A Garden In – Ferreira Do Zezere

Apart from the Gnomes. What’s in my garden? This is a question I’ve asked myself, but it was more like, what’s this thing? And what is that? Well, I’m new here and it’s that time of year when many of the trees are bare, though not all, so I do have some idea.  Even so, it still remains a greatly unanswered question.

Some years ago when I decided that Portugal was for me, I only had a very tiny garden. This had been the case for three decades, so having one, became something of an obsession. The dream was 10,000 sq meters. I have not achieved that, but at five and a half thousand, I’m sure pleased not to have the full ten.

As a sideline, on arriving in Portugal, my new bank manager offered me one of his properties with 30,000 sq meters. It was in Costelo Branco and that was not the area I was after. Besides that, the land was very barren given photographic evidences. So back to where I am – Ferreira Do Zezere, Santerém.

My land is divided into what one may consider as five areas. All as a single plot I might add. There is the built area with the main property, plus one other and a further building, all attached as one, but without being connected to neighboring properties. I’ve had that latter scenario and no, not again.

The main garden area is home to 37 mature olive trees, five orange, two lemon, five Loquat, one Nerium Oleander (toxic), a Pomegranate, Lemon Mint, a  Bottlebrush Tree, countless grape vines – type undetermined, about forty rose trees/bushes plus a dozen or so other trees not to mention a Bay Tree. Those without foliage presently, I shall determine later.

Further back from the residential part, there is what I initially called my forest. I know, I know, I know – I can’t call it a forest but I did at first. Now it’s renamed the wild wood garden. It sure is wild where in this area, there are very many trees and an abundance of ground cover.

I’m at a real lost as to what most are called in this part, but again there is a Bay Tree, some Pine, Eucalyptus (two types) a Cork tree. Toadstools (can’t eat) and to my delight, following investigation a Arbutus Unedo (Strawberry Tree – ‘edible’ seen left). This area also supplies firewood and brilliant compose.

To the property front there is a small orange grove with 17 orange trees and one lemon plus more grape vines. Behind this, is an area that is a pine forest containing much more, but I suspect, little if nothing that’s edible. It is a forest. There is an old well and water storage area topped up by my own free supply, apart from the electric pump eighty meters down a hole.

The casa is what could be termed very deceptive and somewhat Jekyll and Hyde like as the front gives no indication what is within or the excellent condition to include new roof. The front however, sure needs a good jet washing and repaint due to staining. All in all, I’m truly delighted and now, convinced that 10,000 sq mtrs would have been a huge mistake as what I have, will need some serious time to maintain planted areas. That, mind you, is good, because it shall provide me with something to help remain active in later years and fit too.

To summaries, best of all, the dream came true and does exceed my expectations. I’ll end here as this was written to give me a break from the self learning Portuguese language studies. One other thing, last night sure was cold but now, I’m sitting outside in the sun feeling very warm this January.

PS. In Portuguese, A Gnome is called Gnomo and it seems they are all masculine. Further, I only found five words in the Portuguese  dictionary starting with the letters Gn. Sounded, I think, gee no moo.

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