Vital Statistics about the land:
Total area: approx. 670 sq. m. including house (ground floor approx. 135 sq. m.)
Flower garden at side of house: 22.5 m. x 8 m.
Kitchen garden at back of house: 18 m. x 8.5 m.
Smaller gardens in front of house and at side (mostly garage)
Flower garden – NE facing
Kitchen garden – NW facing
Front of house – SE facing, hot and dry
Basic soil supplied at hand-over of house was sand, full of builders’ rubble.
Raised beds in kitchen garden are a mix of i) sand and ii) agricultural earth – dark, dense and difficult to work (not unlike clay, as experienced in the UK).
Either way, both types of soil need the addition of considerable amounts of organic matter to improve health, nutrients, drainage (one drains too fast, the other too slowly) and insect/animal life.
2 types of irrigation:
i) high level, with nozzles spraying water at approx. 5 m. intervals in lawn and at side of lawn.
ii) low level – pipes running around edge of garden, along the beds outside the perimeter fence and across the raised beds in the kitchen garden, perforated at regular intervals to drip water onto the beds.
Water used is potable; originally, the system used grey water but the pressure was insufficient to distribute it around the whole garden and plants were suffering for lack of water.
Flower garden is lawn with herbaceous border along the outer and front edges. This is being extended outwards to accommodate more shrubs and flowers. Planting is mixed, with herbs intermingled with flowers. Principle is to achieve both color and perfume.
Kitchen garden is divided into one small section for fruit trees, and one olive tree, and a larger section with 5 raised beds.
4 raised beds measure approx. 4.2 m. x 1.6 m. x 0.5 m. (they are not true rectangles as they have been shaped to fit around a diamond shaped herb bed in the middle).
1 raised bed for herbs measures approx. 3.15 m. x 1.75 m.