In the Garden – February 2012

21 Feb

It´s been such a long time since I talked about the garden or the vegetable patch. Naturally, it´s still winter, the soil is resting.

But not quite. It´s been an exceptionally mild winter, and while things could still change, there are signs of life.

My cyclamen, bought before Christmas, continues to stun us with its beauty.  I am doubly shocked as I generally manage to kill pot plants within a few days.  What do I do next with it? It currently sits inside our sun room, with the door open all day and sun in the afternoon. It seems very happy.

Some of our geranium cuttings are already producing little flowers.

Daffodil and narcissus bulbs planted last year (bought back from the UK) are flowering.

My parsley survived the winter outside, this is the first year this has happened.

Broad beans and onions in their little winter shelter.  We open the door and let the sun in during the day and we´ll be eating beans again in a few weeks.

Plenty of garlic for the year ahead. I thought it was only a month away from being ready, but wise old Big Man tells me I need to be much more patient. In the background one of our lemons and our artichoke plants which are already producing baby artichokes.

Our other lemon took a battering in the recent high winds, but still has plenty of lemons and produces new flowers with each new moon.

We don´t tend to grow our produce from seeds as many of Big Man´s family do this on a large scale for a living. We are going to risk some early planting. Nothing to lose, we think. Basil, thyme, chard, spinach, frying peppers, bell peppers, some more lettuce and some salad tomatoes.

Winter has been kind to us this year. Fingers crossed it won´t take us by surprise in the next few weeks.


70 Responses to “In the Garden – February 2012”

  1. promenadeplantings February 21, 2012 at 16:21 #

    Lovely to see photos of your garden, lets hope Spring is gentle to us too!

  2. bitsandbreadcrumbs February 21, 2012 at 16:27 #

    Beautiful, Tanya, and it makes me so happy to see signs of edible plants growing! I envy you all that garlic, lemons and your sunny spaces. Thanks for the tour! 🙂

  3. thecompletecookbook February 21, 2012 at 16:32 #

    Lovely to be brought up to speed on your lovely garden Tanya! I love that we will see how things progress with the coming months and I see there are plenty of lemons for my G&T’s for when I come and visit!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  4. Simply Tia February 21, 2012 at 16:37 #

    Beautiful photos! I’ll take a little bit of everything please especially the lemons. I have to pay $1 (USD) for 2 lemons 😦

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 17:25 #

      Gosh, that´s a lot! Mind you, it´s been a few years now since I had to pay for lemons, so I will probably be told by my pals in London that it´s the same there 😦

  5. ChgoJohn February 21, 2012 at 16:45 #

    My fingers are crossed, too, Tanya. You are, of course , weeks ahead of us, which would make Winter’s return nearly disastrous for your awakening garden. No matter what happens, that cyclamen of yours won’t be going anywhere. It really seems to like that spot and looks gorgeous. Thanks for the little stroll through your garden!

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 17:26 #

      Thanks John. We are keeping everything crossed, but the new plants won´t go in yet for a few days. We´re letting them get “acclimatized”! The cyclamen does indeed seem to like its spot – and I can see it all the time where it is, so get to enjoy it all day.

  6. JamieAnne February 21, 2012 at 16:50 #

    Things are looking lovely.

  7. TBM February 21, 2012 at 16:54 #

    I’m jealous of your garden. We want to put some plants out on our small balcony. I would love to have a garden like yours.

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 17:27 #

      When I lived in London I didn´t have much growing in my garden. Balconies are great for pots and herbs!

      • TBM February 21, 2012 at 17:30 #

        Any suggestions for herbs?

      • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 17:36 #

        Start soon with some hardy ones like rosemary, sage, mint and thyme (almost impossible to kill and they even cope with pretty low temperatures!), then as things warm up some parsley (flat leaf does well) rocket and chives, oregano and finally basil and coriander (when it gets warm )if you like them….that should give you a good selection to keep you going and you only need a little pot of each. The rosemary and sage can get quite big and bushy and they both produce purple flowers which are pretty too. Obviously you probably won´t want all of these, but that´s the sort of order you should look at for buying them. Good luck, keep me posted!

      • TBM February 21, 2012 at 17:39 #

        Wow…You are awesome! I have copied everything down and hopefully I can get going in the next couple of weeks. Thanks so much for the advice and I’ll keep you posted.

      • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 18:33 #

        I´ll be thinnking of you and your herb balcony!

  8. PendleStitches February 21, 2012 at 17:02 #

    I’d check it out but I suspect the cyclamen could be acclimatised to the outdoors once the weather warms up. Your garden is lovely.

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 17:28 #

      I hope so, it´s in a good spot sort of half in and half out, so once it gets warmer I´ll slowly move it right out.

      • PendleStitches February 21, 2012 at 17:50 #

        Fingers crossed!

  9. chaiselongue1 February 21, 2012 at 17:05 #

    It looks wonderful! The wall around your garden must help shelter the plants, as well as the mild winter you’ve had. Our winter was mild until a couple of weeks ago, then we had freezing temperatures that have set everything back again!

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 17:30 #

      Yes, the walled veggie garden does help. It means that one side is in shade most of the winter, but in the summer it´s a good thing as the plants need some respite from the heat! We had a cold snap too, but the walled garden seemed to protect everything which was a relief.

  10. spree February 21, 2012 at 17:13 #

    Such life there on that mountain of yours! Artichokes, already! Lemons (I ache inside for want of those!) herbs and chard and garlic and broad beans and peppers! You lack for very little up there – but I’m aware how well you know that! And now even the daffodils from home join you. It IS a bit of heaven isn’t it Tanya! And that cyclamen?! Whatever you’re doing and not doing, don’t change a thing! Beautiful tour this morning, thank you so much for that!! xo

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 17:31 #

      Ah, thank you! I have always thought I lived in my own Little Paradise….we are so lucky to have what we have. Glad you enjoyed the little tour 🙂

  11. TheDorsetFinca February 21, 2012 at 17:48 #

    All looks so lovely. I usually wait for the cyclamen to die back a bit and then I plant them somewhere in partial shade to come back again each year. You can then try harvesting the little seeds and transplanting the seedlings to create a whole drift of cyclamen – fab! x

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 18:35 #

      Oh, thanks for that! And didn´t even realise there were little seeds. I love this plant, it´s so strong and has so many little buds down inside it, so would love to keep it going. Brilliant advice and much appreciated 🙂

  12. niasunset February 21, 2012 at 18:35 #

    WOW! WOW! Fascinated me your flowers… they are so beautiful dear Chica, Thank you, with my love, nia

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 18:47 #

      Thank you dear Nia – and hopefully things will get prettier as the weather warms up!

  13. Mad Dog February 21, 2012 at 20:08 #

    I’m envious of the lemons, but even more so of the broad beans 😉

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 21:36 #

      They´re so good raw with a tiny piece of fresh tocino from the jamon!

      • Mad Dog February 21, 2012 at 22:05 #

        Now I’m even more jealous!

      • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 08:57 #


  14. gardenfreshtomatoes February 21, 2012 at 21:09 #

    Wonderful to stroll in your awakening garden today, Tanya…I’m getting antsy to start digging around here!

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 21:35 #

      I know how you feel -we just want to get going now!

  15. filingawaycupcakes February 21, 2012 at 22:05 #

    Your flowers and herbs are so lovely!

  16. Charles February 21, 2012 at 22:31 #

    Pot plants never last here either. The ones that I keep inside get destroyed by the cat who uses them as his personal salad-bar. The ones which are toxic for cats and so which have to be kept outside, end up being forgotten or frozen to death by the winter weather 😦

    Lovely photos – so nice to see that big daffodil!

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 08:58 #

      The cat´s personal salad bar – love it! And yes, outside is risky, even here they´ll freeze 😦

  17. Michi February 21, 2012 at 22:57 #

    Your garden is beautiful!!! I bet you can’t wait to have everything bloom come Spring (I love the bright colors and sweet smells that come with Springtime). And the best spices are the fresh ones you can pluck just seconds before using them in a recipe. *happy sigh*

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 08:59 #

      You´re so right, the taste is so fresh and lovely!

  18. deairby February 21, 2012 at 23:18 #

    what a green thumb you have! so wish I had one, mine is black!

  19. Bluejellybeans February 21, 2012 at 23:55 #

    ¡Qué bonito todo Tanya!
    Me da envidia lo bonito que tienes todo y todo lo que vas a cosechar!!
    Me alegra de tengáis tan buen tiempo 😉

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 08:59 #

      Tenemos suerte, pero es muy raro tener tan poco frio en febrero…

  20. spicegirlfla February 22, 2012 at 02:54 #

    Your lemon tree looks better than mine…plus you have lemons!! Thanks for sharing a stroll through your garden, makes me want to go out and plant!!

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 09:01 #

      Yes, we do have lemons, but no it has no leaves, and any wind (and we get plenty of that here!) will take the flowers and little lemon buds 😦

  21. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide February 22, 2012 at 03:30 #

    Beautiful, especially the lemons!

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 09:01 #

      My lemons seem to be popular…perhaps I should think about exporting?!

  22. Michelle February 22, 2012 at 03:35 #

    We’re not too far behind you. Thank goodness. That cyclamen is incredible!

  23. fati's recipes February 22, 2012 at 04:34 #

    These pictures are beautiful. Thanks for a great post. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 09:02 #

      Thanks Fati – you must all be in full bloom where you are!

  24. ....RaeDi February 22, 2012 at 05:20 #

    Love your photos, boy have you got a jump on us! I want to move to Spain! Love the lemons!

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 09:03 #

      It´s unusually mild, let´s hope we don´t suddenly get a shock!

  25. hotlyspiced February 22, 2012 at 08:08 #

    What an incredible garden you have. I just love it and for winter it looks in very good shape. I love how the mild winter has spared the parsley and I love the daffodil and your cyclamen is very beautiful – I haven’t had much luck with cyclamens – is there a secret?

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 14:14 #

      There may well be a secret, but no one has shared it with me yet! I have to say it was a plant that was given to us by a friend who is a gardener for the local council, so he obviously picked out a good one. I just water it when it starts to droop a little and pull out the dead blooms. It seems to like its spot by the back door – some sun, some shade, some fresh air and I talk to it a lot!

  26. Heather @ SugarDish(Me) February 22, 2012 at 14:34 #

    Your garden is gorgeous! I landed here through I Am Simply Tia’s blog, and I’m so glad I did! I’ll be attempting herbs for the first time this summer, but bo do I wish I had a lemon tree.

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 15:16 #

      Well welcome to you Heather! It´s always good to meet new friends. So glad you like what you see and for subscribing. Hope the herbs are a sucess, plenty of water and a mix of sun and shade and you should have a good crop 🙂

  27. Just A Smidgen February 22, 2012 at 15:08 #

    My mom always had a big pot of cyclamen or little pots of african violets scattered all around her home. This brought back so many memories for me! I love that you have spring!! I will have green thumb envy for the next few months:) xo Smidge

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 15:24 #

      Glad to have bought back memories! My god mother always had African violets, so you reminded me of them and of her 🙂

  28. sportsglutton February 22, 2012 at 15:57 #

    This was not the best post to look at for me first thing in the morning just after a recent snow storm. Oh how I wish our garden was currently living and breathing. 😦

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 16:09 #

      Sorry – you do have more extreme weather don´t you…winter has been gentle with us this year 🙂

      • sportsglutton February 22, 2012 at 16:24 #

        It’s ok…it just means that I get to play snow golf and you don’t. I still might like to have the garden though. 🙂

  29. Florence February 22, 2012 at 17:22 #

    Hi T, Isn’t that cyclamen stunning! Fab photos. Thanks for sharing.
    Regards Florence x

    • Chica Andaluza February 22, 2012 at 18:54 #

      It is – don´t know what I´m doing to it, but it seems to like whatever it is!

  30. Karen February 23, 2012 at 03:24 #

    I hope our winter continues to be mild and that we can open up our cottage in Maine in April instead of May. We will still have to wait until almost the end of May to plant our garden there because we have the possibility of frost until then. So happy you are having such mild weather.

    • Chica Andaluza February 23, 2012 at 10:07 #

      Looking forward ot hearing about the cottage in Maine again….my how time flies!

  31. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise March 3, 2012 at 20:30 #

    it has been snowing for 3 days here so the sight of spring is more than welcome
    Thank you for the tour

    • Chica Andaluza March 3, 2012 at 21:01 #

      I have seen some of the weather your part of the world is experiencing – most unusual I think? I hope spring is not far away for you!

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