Snapshots of horticulture in a village on the eastern Spanish coast

Note: if you're reading this blog since Drupalcon, then you might not be expecting gardening posts. You might quite like this random act of serendipity, but if not: you should subscribe to the RSS feed, which only contains content about programming!

After Drupalcon Barcelona, I headed down the coast to where my parents live. This is a small Spanish village that in September is both cooler than in the height of summer, but also still burgeoning with green growth. As our imminent house move has meant my gardening bug has been in hibernation much of this year, I thought I'd take a few photos that give an idea of what Spanish coastal flora looks like.

Below are the highlights, although there are more photos in the Flickr album if you're interested.

Hibiscus

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There are hibiscus as beautiful as this one everywhere.

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Here's a typical roadside display. I love how the occasional yellowing hibiscus leaves unintentionally pick up the yellow of the plants behind.

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The hibiscus is skirted with these pretty plants, which look like a cross between a Lantana and a Myosotis.

Succulents

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A window box full of Aeonium.

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Cactus in flower.

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Beavis Agave and Butthead Agave (and friends). Not pictured here, a number of agaves have huge flower spikes, taller than surrounding trees (i.e. hard to photograph) and full of green flowers or maybe fruit.

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Beavis and Butthead Agave hiding out in a clearing in the woods (probably smoking agave pot).

Palms

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A row of palm trees in fruit.

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Close-up of palm-tree fruit.

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Odd little plant growing as an epiphyte in a nook in a palm tree's fronds.

Dunes

An area of protected dunes has been established on the nearby coastlines. This has come from a combination of the Ministerio Medio Ambiente, the Direccion General de Costas and the local Servicio Provincial de Costas de Castellon. It includes fencings-off and numerous boardwalks to make sure there's still convenient access to the beaches through the dunes.

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The dune vegetation has established really well since I last saw this some five years ago: the ubiquitous glaucous foliage (adapted to the hot climate) seemed to shimmer in the combination of hot air and a fine seaspray mist.

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There were bamboo-like grasses everywhere: their cross-section was very bamboo-like....

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.... But their flowers seemed more grass-like. So I'm not sure either way. Gramboo?

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This is the foliage on a nice adolescent pine tree. I've searched for maritime mediterranean pines and got Pinus pinaster, but I think it has the wrong foliage.

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Delicate purple flowers of an otherwise sturdy and ubiquitous creeper.

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Close-up of the creeper's flowers.

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A clutch, a host, a positive crowd of baby agaves.

Other plants

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Lantana, which I last saw in the UK inside the heat of Sheffield's winter gardens.

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Ficus elastica, of which there were plenty; some of them over three storeys high.

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This Lantana colour scheme always makes me think of pick-and-mix sweets from my youth.

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Bougainvillea. This purpurea was the most abundant, closely followed by tomato-red flowers. I saw only one with orange flowers, and they were a lovely papery orange-lozenge colour, but didn't photograph very well.

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A large shrub with Solanum-like flowers.

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This Calystegia had taken over an entire tree....

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.... It had flowers as big as bindweed in the UK, but with a colouring like the UK's cultivated, non-invasive Convulvulus.

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A bed populated with crowds of some kind of Musaceae.

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Not sure what kind of tree this is....

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.... But it had these lovely flower spikes some two or three storeys off the ground.

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I think this was a sweet pepper. An opportunistic sweet pepper, clinging to life in the gap between two layers of fence and gate.

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