Olive fields by Noreen

Olive fields by Noreen
Mysterious, primordial world

Sunday, 24 May 2015

The garden - a life of it's own

Last winter was a colder winter than is normal for western Turkey,  the coldest in 50 years!  We even had frost and ice in January.
  I thought I'd lost a cherished bougainvillea and a hibiscus in our garden but low and behold, new little shoots are beginning to emerge, so it's looking good!   Now that summer is truly here my lovely roses are soaking up the golden rays of sunshine.  In February I built a little arch from bamboo and it's a good support for my yellow climbing rose.
I planted some new pink and orange geraniums.  The fruit trees, pear, pomegranate, loquats and banana trees are looking good. I'm looking forward to next month when the first of my cherry tomato plants will hopefully bear fruit.  I've also planted beans, basil and peppers.  I have one grapevine which stretches along the fence between my neighbours and our garden.  I have grown it in this way for the past 8 years as this is the way my neighbours grow theirs, however,  I have been unlucky with the quality of the grapes.  I know I'm doing something wrong and my mission this year is to correct this. 

Gardening is so rewarding,  I can see new growth everyday.  Plants thrive with the heavy rains in winter and long days of sunlight and high temperatures in summer.  I've managed to keep the weeds at bay.  Weeding is a therapy for me during the cooler months, it gets me outside in the sunshine and works wonders on my mood. I plan a new project in the garden every year even if it's just a small one.  My next project for the winter ahead is a mural.  I am gathering tiles, pottery and coloured glass. I have an idea of a little yacht with some waves and clouds but this could change between now and then.  Meanwhile for the summer, on with the photography and paintings.

The garden is on 2 levels with a step down from the top garden to the lower garden.  The main feature of the lower garden is a banana tree.  I first bought it as a little plant with just one stem.  I transported it home on the carrier of my bicycle and over the past 10 years,  it has thrust out new shoots every year and is looking like a miniature forest despite it's yearly cutting back by Mr. D. 
 He loves to hack cut it's soft fleshy stems, saying "they are like cutting through butter"


Also in the lower garden is a lovely pomegranate tree.  It just seems to do it's own thing. My neighbour Mehmet gave it to me,  it was a seedling from one of his trees.  I water it in summer but I've never fed it.  I must look into this.  Ideally I would like it to be more red.  I love the sweet juice.  I've paid 12TL for the pleasure of just one glass of the freshly squeezed juice in the local restaurants. How do I make organic plant food in Turkey?  It's easy to make in the west but I cannot find the herb "comfrey" here. I've made a potassium tea from the cuttings off banana leaves and I've fed the tomatoes and roses with this.     I'm off now to search out "herbs and their uses"