Spring is in the air, at least that is how we feel on those lovely sunny days even though strictly speaking we are still in mid winter and there will surely be some more wintery days to come. But we must make the most of those sunny days that invite us out into the garden to discover all those surprises that await us. The Daffodils whose lovely golden trumpets really stand out whilst alongside of them the Fresias are just lifting the buds to show us what colour they are.
There are wild Fresias in some places that although not as bright coloured they still have that wonderful Fresia fragrance about them. I suppose all flowers come from somewhere in the wild before they are cultivated into the blooms we know. Another of these spring flowers is the Cyclamen known here as the Cyclamen Balearicus. It seems to do best in shaded spots where this minute flower is a delightful replica of the plant we are more familiar with. Potted as an indoor plant one must be careful where it is placed because too near a radiator or standing in a sunny spot it may wilt back easily. This is one of the potted plants that prefers to be watered from the bottom drip tray as apposed to soaking the corm. It is a really colourful plant for both indoor and outdoors at this time of the year.
We must still consider this month of the year a strictly for planting just about every vegetable that in northern gardens we wouldn’t be considering until at least April or May. So, make the most of the sunny days and keep planting up those spring vegetables. It is not surprising to find some of what we consider as spring vegetables already on the market stalls which is a sure indication that any time is planting time. As I have occasionally mentioned, copy what the local gardeners and farmers do and you will find you already have your own new potatoes and broad beans.. So much of my understanding of Mediterranean gardening came from an old shepherd who just loved spending his lonely days tending his sheep by popping over my garden wall to put me to rights and plant up things I had never thought of.
Having just enjoyed the sight of all the wonderful Almond blossom the pale green of their leaves are just about taking over. Other fruit trees are coming along as well, Cherry could well be the next, their buds look to be swelling beautifully and this is yet another fruit tree that seems to have its flowers long before the leaf and believe me, there are some really tasty variety of Cherry that do well on this Island. Garden centres will surely point you into the right direction if you are considering planting up fruit trees.
Be sure to really secure any new young trees you plant against wind rock by putting firm stakes around them for a couple of years considering the really strong winter winds we suffer here on the island. Citrus trees which of course will be quite a new idea to northern gardeners are really in their prime now with all the different varieties ripening for harvesting right through until about the month of May which is when it is considered best to prune them so I will be giving you a reminder when it is time.
In the meantime another early fruit is the Loquat/Nispero which are rapidly showing signs of filling out but need to be really ripe before they can be eaten, that is if you can get to them before the birds. Actually the average Nispero has more fruit than any of us can eat so its no difficulty sharing these ripe fruits with the birds that at the moment seem to be just starting their migration but we must leave that subject to Neville James-Davies who really keeps us up to date with his interesting look at ‘wild Majorca’ every week.
SO, if you have nothing else to do at least pull the weeds and dig over the empty patches in preparation for when you do want to plant something up.
Be sure to really secure any new young trees you plant against wind rock by putting firm stakes around them for a couple of years considering the really strong winter winds we suffer here on the island.