The first part of the garden is actually a big square covered patio that is walled on three sides and entered from either the kitchen or double doors from another room in our house. There is a full bathroom off this patio, which is really handy, particularly in the summer when we don't want to traipse through the house when wet from the jacuzzi/hot tub. In winter, for protection, we fill the covered patio with plants that normally are in the main part of the garden during the spring/summer/autumn months. However, at this time of year, it is plant free as the temperatures can get so high that they just burn up, poor things!
The main part of the garden is entered through a white stone arch to which we added a wrought iron gate. Here you can see the garden from the archway. You can also see our walls which are badly in need of a coat of paint...another job for later in the year when it's cooler!
The jacuzzi/hot tub can be seen on the right. We have two large Yucca plants in pots standing either side of the jacuzzi. The door you see on the left is my hubbys 'workroom', housing all his tools and stuff. Originally, and many years ago, that room was an outside kitchen and has a very large, now unused, chiminea inside in one corner.
We have high walls on all sides, which is great, it makes for an incredible sun trap! We get sunshine all day long and well into the evening, which is lovely. The jacuzzi/hot tub is invaluable in the hot months. We used to have a pergola over the top of the jacuzzi as the fibreglass can be damaged by the hot sun, but it was brought down in 2012 by the heavy (for here!) snow fall, so we are waiting to have a replacement made. I was hoping Dee's clever hubby Paul might fancy a holiday in the sun!! ;)
As you can see, the whole patio is paved in non-slip terracota tiles. We have a lot of plants such as Geraniums and Hibiscus growin in pots, as well as some herbs such as mint and basil. But we have planted quite a lot of things in the raised part of the garden, we also added a rockery, which we filled with cacti and Aloe Vera. We've found that these are the best types of plants to grow here as they don't need quite so much water and are very hardy. We originally had a small water feature in the rockery, but it proved impractical as the water was forever evaporating, so we removed it. You can just see our little stone mosaic topped table on the right hand side of the garden, where we often sit to enjoy our elevenses because it's shaded until later in the day.
Our house is attached to our outbuildings, which extend right the way down the garden to the end. The door you see on the left in the above photo is our laundry room, next is a storage room, the door is situated around the corner to the laundry room door, and then the rest of the outbuilding is another large storage room, the door is at the end of the garden. The old chair above is on it's last legs, and is just used for propping open the laundry room door when the tumble dryer is on!!
I really like the plant above, I can't recall it's name but it has several different colours of flowers all growing on the one plant! It loves the sunshine and the little flowers close up in the late afternoon when they are in the shade.
The above photo shows the back of the rockery and the planters full of cacti and succulents. Also we have irises and more aloe vera! The door you see in the background is the middle storage room which I hate going into as there are spiders in there!!! Eeek!
Brian has tried to train the lemon trees to form a sort of arch over the pathway to the end of the garden. In the main it works....except sometimes we walk through and get a hefty wack on the head from a low hanging lemon or orange!!! The tree above holds both lemons and oranges. You can just see the large area at the end of our garden which you reach via two steps. At the moment we have artificial grass down as previously it was just concrete and extremely dusty, this area is a real suntrap and we dry our washing there (even denim dries in 15 minutes in the summer!) and we also have a patio table and chairs there......but after about 9am it's too hot to sit up there....although the dogs love to sunbathe there at any time of the day!!
Looking to the side of the garden again, you can see a large 'date' palm that we bought as a tiny little pot plant several years ago. It produces little fruit in the spring but we don't know if they're edible. Behind that is a rambling rose which is still smothered in small red roses, but a lot of them are perfectly preserved 'dried' roses now! Also above you can see our mandarin tree which is doing well since we took it out of it's pot and put into the ground, it's currently covered in small green fruit which should be ready to eat come the winter.
Here you can see the nectarine tree, behind that an apple tree and in the corner a low palm which was given to us as a wedding present in December 2005, it was a small pot plant and has now completely taken over the corner of the garden there! There's honeysuckle clambouring for space at the bottom of the nectarine tree. So far this year we've had almost 40 nectarines, and they are absolutely delicious, I'm still eating them each morning for my breakfast. You can also see just how dry and dusty the soil is, typical Andalucian dust!!
Above is a close up of the combined lemon and orange tree.
Above, our small hibiscus plant produced a gorgeous saucer sized flower!
Above is another planter of cacti and succulents.
Finally I thought I'd add a photo of when our jacuzzi was delivered. Because of it's size, we couldn't get it through the house so it had to be brought in by a massive crane that was parked outside in the street, whilst the crane operator worked from our garden with his remote control. I had terrible visions of it falling out of the straps and crashing down onto our neighbours house.....thankfully that didn't happen!!!
So there you have a little tour of our Spanish garden, I hope you've enjoyed seeing it!!!