We’re Back!

Well we’re back after our fortnight in the Lanzerote sun. The weather was actually too hot for us, normally it’s around 25 degrees but I think the lowest we got was 30! We even had a few downpours but it was still hot. Normally they get 1mm of rain in September but this year it has been unusual. Maybe climate change has struck.

As the plane descended to the airport it struck me how different things are there to our green and pleasant land. Precious little green, just baked brown except for the black where molten lava flowed across the land from volcanic eruptions.

In the resorts there are a lot of beautiful flowering bushes, palm trees and cacti. When you look closely, you see that around every plant there are irrigation hoses. Remove the artificial watering and it would be far different. All the soil is mulched with ‘pebbles’ made of crushed lava which prevents evaporation by stopping water getting to the surface by capillary action.

One oddity was a tree that had what looked for the world like huge runner beans hanging down from it. My Spanish isn’t up to asking what it was called. I’m pretty sure they weren’t edible beans, though. The shade was certainly welcome in the sunshine.

There is some agriculture on the island, which I touched on when we last had a holiday there in 2012 and wrote about the difficulties of growing in the windy conditions. I think they grow in the cooler times of the year, the opposite of us in our northern climate.

We visited the big Sunday market at Teguise, hundreds of stalls. One was offering artisan jams and marmalades from exotic (to us) ingredients like cactus and papaya. I was really tempted to bring a lot back but the joys of Ryanair’s strict weight allowance meant that wasn’t a real option. Sadly I noticed the ‘artisan’ preserves were all available in the local supermarket at half the price.

There are some bargains to be had, I’m now the proud owner of a Rolex watch. How they manage to sell them in the Chinese tourist shop for €12 is a mystery. And quite why I ended up buying some polarised clip-on sunglasses that you can pick up for £10 here for £36.00 in the Indian electrical shop is another mystery. I was looking at speakers originally but somewhat woozy from the sun and amber nectar when he turned on sales patter. Perhaps I should have ‘sucker’ tattooed on my forehead.

Of course, us being away was when summer finally arrived at home. The poor house sitter had to water every day last week. And a certain grandson seems to have devoured any ripe strawberries.. not that I begrudge him.

The greenhouse has been producing like crazy whilst we’ve been away but needs some attention. The tomatoes need sideshooting and one of the peppers has collapsed under the weight of the fruits.

In the raised beds the leeks are doing quite nicely but it looks like a load of grass seed has settled. That’s the problem with close spacing, it can be tricky to weed between. The cat was looking happy snoozing on the compost heap in the sunshine. For two pins I’d have joined her.

Bean pods close up

Bean pods close up

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
6 comments on “We’re Back!
  1. Chris says:

    The “runner bean tree” is probably Ceratonia siliqua aka carob. So edible but not like runners!

  2. Barbara says:

    I think your mystery bean tree may be a Flamboyant (see wikipedia Delonix regia for photos of trees with close up of leaves / pods) When it flowers, the whole canopy is completely red (hence the name flam) and looks spectacular, and then the pods produced are long flat and woody

  3. Robert says:

    Another candidate for the bean tree is ‘catalpa binoides’ the Indian bean tree which has largish leaves and beans dangling. I don’t think I’d risk tasting them though. You occasionally see them planted In this country as specimen trees.

  4. Robert says:

    Oops that should read catalpa bignoides

  5. John Harrison says:

    Having wiki’d and googled all suggestions, I’m pretty sure Barbara wins the prize with Delonix regia as the pods look exactly the same. I’ve added a close up of the pods to the post (sorry it’s not a better shot)

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