As you can see by the above picture, my Poinsettias are starting to burst with colour. This is the time of year that they bloom full glory and it is definitely well worth the wait. In around April this year, Elliot and I hacked them back to stumps, creating huge gaps amongst the other foliage, but these plants grow so rapidly that they are considered a weed here.
In fact, it does seem that however aggressively you prune a plant back here, it just seems to encourage it to ramble all the more, so my garden is a very time consuming job and it doesn’t help when I have around 400 square meters of it to keep under control!
For the most part, I manage it on my own, and enjoy doing it, but I am now finding it a little more than I can handle.
So the answer to that problem and something I had been mulling over for some time, mainly because of the expense, but I hired a gardener, and yesterday he arrived for his very first blitz on my land.
This picture gives you a rough idea of the plot on the upper level of my land, and in December last year was colourful and vibrant. Unfortunately due to the lack of water (had an exceptionally dry winter and I had to water right the way through it), I lost many of those plants as they didn’t get their quota of nourishment over the winter and spring, and with our really hot summer this year they suffered and now I am left with stalks, hoping that we can bring them back to life, this winter.
So, back to the gardener. He was recommended to me by a friend of mine and although he isn’t cheap, he is well worth the fee. He arrived at 8.30am, stopped for a 30 minute lunch break and continued right the way through to 5.30pm. It was another scorcher of a day and the sun beat down relentlessly, but Fernando worked like a trojan and I was absolutely amazed at what he had achieved in one day.
When he arrived, we went through what he wanted to do, and inside I could feel the alarm building up as he was telling me what plants needed to come out, what needed to be pruned and what should be moved. Although I love pruning, I do tend to leave as much as possible as I hate it when it looks bare.
I have spent the last few years trying to nurture my garden into a rambling mature mass of colour and greenery, never wanting that manicured and groomed look. After all, I do live in a Quinta and its that quirky quaint look that I like. I love to see flowers creep along the ground and intermingle with each other, that cover up walls and bare patches, so I let them ramble. When a friend looked after my house and animals while I was away in the Uk in May I came back to a very neat and clipped garden as he thought he was doing me a favour by tidying it up. Inside I freaked out and couldn’t wait for it to all grow back to its rambling state again. And luckily it did and didn’t take too long either!
But I do have to admit that I have let it all get out of control and I was struggling to keep up with it. It really smacked me in the face how much I needed help after our recent dose of much needed rain and everything went wild with a grateful dose of water.
Now that Fernando has gone mad with the clippers, shears and hoe and my fears, similar to that of someone who has just had their hair cut incredibly short by a ferocious hairdresser. I now like my new garden as I can see how much more manageable it will be for the rest of this month. We have agreed to one day a month and we have already discussed which part he is going to attack next and what new plants he will bring me, that he thinks will look good.