We are still working and experimenting on what to grow in pots and our limited garden space. Obviously this has to be plants that can cope with the heat of summer and potentially a small amount of frost in winter.
One of the old vines died last summer, we tried to bring it back to health but the drought it endured before we moved here had damaged it and when Hilary grabbed at it when falling down the stairs she finished it off. The other vine survived and is doing better this summer due to being watered regularly. We have a new vine growing; it is small right now, but in a couple of years should start to fill the space.
We have put a selection of drought hardy plants in one bed, the bed that gets a lot of direct sunlight. This bed should never need a lot of work. Cacti and succulents do very well here – we have some on the roof and elsewhere. They cope with the heat and are frost hardy. Many flowered earlier in the year.
We tried growing coriander (we wanted leaf) and, as expected, it bolted straight to seed. We have collected the seeds and sown them in a very shady place. Maybe this time around we will have better success. We have tried growing some jalapeno chillies; they are not liking the heat and blazing sun much and are dropping their flowers. We have a locally bought hot chilli plant that is doing very well and producing some excellent fruits. Remaining on food plants we have a bay tree, thyme, sage, rosemary and oregano all doing well, and basil doing ok but needing a lot of water. This is small leaved basil – it’s grown here as it is believed to keep flies away, but it tastes perfectly good in tomato salad.
Flower wise, geraniums are ideally suited to the climate and, provided it gets enough water, the bougainvillaea seems perfectly happy. We have found a few other flowering plants that do well, things we spotted growing in municipal gardens and subsequently found on market stalls though we can’t put names to them all. Currently the jasmine which we inherited with the house is fantastic; the scent is wonderful and especially strong in the morning and evening. There seem to be two kinds of it.
We have some kind of morning glory in a small hanging pot which looks great but we fear that will die as soon as we go away for a few days, unless we put it in a bucket. Back in the UK we had an automatic watering system which, when there was no hose ban, kept our plants alive whilst we were on holiday. Here we have neighbours.