Spanish gardens in September

Although July was cooler than normal August made up for it in most areas. One result was high humidities and early morning dew that was great for plants of all sorts. The forecast looks goods for September and since autumn rains except for lightish storms around the new and full moons have in the past decade slipped from September to October and november we might well have Indian autumn.

Summer colour

One thing that continues to surprise us is the number of people who say they leave Spain for the summer because there is no color in their gardens. In fact with little watering once established begonias, bougainvilleas, Brazilian flame vines, hibiscus, lantanas, Leonotis, jasmines, oleanders, passion flowers, plumbagos, San Diego,and tolbagias can create vivid corners around the house in full sun and dappled shade especially of the roots are shaded by rocks. In general, we use the common names this month as many expats use them. However, in our popular book ‘Your Garden in Spain- From planning to planting and maintenance Botanical and common English and Spanish names are given.

Autumn trimming and deadheading

Although the main annual garden cutback is best done in January and February in most Spanish gardens, September and October are good times to trim back excessive growth that has seriously started to reduce the width of paths and started to block out internal and external vistas. Also deadhead shrubs, perrenial plants and annuals to stimulate autumn flowerings once it becomes a little cooler. Maintain this through the autumn to maximise the number of plants flowering at Christmas.

Take cuttings

The autumn is a good time to take and pot up cuttings. Most are best kept in a semi-shaded situation.If you live in a frost belt move the potted cuttings into a cold frame or greenhouse in November or keep against the inner wall of a south facing covered terrace through the winter. If you want to develop cuttings of climbers such as plumbago and begonias pull a branch down and peg into a prepared hole. Then cover with soil and place a slab of rock over the buried end of the branch. Depending on the plant you will have a strong rooted plantlet to cut off and dig up to grow first in a container or immediately directly into the garden in the first or second spring.

Get ready to sow/plant up Christmas vegetables

Whether you plan to grow on a veggie plot or raised beds, between lines of fruit trees or in containers on an apartment terrace now is the time to prepare the soil and compost in containers for first sowings or the planting of plantlets. The first things to sow are some final beans, carrots, and radishes. Plantlets for Swiss chard, brocolli and lettuces tend to be the first found for sale for harvesting final crops during the autumn, for Christmas, and over the winter.

Some autumn talks and book launches 24/25 September Parcent Creativa Autumn

Fair We will be there for the two days with a Gardener’s Corner Question and Answer Stand. Dick will also launch and give talks on both days in English and Spanish on the topic of his new book ‘Living Well from Our Mediterranean Garden’ And also launching this new book which is a natural follow on to our previous quartet of books. More details from Eileen on 966405453.

  • 8 October Mediterranean Gardening Society Cataluña Cataluña Branch Autumn meeting and seed and plant exchange. Location on the Costa Brava. Full details from Talk on ‘Living Well from Our Mediterranean Garden’ and a Question and Answer session.
  • 3 November Oasis Gardening Club, Rugat Talk on ‘ Living well from Your Mediterranean Garden’. Will also have some comfrey plants available. More info from
‘Living Well from our Mediterranean Garden’ Launch’

This new book written and published by Dick will be available from the printers in a matter of days. The book describes the development of our garden from a few naturalised herbs on abandoned rocky agricultural terraces to a densily planted and very productive holistic garden with a focus on four dimensions of wellness sparked by Dick’s decision back in 1993 to recover naturally from cancer operations through an active outdoor lifestyle and a Mediterranean Style Diet. Within five years our valley was starting to abandon its historic self sufficiency fast so we decided to obtain more land and become not only self sufficient but ecological. If you would like an autographed early copy send an email for more more details and a special offer. ‘

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