I seem to want to start each of these blogs with the phrase ‘What a lot has been gong on’. Could become my catch phrase - said in the voice of comedian Frankie Howerd? But it’s true, we are now in May, April is behind us, the British Queen has had her 90th birthday and we have celebrated 400 years since the death of Shakespeare. In northern Europe it may be true that the unseasonably cold weather and “rough winds do shake the darling buds of may” and looking ahead it could seem that an uncertain summer “hath too short a date” but here in Andalucia we know that once May is out then our “eternal summer shall not fade” at least until the end of September (and if I can I will shoe horn one or two more Shakespearean quotations into this doggerel).
This year at Cortijo Opazo we are all enjoying seeing the progress that has been made in the garden. The stone clad building at the end of the land has now been finished and has been designated as a garden building, to be used for whatever the garden requires, be it storage, a place to cultivate plants, a meeting point or a garden café from which our visitors can refresh themselves on homemade cake or snacks after a breathtaking, nose tingling tour of the garden.
Plenty of new planting has been established, thanks largely to the donations made by our visitors or by the guests of Cortijo Opazo who have generously added to a little extra to their food bills by way of contribution, for which, thank you very much. Last year donations were used to purchase a collection of David Austin roses, whilst they year much of the investment has gone on re-planting the olive terrace.
"Here's flowers for you;
Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi' the sun."
All I can say is that if Shakespeare had visited the garden at Cortijo Opazo he’d have had a lot more flowers to choose from and could have come up with a better rhyme that “Marjoram” and “wi’ the sun”.
Let me try:
There is a garden on a mountain,
With a pond that has a fountain.
A patio made of cobbles,
Mind your step the last one wobbles.
The flowers are its focus,
In the spring there is a crocus.
The planting is not sloppy,
We've included a californian poppy - now I was going to use the latin name here, but what rhymes with escholtzia? Comments at the bottom please. More doggerel anyone?
We are very much hoping that Jardín Alpujarra at Cortijo Opazo will become popular with visitors, especially now that we can combine our two favourites pastimes, gardening and cooking - William’s apple and sultana cake with a honey icing on offer this week was heavenly! I’m inspired to write another poem:
He was wondering what to make
When he resolved to bake a cake!
With apple and sultana
(No mention of banana)
Made with spatula and beater
The taste could't've been sweeter - (Shakespeare shunts his words together to make them fit).
An icing made of honey,
There's none left, it's in my tummy - (the last line needs a bit or work, but heck, so do some of Shakespeare's!)
So, my muse has taken me on a flight of fancy, but what I really wanted to talk about in this blog is the garden. Did I mention that we had a group of 35 german garden enthusiasts make trip up to the Alpujarras specially to enjoy a stroll around the flowering boarders? Perhaps I have said enough, just look at the pictures, you’ll get the idea. There should be a gallery of photos below, click on it to make it play as a slideshow.
Yours, in poetic mood,
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