Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Mediterranean garden in the Languedoc

We would like to introduce our blog readers to a new blog about garden and horticulture in a Mediterranean climate. The blogger in this instance is chaiselonge who has written  this guest blog by way of introduction.

A Mediterranean garden in the Languedoc

I grew up in Mediterranean countries, in North Africa and in Turkey, among olive trees, eucalyptus, oleanders and hillsides covered in thyme and rosemary.  After spending many years in Wales I persuaded Lo Jardinièr (the gardener, in Occitan) that I need to live where olive trees grow.  So now we're learning to garden in a Mediterranean climate and we've planted two small olive trees which will probably look lovely in 100 years' time.  Last autumn we harvested 24 black olives.  I followed the recipe for preserving them given by Tomás Graves in his book, A Home in Majorca, soaked them in spring water for a few days, then layered them with herbs in an earthenware jar and covered them with brine.  Two months later on Christmas day our son and daughter were here and the four of us shared them with aperitifs in the garden in the sun.

In our medieval village there isn't room for gardens around the houses, so for centuries the villagers have gardened on the hillside, using water from the spring at the top.  We've bought a plot there and in this small space we're hoping to create a mixed garden of vegetables and ornamental drought-resistant Mediterranean plants and to enjoy eating the food that we grow there and I'll be blogging about our progress.  We've got a lot to learn, but we get help from our neighbours and benefit from the experience that has been passed on through the generations here.  And best of all, we've got the produce.  This winter we've been eating our way through 50 jars of preserved tomatoes, full of the taste of summer heat.  We need never buy a tin of tomatoes again!


Please visit my garden -

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