November 22, 2017

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 29.9.13 – Hot Stuff

I’m in Granada, wondering about gardening in Spain; one clue is Saturday newspaper that has everything you could possibly want to know about handbags but has nothing on gardening whereas Saturday paper at home has entire gardening supplement. And haven’t found any magazines on gardening, only Casa y Campo and Casa en Campo (our House and Garden and Country Living?). Granada University has a Botanic Garden that doesn’t deserve the name – reminds me of a Botanic Garden I found in middle of desert near Almeria that had a genuine rock garden, i.e. full of labeled rocks.

There are gardens and parks, of course, including beautiful gardens of Generalife in the Alhambra. And the old Moorish houses, called Carmens, have lovely gardens but you can’t often see them because they’re in enclosed, courtyards, just get tantalizing shoots of jasmine, white solanum, or plumbago hanging over the walls. Have stayed in one Carmen that had a huge wonderful wisteria, very old, and a tall tree I learned was loquat (grew one of its seeds at home but it gave up the ghost at first frost).

The streets are full of trees for shade – most common are Gingko and London planes. Seems wrong that the gingko, the oldest tree on earth, has survived for 270 million years to end up planted in small holes in a pavement – but then, it is a survivor, and the planting like this does respect its great beauty.

Must of course mention the granada, Spanish for pomegranate, whose shape is on everything to do with Granada. Word also translates as “grenade”, but in its fruit version, means “seeded”, so pomegranate is“seeded apple”; too many seeds for my taste. It makes a lovely tree that in dwarf form is also at home on sunny balconies here.

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