Gardening in Moraira

Creating a garden in Spain

When you buy a property in Spain, once the interior is developed to your satisfaction, you’ll want a garden that looks as good and is appropriate for an outside lifestyle. There are many ways to approach this and I'd just like to pass on some ideas I have come across.

Most plots here are not flat, so it’s surely a good idea to create steps, pathways and terraces that utilise natural slopes. Many Moraira villas have terraced gardens of various sizes that give either shade or sunshine according to the time of day. Comfortable cushioned chairs and a small table make an excellent seating area for reading or relaxing with a cup of coffee. Then there are interesting materials that can be used on these terraces to make them really attractive, like

natural stone in an informal crazy paving style – running this same stone through all steps and paths.

Then coloured pots can be positioned to add interest to the terraces, perhaps planted with colourful sweet smelling geraniums. On the other hand, if there’s a terrace where you enjoy an evening glass of wine or two, be sure to place a plant called "Galan de Noche” nearby. In English it’s called "Lady of the Night” and that’s because its little white flowers release their intoxicating scent at night.

Planting shrubs at an early stage of garden development is a good idea to quickly create shade and wind protection. The evergreen Oliander is a good choice for this purpose. It’s hardy and drought tolerant and will grow into a large tree-like shrub. Flowers can be white, pink or red. One slight negative is that it’s poisonous, if the nectar is sucked or the leaves are chewed, so even if you’re hungry, don’t do that!  Another evergreen shrub that will look good is Callistemon or Bottlebrush. As the name implies, the red flowers are bristly like a brush for cleaning bottles. It will grow to a couple of meters in height, and will look very impressive. That’s also true of sun loving Hibiscus plants, and here it’s the range of flower colours that’s impressive

Bignonia Campsis is a favourite since it flowers in early spring and lasts all summer. It blooms in clusters and each tubular shaped flower on the cluster is some 8cm long in a beautiful deep fiery orange colour. Ideally for Spain, it doesn’t want to be over-watered, and will cover a wall, a fence or a pergola in no time at all, giving welcome shade to the spot

Another plant that will grow and cover speedily, is the trusty.Bougainvillea. Its flower colour range is excellent, the most common being a gorgeous magenta – but crimson, deep maroon, orange, pink and white are also readily available.

Another "must have” range of plants, especially for seating areas and the entrance to the property, are those with perfume. Here you are urged to consider jasmines, roses, lavenders, gardenias, mock oranges, stephanotis and the fast growing frangipani vine, along with freesias and lilies.

There are lots of centres around that produce and sell statues in a variety of shapes and forms – from small animals, elves (I hesitate to call then gnomes) and toadstalls to elegant toga clad ladies holding urns or playing an instrument. We opted for this latter category.

If your garden site is indeed sloping, then it’s a good idea to build a few retaining walls, especially around your terrace areas, then back-filling them with topsoil will give you useful planting areas, with rocks forming attractive compartments for pretty trailing evergreen plants with remarkable and colourful flowers.

Of course, flowers are an essential ingredient of your garden, but don’t forget the architectural types of plants – like aloes and cordylines. They can be as stunning as any bed of flowers.

We have, with some reluctance, decided against ponds or water features in our garden. The fear of providing breeding facilities for mosquitos outweighed our love of the sound of trickling water around our reading locations.

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Posted by on Wednesday 4th December 2013

Strelitizia Reginae plant

Strelitizia (bird of Paradise plant)

Strelitizia (bird of Paradise plant)

This plant is a must for any garden on the Costa Blanca and will be ideal in any Moraira or Javea garden. It has very distinctive spiky yellow and orange flowers which give the appearance of bird crests, they are very unusual and if cut last a long time in water.
They are excellent grown in pots or in the garden and the foliage is evergreen and has large spear like leaves in a grey-green.

The plant is a member of the banana family so will only tolerate a light frost and temperatures below -2 degrees Centograde coluld damage the flowers and leaves. They need rich soil and frequent feeding. The plant flowers during spring and autumn and winter.

They are readily available in garden centres throughout the Costa Blanca. Many Moraira villas and Javea properties enjoy this plant.

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Posted by on Sunday 11th January 2009

Mahonia (Oregon Grape)

Plants for Moraira Properties

Plants for Moraira Properties

This is very distinctive plant and gives a beautiful splash of colour in the winter with bunches of yellow flowers in spikes on the tops of the branches. The plant has dark prickly leaves similar to holly but not quite so prickly and when the flowers have finished, produces blue-black berries which are popular with birds.
It makes a beautiful ornamental plant in any moraira or javea garden and is available at most garden centres.

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Posted by on Sunday 11th January 2009

Arbutus Unedo (Strawberry tree)

Moraira Strawberry Tree

Moraira Strawberry Tree

This is a beautiful evergreen tree which bears small clusters of very pretty bell like white flowers in late autumn and at the same time has very bright ornamental yellow strawberries which turn a very bright red.

These strawberries are edible but are very dry and do not have much flavour.

This tree looks extremely attractive in any garden and the leaves are attractive in the winter as they are dark and quite shiny. They do not transplant well, so always buy a container grown one.

These plants are readily available in most garden centres.

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Posted by on Saturday 3rd January 2009
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