Tag Archives: Butterfly garden

The Flintstone Method

“¡Mira, Ellen! ¡Nos está yendo tan bien!”, Raquel shouts at me laughingly as I watch them, filming from my sewing studio on the first floor. My back sometimes doesn’t want to participate very much, and besides: there is no room. These stones are heavy, but not so big. The three of them will succeed. They are doing so well.

Son Broes is quite big and strong, volunteer Desi as well, even with a difference of 15 kilos and 20 centimeters.

Broes is used to doing all sorts of strange things, such as moving these beautiful stones which always served as a bench under the peach tree. Since the tree has exchanged this world for a better one – in peach tree heaven? – the bench is a bit out of place.

blog_Flintstone-method-moving-the-stone

Literally out of place

With the creation of a Butterfly Garden there is a need for a place where you can put a shallow container with water. Where butterflies can sit in the sun, where they can recharge. Butterflies need solar heat, just like the abundant lizards – with rain and cold they can’t move.

Butterflies want nice flowers where they can suck out the nectar. A warm stone to sit in the sun. A secret corner where they can hide from predators and bad weather. You do them a huge favor with a cut-off spot of a nectarine-with-a-spot and the peels of your apple. A little water, that they can drink but not drown, and then you already have a bee-and-butterfly-friendly garden.

A B&B garden, so to say ….

The plan was there: that stone bench goes to the middle of the garden. Easy to say, a little bit harder to do.

Misfortune – we don’t have a handy strong lifting machine. We can’t even hire one, because it can’t enter in this completely walled garden.

That’s a shame, but on the other hand, it is a challenge for your inventiveness. I just heard the three of them talking about building the pyramids – and I don’t think that’s a bad association.

Those stones are very heavy!

Desi went to fetch a few thick branches of a pruned orange tree. Smart. Now that they have removed the first stone, the second, even heavier one, can be rolled on those. It is even heavier and more massive, but also smaller. And that makes it even more complicated, because you can’t grab it.

With a crowbar, a boulder and encouragements from Raquel, the boys manage to get it on its side. They discuss the next move, and then they have found the way. Crowbar, boulder underneath, tipping, Raquel runs with the trunks around – crowbar, boulder, tipping, Raquel with her trunks … and so on.

They have invented the wheel again with the three of them

I am having such a good time, watching all this from my VIP lounge. The videos that I make don’t make any sense, because you see almost nothing at that distance through the camera. And anyway, it’s mostly backs and buttocks. Doesn’t matter, my filming is just an excuse to be here.

“¡Mira, Ellen, inventamos el método Flintstone!”,  Raquel has a good time so to hear, and dances around while the boys have to rest a bit. They need to have a brief discussion about which direction they’re going.

Of course!

Imagine that you’d take the wrong way with that weight!

After a few hours, one heavy stone is on top of the other, and the butterflies can come. It is a shame that it’s November – so that will not happen – but it’s warm enough. The magnolia in the corner is thinking that it’s spring. It has lots of flowers.

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Just wait. A few more months, and then the time has come. Then all the butterflies in the area can come and dance around of joy!

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas da Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugal’s cultural heirlooms. Termas da Azenha, a old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and camping ground, there’s also a swimming pool. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere. The old bathhouse is a museum, where you can see how things have changed.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

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You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

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Butterfly garden

“Oh, it’s just a bag of flower seeds … “said my brother while showing a colorful bag,” it’s a butterfly blend – so it attracts butterflies and bees. You could have a butterfly garden. Nice isn’t it?”

“Well, sow it in the village square garden, who knows maybe something nice comes out of it”, I replied, “than it’s close, and it gets water every day, when it needs it. Then it has a chance …”

I was not super enthusiastic because I suffer from the NGF-syndrome

No Green Fingers.

If a plant survives with me, then it’s a strong one. I love strong plants, especially those who crawl over the earth and other plants that can be neglected. I’m very good at actively neglecting green.

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I do have a green sweater, but I don’t have green fingers

My brother knows, but nevertheless, does an attempt to brighten the Termas. I think that’s very kind. He said: “Okay, great, then I’ll plant it.” And then he’s busy with making a piece of the garden in the  square grassless and gets to sowing.

Now there are growing a lot of flowers spontaneously

The hydrangeas on the village square have survived 30 years of neglect. They proved to be strong, and are also very enthusiastic in making whole lot of big pink flowers. The blue vine dies in sunny  (and therefore cold) winters, but always returns, and doesn’t stop making those beautiful purple-blue colored flowers. Now, they always want to crawl the wrong way, so you have to keep an eye on them, but their big plus is that insects find them very attractive.

The pink roses look cute but have a prickly character

They apparently don’t make a nice nectar, but they can stay. First of all, they can handle me, and secondly they are beautiful in the spring months – full of pink little roses. Oleanders are fine, arums are weeds here, and if you don’t pay attention, your whole garden is full of yellow clover. Nice detail: There are butterflies in exactly the same color – flying flowers.

1 plus 1 plus 1 plus 1= a butterfly garden

The butterfly mixture hasn’t done badly, especially if you think that those seeds have only had water. I never spoke to them, or gave them a little food. The idea of a butterfly garden was born because my brother arrived with that bag of butterfly blend. It has fueled my desire for an exuberant flower garden; something that I always thought was not for me.

I have a look on the internet. A buddleia requires little or no attention, becomes almost 2m high, produces an incredible amount of flowers in all rainbow colors from June to October, and does exactly what promises the name. That’s what we should have!

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So I ordered 10

They get quite big, so we have to reasonably spread them over our 2,5 ha. They can be used as terrain divider for the archery track, which is now in the making. There may be one or two in the village square garden, renamed as Butterfly Garden. We ordered seeds, and with some effort and good will all these will come up in spring. Just do your utmost, and put them in a place where you come every day.

So I already made my new year’s resolution: creating a Butterfly Garden

I’m going to strengthen my ties with the green world. I’ve been able to grow rucola and lettuce, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers for years, so it should be possible.

Should you have good tips – I would appreciate it. If you respond: put it on our Facebook page, everyone can join. The more people have a butterfly garden, the better it is for these beautiful creatures!

.

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas da Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugal’s cultural heirlooms. Termas da Azenha, a old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and camping ground, there’s also a swimming pool. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere. The old bathhouse is a museum, where you can see how things have changed.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....