these are the posts tagged ‘garden’:


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!

tomatoes!

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!

slug disposal

the garden has been filled with slugs and snails lately, which have been steadily eating all my succulents and stunting their growth. :| i hadn’t paid them much attention in previous years, but this year they’re everywhere and really making some damage. i don’t like the idea of using pesticides and the plastic covering on the ground didn’t allow for beer traps… so this is our current method:

it’s been working more or less, and the succulents seem to be recovering a little. pffew!

ps – don’t worry, they land on a patch of clover on the other side of the wall — no harm done! :)

the cooking class

turns out, thai cooking is a lot of prep work, followed by a very quick cooking process. everything needs to be minced, peeled, squeezed, measured and mashed beforehand — mise en place is everything here.

afterwards, it’s a matter of heating up a wok and throwing stuff there in a specific order. voilá!

under the close supervision of our host/chef, we prepared soups, curries, stir fries and even mango sticky rice, all deliciously filling but way more stuff than we could eat…

… so we ended up bringing pad thai and some other noodle dishes home for dinner. :)

we were also treated to a tour of their beautiful gardens, where the host grows a lot of the ingredients for the lesions like chillies, mushrooms and ginger. he had all kinds of plants there, and it was pretty cool to see a coffee tree or taste stevia leafs for the first time.

near the end of the tour, we were introduced to this funky plant that turns its leaves when they’re touched:

they’re so cool!! aptly named “touch-me-not”, they’re a common weed in thailand. after this encounter, we started touching lots of plants on the side of the road, just to see if we could make that trick again! :D