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Tag: courtyard

Is it a bird, is it a plane..?

Is it a bird, is it a plane..?


It’s a tree, our plane tree! Two years ago we decided to buy a tree for the courtyard. We wanted one that was deciduous so that the winter sun would fall on the other plants, and we wanted one that we would shelter us from the summer sun. It was to be, without doubt, a long term plan. We plumped for a plane tree. We’d seen many around and noticed that they seemed happy to be planted in pavements or cobbled squares, and that their roots didn’t didn’t create bumps on the surface. Well, if any of you are thinking about getting a tree and have little patience this is the tree for you – it’s grown amazingly!

A year ago, with our RHS guide in hand, we pruned the lower branches. Not all the branch mind, only half, the idea being that young trees need as much leaf coverage as possible to help them grow.


To be honest it became a bit of a pain. The branches grew so long and low (despite the pruning) that this year walking from the kitchen to the barbeque area has meant walking off the raised courtyard bit and onto the gravel. There wasn’t room to sit underneath it. It wasn’t so much a tree but a kind of Jack in the Beanstalk reaching every way which.

However, we are pleased to see birds in it and witnessing the new bright green leaves forming so close up is always a treat. Come winter when the leaves turn orange and fall off little poms poms are revealed.

Now we are at peace. The lower branches have been cut off completely and we know that next year we will have a proper, grown up tree in the courtyard – in just 3 years!


Flaming June – at last

Flaming June – at last

A week, they say, is a long time in politics. Well, that’s certainly the case at Casa Azul too. From miserable rain and even the wood burning stove roaring of an evening (in June – it’s true!) to mindblowingly hot temperatures. The sun has certainly got its hat on: 37+ of an evening. It’s meant getting as much done in the morning as possible and then retreating to the cool of the interior, thanks to almost metre thick walls.

So despite a poor potato harvest (I’m assuming, I haven’t unearthed the dwarf plants yet) and other feebleness (see previous post) it’s with some delight that I can say that now the toms, peppers, aubergines, squash, cucumbers and the ever faithful courgettes are full steam ahead.

However, this post is actually about the courtyard. I’d said to Richard before buying a place that it was a) a must to have a window above the kitchen sink and b) desirable to have a courtyard. Well, we got both and now, almost 4 years here, the courtyard is looking just lovely. It’s alive with flowers and bees and, as I look out of the window above the kitchen sink, it seems the rain was a long, long time ago…

View from the kitchen sink
View from the kitchen sink