Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Ruin Garden

We took the opportunity of the holiday in Madrid last week to run up to the ruin. While we were there we met with our Architect, double checked some measurements and went to see one of his other projects in Palas de Rei.

We were last up there during Easter so the weeds were considerably taller, and V was anxious to try out a weed strimmer he´d gotten for the occasion. While he was strimming, I took measurements and snapped pics of the immediate environs.

I believe these are walnuts to go along with the apples and figs.

Dog Rose in the hedges.

I think this is elderberry. Thank goodness, I was afraid it had gotten ripped out last fall - very bad luck!

Anyone know what this is? Ordinary hedge bramble? There´s lots.

It´s been dry this spring and the creek is down to a trickle. On Sunday it got up to 35 C in Galicia - a record for June - whew!

As a faithful reader of the Matron, I took some time to check out the pasture south of the barn and some of the vegetation on offer for future critters. Gene Lodgsen and Bill Salatin are both advocates of ¨grass¨ farming, so I was interested in what we have to start off with.

I think any herbivore would be happy with it. Lots of tall grass - no idea what they are.

Some very pretty flowers too. These are sort of orchid-y.

And lots of white clover, some red and these yellow flowers I don´t know.

And something which looks like a plantain of some kind?

Lots to think about for the future. I´m concerned with the heavy machinery which is likely to be running around the place during renovations compacting the ground. The huge ruts left from the clearing that was done last winter have hardened into concrete. I hope we can keep the damage limited to the area between the house and the barn. We´ll need to decide where to place the kitchen garden, small orchard, and how to keep the rest in bounds. After two days of weed whacking, we mostly cleared the house and wood oven, but left the rest to it´s own devices.

More to come on the house and Melide.


  1. That bottom photo looks to me like it might be one of the Rumex species - possibly a dock or one of the sorrels (I'm not sure what grows in Spain!).

  2. The Ruin Garden is very beautiful. All collection is so nice. thanks for it.
    small garden design

  3. Yes you have walnuts, if you need to prune them August is the month to do so other wise they 'bleed' The yellow plant is one of the trefoils, you will have to google to see which one [all our books are packed] the purple plant is Vipers Bugloss, very pretty as long as you don't have too much of it, it's very hard to eradicate if it takes hold and has very long tap roots, the plant you thought might be plantain is one of the docks,this self seeds far too readily and is a menace.The bramble is just that, nice to make blackberry jam as long as you can keep the runners under control, above the picture of the elderflower is what looks like privet, the berries are poisonous to live stock and humans.

  4. Thanks all!

    If you prune walnuts in August, when do you harvest? All the fruit/nut trees are in need of serious rehabilitative pruning. I´m researching online.

    The docks all seem to be between the barn and the house. The field is mostly grass. I´ll pull out the bugloss. But I suppose it will all have gone to seed by then.

    Hedge renovation will require a post of it´s own. Why would someone plant shrubs/trees on top of a wall?

    I should get a book on weed identification.

  5. If you leave the pruning until late Aug there's a good chance this year that the nuts will ripen off the tree. What you need is a good book on wild flowers, there is by definition no such thing as a weed. Unfortunately any books covering this area are of little use, it is probably best to get a wild flower book on Great Briton and Northern Europe. There is however an excellent book on the Orchids of Galicia and there are some great books on the fungi you find here.If you can learn to recognise which family a plant comes from with the aid of a book you can then do a cross reference on Google and stand a good chance of identifying the plant.

  6. awesome post........

    Great Post! This blog is ever amazing. Thanks