On occasions I doubt my own sanity and I’m going through those thoughts now. I’m somewhat obsessed with having a nice garden, a place to relax and enjoy the fruits of one’s labour. A view to feast the eye.
Perhaps it all started because I had a hanky size courtyard in the UK. Courtyard is about right as it was only about 30 square yards and never, was courting an activity. When I first considered a move to Portugal I thought 10,000 metres would be great. I ended up with just under 6,000 and in all honesty, 2,000 would have been ideal due to the work involved. I’ll not complain though, no, not ever.
I contemplated the area to be grassed over a considerable time and due to both expense and maintenance and general practicality, concluded that an area of perhaps 600 – 700 metres would be most appropriate – for now.
Just prior to my initial viewing of the property, the land had been ploughed over for aesthetical reasons. Due to this and needless to say, this resulted in beautiful soil, but very rutted land. Over a period of time, this levelled with the rains and me working the ground somewhat. On choosing the area to be the ‘actual’ garden and not vegetable patch or olive grove parts I started to dig and rake the area over. On doing so and removing the weeds, many surface stones and other debris, small fibres of grass started to grow and I became as delighted as a small child with a new toy. I allowed further growth of this wondrous green stuff I so longed for.
I started to become critical over what was developing because it was somewhat uneven and there were small pools of surface waters in lower areas. Following, I started to fill these area with soil until at better levels. Still, it was very uneven and with the grass and Dichondra micrantha (kidney weed) now growing, it became very difficult to level for a better result. As is the case often, I though through the whole process again and decided to start from scratch and level said land with a long metal float. The results are brilliant even if, by hand it takes ages and is back breaking work.
I do wonder if the Portuguese that will see me doing this, would consider me insane or I myself for that matter.
I found I had Dichondra micrantha (kidney weed) growing very well in my garden and discovered through the The Royal Horticultural Society that it is an alternative ground cover used in place of grass lawns in Mediterranean regions. It would be snobbish to discredit what is in my view a very attractive ground cover. I have decided to allow this to flourish and depending on results later, may use this for the full area.