The riverside plot

Our plot by the river

Today it stopped raining at last and the sun made an effort to come out. We’d almost forgotten what a delightful spot this is when the sun shines. Because it was pleasant outdoors, we decided to do some work on our field which borders the river below the house. The tree in the foreground is one of our impressive old walnuts. This area is renowned for the fertility of its soil, so we should have a good crop

We have been pondering what to do with this field for quite a while. First of all, we decided we would like a variety of fruit trees. Bare rooted trees seem to do better than the potted ones and this is the best time of year to buy and plant them. During January and February most viveros sell fruit trees with bare roots for about 4.50 euros. These are much cheaper than the potted ones which are over 8 euros. We have started by planting 18 trees including peaches, nectarines, apples, pears and cherries.

We also need to grow vegetables so have begun making sowings of carrots, spinnach, broad beans and peas. It is a little late for planting broad beans so we are hoping they will not become plagued with black fly.

Once we can get our hands on a rotavator we will do some more serious planting. The soil is much richer than the dry, stony soil at our old cortijo in the mountains of Los Guajares but it is extremely difficult to work at the moment as, after all the rain, it has the consistency of heavy, wet clay.

We will look for some seed potaoes and garlic to plant as soon as possible and some brocolli and cauliflower seedlings but will have to wait until April before we can plant tomatoes, peppers, melons, squashes, aubergines and salad varieties.

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About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live in the little coastal village of Las Negras in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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