by Taetske | 2:54 pm
(Last Updated On: May 28, 2019)

 

 

Beautiful nature colors on my organic farm

 

Bougainvillea blossom

Bougainvillea blossom

 

In 1981 I bought a ruin in the south of Spain

That is where my life adventure started. It has not always been easy, but over the years I have transformed this place into a beautiful finca, which means farmhouse. When I moved to this place, it was already 150-years old. The walls are very thick, 50 centimeters and the windows are small. That means in the hot Andalusian summer where it sometimes reaches 40C outside, inside the house, it stays nice and cool. In 1998 I built an addition keeping with the old style, creating a new entrance and bedroom.

There were quite a few stables which were on the verge of collapsing, so I had to dismantle and remove them. I did keep the feeding troughs and after filling them with soil I put different plants. The nice thing is that most of the time you can cut off a small piece, stick it in the ground and it will grow. Over the years many things were planted and have grown really big.

I sadly lost the 8 old palm trees to the palm weevil plaque. They needed to be sprayed every second month but I could not keep up with the cost. The fact is that the chemicals used in this process are harmful.

 

3 Big Palm Trees behind the Fishpond

3 Big Palm Trees behind the Fishpond

 

I had 3 old and big palm trees standing together behind a fishpond, which I build in 1982. I had the pond covered during the spraying and kept the cover on for a few days. Like that, I was sure the palm trees were not dripping anymore.

Three weeks later it rained a lot and suddenly all the goldfish died in the pond. I tried to save them taking them out and putting them in clean water but for most, it was too late.

 

Orange Blossom and Oranges on the tree

Orange Blossom and Oranges on the Tree

 

In 1986 I planted 100 orange-trees, 6 mandarins, 3 grapefruits, and 3 lemons. These trees yield a good harvest and besides eating citrus fruits 7 months of the year, I do sell them to friends on the coast.

 

Being a nature person

I am a nature person and love to observe what is going on. Looking at fauna and flora, you can discover a lot of things. I would like to take you on a tour over the property and show you the lovely colors nature delights us with.

 

Purple Bougainvillea

Purple Bougainvillea

 

Bougainvillea

You will find this lovely bush in most countries. There are many different colors but it has a lot of thorns. When you prune it you have to be careful as the wounds do not heal so fast. The sap can cause skin rashes.

 

Light pink Boegainvillea

Light Pink Bougainvillea

 

Philibert Commercon was probably the first European to describe this plant. He was a botanist who accompanied Navy admiral Louis Antoine de Bougainville on a trip to circumnavigate the Earth. Its existence was first published in 1789 by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu.

 

The Pergola on the Patio

The Pergola on the Patio

 

On the property, I have planted many bougainvilleas of different colors. I also used it in my pergola on the patio. This bougainvillea is very old as it was planted in 1983, the same as the one standing in front of the kitchen. The cats use it to climb on top of the pergola and lay there, having a siesta. It is not difficult to grow them but you have to carefully think about the place to put them. They will need a strong support system as the stem and head can get very big and heavy.

 

Catalpa Blossom

Catalpa Blossom

 

The Catalpa tree also called the Mosquito tree – Catalpa Ligno

These trees like warm climates and subtropical regions. In addition to Spain, they can be found in North America, the Caribbean, and East Asia. Because of its big leaves, many birds like it as it provides good shelter when it rains or is windy

I introduced 3 Catalpa trees in the garden. They developed each in their own way. The flowers are big and gorgeous. After many years one is huge, the second is kind of medium size and then there is the smallest one of the 3 standing in the patio.

 

Pink and White Adelfa

Pink and White Adelfa

 

Adelfa or Oleander – Nerium oleander

This plant is very poisonous and the sale for medicinal purposes is forbidden to the public. When animals eat the leaves, they can get very sick and even die. This could be horses, cows, sheep, or goats.

 

Close-up of White Adelfa

Close-up of White Adelfa

 

These bushes grow next to the driveway and along the entrance road and produce lovely white, light pink and dark pink flowers. Every 4 to 5 years they are cut down to approx 50 centimeters above the ground, as after some years their branches bend over and form a tunnel and one can hardly pass anymore.

 

Jacaranda at the entrance

Jacaranda at the entrance

 

Jacaranda – Jacaranda mimosifolia

This is a sub-tropical tree native to south-central South America but over time it has been planted in many other countries. The blossoms have a lovely pale indigo color and when they fall on the ground form a colored carpet.

 

Jacaranda Blossom

Jacaranda Blossom

 

The hard pods have an unusual shape and are often used as Christmas decorations and also in dried arrangements. The wood has a pretty pattern and no knots and is used for bowl carving.

When the dried powdered Jacaranda is used in water extracts it has shown a high antimicrobial action in vitro against Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, and Staphylococcus.

 

Nispero fruit

Nispero Fruit

 

The Nispero tree – Nispero Ligno

The Loquat is native to the cooler hill regions of China to south-central China. It is found in other countries such as Japan, Korea, the hilly regions of India, foothill regions of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and in some Northern part of the Philippines.

It also grows in many Mediterranean countries and warmer parts of the U.S. The loquat was often mentioned in Chinese literature as in the poems of Li Bai. In Spain, the fruits are called Nisperos, and Spain is the largest producer worldwide.

This is a nice fruit tree with bright orange smallish fruits which have a slightly sour taste. Inside there are 1, 2, or 3 pips or sometimes more and one should not swallow them. Michael got sick and was in bed for one day having cramps. Later on, when he had recovered we found out that this pip produces cyanide when attacked by the gastric juices. I have also swallowed these pips by mistake but my stomach must be strong as I did not notice any adverse effects.

 

El Arbol del Amor

El Arbol del Armor

 

El Arbol del Amor or the tree of Love – Cercis siliquastrum or Judas- tree

It was introduced to Europe during the crusades  (in 1200), with the first country to receive them being France. From there it rapidly spread to other countries. During the Byzantine Empire, this tree was the most prolific growing in Constantinople, along the bank of the Bosphorus. Even nowadays you will encounter this tree often in Istanbul.

I planted this tree in front of the house on the south side. When it starts to blossom with its beautiful dark pink flowers, you know spring is here. Over the years it has become a beautiful big tree. The bark finds use in medicine as it helps against headaches and colds.

 

Jasmine flower

Jasmin Flower

 

Jasmine – Jasminum

This scrub belongs to the olive family and it contains some 200 species. It likes warm climates and grows in regions of Eurasia, Australasia, and Oceania. A number of jasmine species became naturalized in Mediterranean Europe. There is the so-called Spanish jasmine which originally came from West-Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

In old times the farmers would plant Jasmine around their houses. It is said to keep the mosquitoes away. To sit outside on a warm summer evening being surrounded by this lovely fragrance is a delight. There are 10 different types of Jasmine and the times of the year they bloom are different.

In the summertime, in the evening when you walk in the old part of Malaga, you will often smell jasmine. People sell them on the street made up in an unusual way, a half sphere is covered with the little flowers. The smells are absolutely gorgeous.

 

Water Lilies

Water Lilies

 

Water lilies – Aqua Lilium

The Nymphaeaceae is a well-known water plant. The family contains 5 genera with some 70 known species. The white water lily is the national flower of Bangladesh and the blue waterlily is the national flower of Sri Lanka.

There are 3 fishponds on the property. The small one on the patio, I build (by myself) in 1981. There is a second one, which I also build myself in 1982. You can see the second one from the entrance to the house and is on the west side. A big pond is on the south side of the property and a bit away from the house. Later in spring, the snakes come for the wedding then, as a complete family, go hunting the frogs and fish.

Whenever it is possible we catch the snakes and bring them to the neighboring farm where there are organic avocados. I do get the impression they all come back sooner or later. There are different water plants and on 2 small islands in the deepest part, grow lovely pale yellow waterlilies.

 

 

Conclusion

These are only a few of the many bushes and trees that grow on my organic farm. I enjoy the lovely colors which appear each year. A lot of these blossoms have gorgeous smells. Nothing can beat nature, that is for sure. I hope you liked your tour on my property I would appreciate your comments and thoughts.

 

Source: Wikipedia and My Life

Photo Source: Private

 

I have always had animals on my farm. Perhaps you would like to read the story about Cindy, my dear Rottweiler Lady.

The Good Years With Cindy, My Lovely Rottweiler Lady

Comments

Faheem

Some thoughts which came up when reading your article. 

All the goldfish dying sounds like a really painful experience, especially since you covered them and even tryed to save them afterwards. Good to hear that atleast some of them made it out.

Also, those very poisonous plants which grow right next to the driveway, that must be interesting to have in your posession. For most other plants you listed a use like medicine, or really nice smell or having fruit or even looking nice. You said you love the flowers, but I think really this one’s advantage must be in it’s strong poison. You know, just in case there are people you don’t like.

May 28.2019 | 11:48 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Faheem,

    Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    That was a sad experience with the palm spraying and then the goldfish dying. As my farm is organic the spraying of the palm trees was against this being organic concept. Sadly there is no real alternative and in the end, I did lose the trees, some of them being 80 years old.

    Luckily I am a quiet peaceful person and try not to dislike my fellow humans with a few exceptions of course. Do not worry, my name is not Catherine de Medici so no crimes in my life.

    Regards, Taetske

    May 28.2019 | 02:21 pm

Gaurav Gaur

Hi, Taetske.
Thanks for the beautiful and eye soothing snaps and useful information through your blog. The tour to your farm was an experience. How do you maintain such a vast variety of plants and trees, it’s awesome to live with nature. I can sense the feel of colors and fragrance of woody jungle even from the different subcontinent. Thanks for being with nature and sharing your experience.

May 28.2019 | 12:26 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Gaurav,

    Do you know something? People might disappoint you but nature never does. If you take care of it you will be rewarded with lovely flowers and smells. The property is not huge but still too big to do it alone. When I started in 1981 I hired Miguel, who was 18 years old at that time. He still works here. 

    When I am stressed with life or my 2 websites I take a stroll in the garden and that helps. Nice to hear you liked my story.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    May 28.2019 | 02:27 pm

Sylvia Mann

Thank you, Taetske, for this virtual and written walkthrough of your lovely and gorgeous property. Although i love where I live in the mid-western region of Ontario (long cold and snowy Winters) I do envy you a bit where you have settled down.Reading your detailed report on how you have tried to save the Palm trees and had to re-due/cleanse the Pond after trying to save the Palm trees, I personally could “see” in my Third Eye how this must have occurred.
I always can see things as a movie when I read something like this and I could smell the Jasmine, marvelous.
However, my favorite is the Purple Bougainvillea since purple is my favorite color as well, it is unfortunate that so many of the trees, bushes and flowers only like the dry, hot climate. There fore I won’t have them in my backyard.
It is always a pleasure to read your articles and I learn so much from it.
Thank you so much, Taetske for letting us have a piece of your beautiful Finca, I so appreciate this . 🙂
Namaste
Sylvia

Jun 02.2019 | 01:49 pm

    Taetske

    Dear Sylvia,

    So nice to see you again. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Good to hear you enjoyed the tour on my property. At the moment it is very colorful but temperatures are rising, summer is here and then there are not so many colors anymore. I personally prefer springtime when everything is fresh and new.

    Sadly I am taking steps to sell the finca which I build up since 1981. It is getting too big, too work intensive. Getting older makes me realize that this chapter of my life has come to its end. It was exciting my adventure in the south of Spain. What will remain will be beautiful memories for as long as I live.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 02.2019 | 06:28 pm

Stuart

It is difficult to know where to begin, as on who used to give talks to gardening clubs a number of years ago, I found this totally fascinating, the photographs are superb, brining back memories of my days in the garden centre.

You have really got a lovely establishment, am totally jealous, think that keeping it all organic is really good, your descriptions tied in with the actual plants I thought was very cleverly done.

Many thanks for allowing me to share what you have achieved over the years.

Stuart

Jun 22.2019 | 02:41 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Stuart,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I do not know what country you live in but if you ever come to the south of Spain please do not hesitate to contact me. I love to meet the readers of my posts.

    I have spent more than half my life here and it was lovely. Now I understand it is getting too big, also the house and I am tired of cleaning. If possible I would sell the property with a bleeding heart to then build something smaller.

    I do not know if it will happen, time will tell. 

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 22.2019 | 06:15 pm

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