This week’s SMYG takes us back to Spain. This time, we find M in a village in Catalonia. I met M when we were 4, I moved away and then we found each other on the same course at university. Despite her living in the city most of her childhood, in Spain it is typical to have a “village”; if your parents were from somewhere specific, if you had a remote connection to a village or it might just turn out to be where you have a holiday home, you looked forward to going to “el pueblo” for your holidays. M spoke often of her village, and it did not surprise me when, having once again regained contact after university, she told me she had swapped the city for the quiet of village life.
1. How long have you had your garden?
I’ve been living in this house for three years now, and that’s when we started with the garden and the veg patch. In this area pretty much everyone has either a veg patch or a neighbour with one, so we are used to eating fresh vegetables all the time!
2. Are you interested in your garden? What is its function?
When you move from a flat to a house (I come from a big city, so the change is pretty big) you get really excited about the idea of a garden. Then you decide to start yours so you go to the closest garden centre and discover that everything’s awfully expensive. That’s how we decided to create our garden from different cuttings: rosemary, thyme, ivy, wild roses, etc. Some worked better than others, but we kept trying until we got it right. So the function would be to provide herbs for when I cook, to provide vegetables that are incredibly tasty and to put some colour to our garden with flowers.
I suppose my favourite plant in the garden would have to be my geraniums. When winter came I forgot all about them, but come springtime they bloomed as if nothing had happened, not rain, not snow, not hail (and we got all of them!). And of course, I love my strawberries!
4. Something you have tried and failed at growing.
Potatoes. One of the problems with our orchard is the sun (and the space available). Potatoes need big extensions of soil to grow properly, so we planted them at the back of the orchard even though we knew the sun didn’t quite shine all day on that area. We got potatoes, but they were small and wrinkled…
5. Anything you’d like to change?
I’d love to grow sunflowers. The problem with these is, again, the space. We grew some last season and they bloomed, but they got really long stalks and quite small flowers… I’d love to have more sun in the veg patch as well, but because of the house’s position, it’s quite impossible.
6. What inspires you in the garden?
I get inspiration from looking at neighbours’ gardens, from magazines, blogs and garden centres. I don’t really follow any design in particular, I just go with what’s in front of me at that particular moment and then I find a place for it in the garden.
7. Finish the sentence. You couldn’t tell from my garden, but I…
You couldn’t tell from my garden, but I… am a disaster with plants. Somehow I managed to kill a cactus that was supposed to be the most resistant on Earth, probably. On the other hand I have an anthurium that’s been alive for 4 years now and has survived the change from the flat to the house, so there you have it!