these are the posts tagged ‘garden’:

orbea variegata

spotted these pretty flowers in a neighbour garden, and aren’t they a thing of beauty?

they’re orbea variegata, also known as star flowers. it’s a succulent with cactus-like “leaves”, but the flowers were what drew me to them — they grow around the edges of the plant in the winter rainfall season, and are just striking.

i’ve recently gotten my hands on a few specimens to plant in the garden, for further investigation… :P

the grasshopper

lately i’ve been making a lot of posts about the garden… sometimes it feels like the only thing interesting going on around here, since we still don’t go out all that much. so here’s another green tidbit: we have a grasshopper! it’s actually the second generation of grasshoppers we have in this particular mint vase, which they seem to be very fond of. they’re super camouflaged and i only noticed it by chance, when suspicious droppings started to appear all around the vase…

i looked up and whoa! there it was, the color just as green as the mint it had been eating!

at this stage they’re called nymphs and have not yet developed wings. they eat a lot though, and mostly stay around the plant where they were born. one day, they’ll molt, shedding their skin.

they do this a few times, becoming bigger with each molt, and finally spreading those wings! it might not be the cutest pet out there, but it’s still interesting to see it grow and change…

…even if it means we have to share the mint! :|

garden visitors

we found this little guy on our garden last week, and i was squealing so much that i think i probably scared him away…

but… IT’S A CHAMELEON! (insert 1000 heart eyes emojis) such a treat! the whole ria formosa park is supposed to be a safe haven for them, but with increased construction in the area, places for chameleons to thrive have been fragmented and keep shrinking. these days, it’s almost impossible to find them outside of specific conservation areas, so we were thrilled that this little guy has deemed our little garden worthy of a visit — i hope he’ll come around again, and bring the family!

praying mantis

little pale praying mantis, watch out! there’s a new predator in town!


it started a few months ago, when our neighbor gifted us some tiny cherry tomato plants he had seeded in a tray, since he had too many of them already. given our general lack of a green thumb (for anything that is not a succulent), we didn’t expect much of it… but still, this seemed to be the year to try things out, so i decided to give it a go and plant a few many of these along a wall in the garden.

lo and behold, they seem to have liked it and grew a lot over time! :D soon enough, small tomatoes started to appear in little bunches…

…and a few weeks later, achievement unlocked — we have perfect tiny tomatoes! since the boy doesn’t even like them, they’re aaaaall for me — they make the perfect snack food for a quick break, and i’ve been enjoying a few everyday.

in the mix came some gorgeous pear-shaped ones as well, but none of them has matured yet. i don’t think i’ve ever tried these before, so i wonder what they’ll taste like!

the plant thief

i’ve mentioned a few times how much i want to bring home all the plants, and how i admire “collection gardens“… so perhaps it was sort of inevitable that i would become one of those people too, grabbing a cutting here and there to bring home. :)

a few years ago on a hike with friends, i noticed the sides of the path we were walking were covered in tiny succulent plants, growing and thriving on slates of schist. they looked like little pinecones, thriving despite the harsh conditions. i was in love…

… so i did something not-so-good and brought a small rock home with me. i ended up hiking the rest of the path with a 2kg or so rock in my hands or in my head, portuguese grandma style, to the amusement of the boy and our friend a., who took these pictures.

but look! three years later, this rock is still thriving in a shady corner of the garden, its little “pinecones” now having other species of succulents as neighbors!

i’m really happy about this! every time i see them i can’t help but smile and remember the story that brought them here. may your gardens and plants be filled with interesting stories too!