Sunday, 10 November 2013

New palms

We have had two new palms planted.

Our Italian Cypress tree had become too tall and was taking the sun in the winter afternoons, so we unfortunately had to make the decision to remove it. A great pity, as it was a lovely tree.

Phoenix roebelenii
Anyway, that we replaced with a Phoenix roebelenii or pygmy palm. It already looks very smart and in a couple of years the trunk should develop the typical "hard scaled" look of its sort.

The roebelenii has a trunk of about 80 cm and can grow slowly to between 2 and 3 metres. It already has a very good looking canopy of fronds.

The other new palm has been chosen to replace our Phoenix canariensis. The canariensis was also becoming too large for our small garden and was also threatened by the red palm weevil, which is causing havoc in the area in which we live. Indeed, we had found some suspicious-looking holes in the base of the canariensis and also some cocoons, so that really made our minds up to replace the palm with a variety more suited to our garden and resistant to the weevil.

We first did some research, visiting the Huerto del Cura in Elche and a number of local garden sentres before deciding on a Howea forsteriana. Strangely, this palm is incorrectly marked in the Huerto del Cura, as can be seen in this photo (note the missing "r"):

Fosteriana instead of forsteriana

There were several examples of this palm in the Huerto (all incorrectly marked) and we were attracted to the narrow trunk and soft fronds. We bought quite a mature example from a local grower, It's a slow-growing palm, so should be fine where it now stands.

Howea forsteriana

You can see more photos in this album.

Friday, 8 November 2013

39 again

A couple of days ago I had a birthday.

I have one each year.

This was the 27th occasion of my 39th birthday and as this seemed to be the cause of extra celebration, SWMBO decide that we should go to a restaurant to have a celebratory meal. She even decided on the restaurant at which we should dine, her current favourite, the Restaurante El Rebate, near Pilar de la Horadada, some thirty kilometres from where we live.

El Rebate was the name of a small abandoned village that the Van Iseghem family completely restored, eventually creating the restaurant itself, as well as a wedding chapel and a shop selling a wide variety of wines, other groceries, handicrafts and all sorts of other things, whilst avoiding the more tacky tourist fare.

The restaurant occupies a large building that was once several small houses. In addition to the large dining room it has a huge terrace.

As usual, we enjoyed our meal at El Rebate and will no doubt be returning soon.

El Rebate seen from the parking area
Steps up to El Rebate from the parking area
Restaurant area of El Rebate

Main restaurant building
Terrace, which would soon be full
SWMBO contemplates the cold tapas
SWMBO admiring the desserts

A Belgian biscuit, a Spanish restaurant, a Welsh man