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Gardening in Asturias

Gardening in Asturias

Old Jul 31st 2016, 5:02 pm
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Default Gardening in Asturias

Hi all. I'm new to this site but have been in Asturias for almost a
year and a half. We are buying some land and building a house in the country and would really welcome some advice about making a garden from scratch here. First we need some advice on trees and bushes to plant to make a natural boundary, quick growing but natural looking. There is a house next door which we'd like to hide from view! We are just outside Llanes.
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Old Jul 31st 2016, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: Gardening in Asturias

Hi and a warm welcome to the Spanish forum on BE. Myself and Fred James are the moderators for the Spanish forums whilst BEVS moderates Europe. Moderators are there to ensure that the site runs smoothly within the rules of BE. This is so that members gain the information that they are looking for and find their experiences on the forums to be friendly and worthwhile.

Problems and complaints should always be addressed to a moderator who will look into the matter and deal with it efficiently and fairly. Our members who post in the Spain Forums are usually friendly and helpful with a wealth of knowledge about the issues of living in Spain. I hope that you enjoy your time participating in the forums.

Please let me know if you need any further help.

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Old Jul 31st 2016, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: Gardening in Asturias

Originally Posted by Hester
Hi all. I'm new to this site but have been in Asturias for almost a
year and a half. We are buying some land and building a house in the country and would really welcome some advice about making a garden from scratch here. First we need some advice on trees and bushes to plant to make a natural boundary, quick growing but natural looking. There is a house next door which we'd like to hide from view! We are just outside Llanes.
Hester
First thing is how big an area do you have? You might want some or all of the following:
a lawn
a veg plot
flowers
a water feature
pergola

Then you can begin to plan how to fill the space, bearing in mind which way the land faces; north or south?

I'd say look at what others have locally to get an idea of what can grow in your area. You might just be in a frost pocket or near enough to the coast not to suffer. Llanes is favourably situated but how far inland are you.

For instance, where we are doesn't favour bougainvillea, though in places only a km away it does well & nearer the coast it grows abundantly. If you're nearer the sea, as Llanes is, then it should be OK for a shrub like that.

Wisteria always brings pleasure even though the flowers don't last more than a fortnight.
A vine could also be considered in the form of a feature such as a pergola structure, to bring shade in summer, grapes in autumn and leisure time to read gardening books under!!!

As for a natural boundary, though I hate to suggest it, a form of Lleylandi would be the quickest & densest. But a beech hedge would be much nicer if the area isn't too big, though it might take a few years to get established, if you can wait.

As for veg, then probably you can grow almost anything.
I have an allotment where I grow tomatoes (outdoors), peppers, lettuce, broccoli plants, parsnips, potatoes, leeks etc quite easily. The only thing that doesn't do well here locally (Bizkaia) is garlic; probably because it's just too damp; on average we get about 1200-1500mm rainfall annually, but late spring/summer can also get hot (averaging 25-30). We've had days touching 35C occasionally.
If you have water on tap, then there's no problem.

Fruit trees are also pleasurable; apples shouldn't be a problem in Asturias, though personally I don't think you can beat the English varieties such as Cox's or Bramleys. They don't have them here.

I enjoy (sad!!) taking daily readings of the max/min temperature & the daily rainfall, so a rain gauge is a cheap investment.

Hope some of that helps. Remember what Churchill once said:
"Plant a garden in which you can sit when digging days are done"

Best wishes
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Old Aug 1st 2016, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Gardening in Asturias

Thank you so much for this. I'm afraid I can't stand Leylandii and would prefer the view of the neigbours to that! I really want indigenous tres. Beech is a good idea, maybe with some wisteria and honeysuckle etc interspersed. We will just have to be patient! We are close enough to the coast and low lying to avoid frost almost entirely, but like you rainfall is very high, especially this summer! My tomatoes are a disaster!
I may well have some more questions in the future. I hope you don't mind if I pick your brains again.
We are very excited about our new parcela and have great plans for all the things you mentioned.
Thanks again
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Old Aug 1st 2016, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Gardening in Asturias

Originally Posted by Hester
Thank you so much for this. I'm afraid I can't stand Leylandii and would prefer the view of the neigbours to that! I really want indigenous tres. Beech is a good idea, maybe with some wisteria and honeysuckle etc interspersed. We will just have to be patient! We are close enough to the coast and low lying to avoid frost almost entirely, but like you rainfall is very high, especially this summer! My tomatoes are a disaster!
I may well have some more questions in the future. I hope you don't mind if I pick your brains again.
We are very excited about our new parcela and have great plans for all the things you mentioned.
Thanks again
Hester
I agree totally with your views on Leylandii. Its one and only blessing is it grows quickly. Our neighbours, Opus Dei, have bamboo as a screen. Dreadful plant. We have a privet hedge that has been here since my parents-in-laws days; it's showing its age somewhat.
Try your local garden centre to see what they offer.

Only too happy for my brains to be picked.

I have a book called "the hidden gardens of Spain" and there are 2 in your area:
"El Abeo", near Ribadasella
Cotubin in Cantabria.
You might get some ideas IF one is allowed to visit them.
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Old Aug 3rd 2016, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Gardening in Asturias

Hi Hester,

I realise Asturias is quite far from the Med. Nevertheless, a couple of books I think you would find useful are:

Create a Mediterranean Garden, by Pattie Barron. ISBN 1 85967 891 2.
It’s all about “planting a low-maintenance, drought-proof paradise – anywhere”
And
The Mediterranean Gardener, by Hugo Latymer. ISBN 0 7112 1828 5.
“The author draws on 20 years' experience of gardening on the island of Mallorca”
Both books have lots of colour photographs. They may be out of print by now, but you might be lucky and find a second hand copy on E-bay, or at www.awesomebooks.co.uk, or at AbeBooks - Used Books, Rare Books, New Books & Textbooks

I’m in Penang, Malaysia, with coconut and banana trees in the garden, but still find the above books useful.

Happy gardening!

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Old Aug 3rd 2016, 11:53 am
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Default Re: Gardening in Asturias

Originally Posted by JC3
Hi Hester,

I realise Asturias is quite far from the Med. Nevertheless, a couple of books I think you would find useful are:
Yes, unfortunately Asturias does not have a Med climate and people don't eat a Med diet or have many of the tree, plant or flower species of the Med

The plant and tree species are very similar to the UK except you have the bonus that you might not get much of a frost in certain areas near the Coast, so more delicate plants might do better, and you can grow good tomatos and even kiwis, although the tomato crop this year isnt much good. too much rain!
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Old Aug 3rd 2016, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: Gardening in Asturias

Originally Posted by cricketman
Yes, unfortunately Asturias does not have a Med climate and people don't eat a Med diet or have many of the tree, plant or flower species of the Med

The plant and tree species are very similar to the UK except you have the bonus that you might not get much of a frost in certain areas near the Coast, so more delicate plants might do better...
I take the point, but note that the first book is about creating a Mediterranean Garden "anywhere" and the author's first Mediterranean garden was in Bath (UK), and I'd say the book is primarily aimed at gardeners in Britain. It's surprising what will grow successfully once you know how!

JC3

Last edited by JC3; Aug 3rd 2016 at 1:31 pm.
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Old Aug 4th 2016, 7:28 am
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Default Re: Gardening in Asturias

For hedging look at planting Willow, it grows fast and at a push you can burn it in a wood burning stove (best mixed with some hardwood).

In the UK my polytunnel 'crops' are doing OK, the outdoor strawberries/toms/courgettes/cucumbers are very poor, too much rain and not enough sun.
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Old Aug 5th 2016, 7:14 am
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Default Re: Gardening in Asturias

Thank you all! My tomatoes this year are a disaster too. The mediterranean drought proof garden sound interesting and I will have a look but with the quantity of rain here it isn't really the problem! Willow sounds nice, maybe alternating with beech. This must be the first thing we lant even before theystart building as it will take time to establish and grow. I found a site that tells of 22 trees never to grow in your garden. Any ideas on that?
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Old Aug 5th 2016, 8:51 am
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Default Re: Gardening in Asturias

Originally Posted by Hester
I found a site that tells of 22 trees never to grow in your garden. Any ideas on that?
Hester
It'll probably include sycamore, various pines & Lleylandii, though much depends on the size of the "garden" thinking of the size that trees can grow to in the future. Mountain ash might be good as they don't grow to a huge height.
You could even grow olive trees if you wish, though I've resisted the idea here because I think they look out of place in our climate.
Re tomatoes, mine have done well outside so far this year, despite us having had nearly 300mm rain since April. I use a powder to mix with water, called "Bordeaux" mixture, which is really copper sulphate, so quite harmless. It helps a little to keep mildew in check. I use plenty of slug pellets too.

Re books, there are umpteen here & in UK for which you can get ideas.
The only thing you need to think about in Northern Spain is sowing/planting dates as they are about 3 weeks ahead of GB at least.

Many people here plant & sow according to the phases of the moon.

Last edited by Rosemary; Aug 5th 2016 at 8:54 am. Reason: Correcting quote
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