(click photos to enlarge)
This is just the right time to visit garden centres and pick up bedding plants and herbs to fill any spaces in the garden. It used to be that my car would automatically make unprogrammed stops at my favourite nurseries, just so I could have a look at what was growing there. I could never resist buying a few more petunias, more parsley, basil or a pretty hanging basket. There was always room to squeeze in yet another rose bush or bougainvillae.
But now I'm a little more cautious since more plants mean more work and I don't have so much time any more to spend in the garden every day as I used to. But today I went to visit Rosa and Macareña, the two young ladies from Venezuela who are always so friendly and helpful in their garden centre, El Draguito, which means 'the little dragon tree'.
With hugs and warm greetings of...'Hola Sra. Sharon...como està?' ....how are you? We greet like old friends since I've been coming here for many years. I even once needed their help in finding typical recipes from Venezuela for a cooking club. Have you seen the new plants in the 'invernadero', the greenhouse? I was asked. 'Not yet', .....so I went inside to have a look.
My eye was immediately drawn to the beautiful Medinilla Magnifica, a plant originating in the Phillipines which is so beautiful but which I fear needs special care in a bright greenhouse or indoor corner. I would probably not be a very good caretaker as I tend to get distracted and forget to feed and water indoor plants.
A cheerful cart of bromiliads stands at the greenhouse entrance.
Lovely terracotta pots on volcanic gravel.
Rows of mini cactii
Cactii, Red Euphorbia & Aloe Vera (behind)
More cactii and soil
Many of these will grow very large outdoors in gardens here.
Pots and supplies in the shop.
I buy a couple of petunias, some rosemary and basil. That's enough for now as I have to check at home and see if I also need more parsley and thyme. If so I'll be back here again another day.
A replica of Michelangelo's David watches as I leave and go to my car.