longing for some Mediterranean warmth and sunshine during their two weeks’ holiday on Mallorca. How disappointing for them that the weather changed on Sunday (the day after their arrival), with thunderstorms and rain replacing the fine spring weather we’d been enjoying over the past few weeks.

If Sunday’s storm wasn’t enough, we had more yesterday and last night. Yes, another night when The Boss had to get up, get out and switch off our solar power electricity system.  It was all quite dramatic – with some incredibly loud claps of thunder that rattled every pane of glass in our little casa – but, here in our valley, there wasn’t anything like the quantity of rain that fell elsewhere on the island.

Deluge day

Just five minutes’ drive from our home is a winery and, last night, we saw on the local IB3 TV news that their cellar had been flooded. Today, the Majorca Daily Bulletin reports rainfall yesterday in Campos (in the south of Mallorca), of some 69 litres per square metre and, in Palma, 47 litres/sq.m. TV news footage and social media photos show that Palma took quite a hit too, with flooding on some major roads and trees brought down in the city centre. The Bulletin also reports that 360 bolts of lightning struck the island in less than three hours.

Having been the victims of bad weather (and a dodgy roof) in the past, we feel for those people across Mallorca who are mopping up the mess and assessing damage this morning. As I look out of the window at a benign spring day with sun shining from a blue sky, I can’t help wondering: who counts the bolts of lightning?

The storm approaches. Meanwhile, we were sipping coffee in the sunshine.

The storm approaches. Meanwhile, we were sipping coffee in the sunshine.