garden portugal

Gardening in Portugal

When we first bought our old house, one of the things that really attracted us to it, other than it being an amazing building was the gardens, we have a total of 5000 m2, which is a large olive and fig grove.  But we also had a really beautiful walled garden, which meant that we could have a private garden once we are up and running as holiday rentals (we are still keeping our fingers crossed for the long term plan, but that is now a whole other story!).

We don’t have the very first photos, these are after a lot of work, so use your imagination as to what it was like at the beginning!

The private walled garden. The Old Manor House Portugal.The private walled garden. The Old Manor House Portugal.

As you can see, our beautiful walled garden, is still a dream at the beginning, but we can imagine it once complete.

The space is completely over grown and has not been looked after.

Our original plan was to have a terrace with a beautiful lawn and flower beds.

To help clear it, we hired a man with a digger to level the land.

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Once this was completed John set about making a terrace, at some point in the future we would love to have this made from concrete and stone, but for now, wood is more than good enough.

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Building this alone was not an easy job, and I am so glad that John is as strong as an ox and is able to carry the wood and hold it in place whilst fixing it.

Before the stairs are added, he needs to paint the walls of the neighbouring property, you will often find, especially when a property is empty, that neighbours will extend and they do not make the extension look good from the other side.

So we have walls that are metres high, we can not find ladders any where near big enough, so we need to use scaffolding, we have some of our own scaffolding, but also are able to use some from a builder friend we have here in the village.

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I try not to watch too often as I hate John being so high on his own, but needs must. I also lost count of how many times he got mild sun stroke out there building the terrace and painting, even though he did not work during the hottest part of the day, the temperatures peaked at 48 degrees centigrade, this is really a little sun trap and now it is all white, the sun just reflects all round.

A I said we had intended to have some really nice flower borders, this is now a fantasy, as we have decided during this crisis we need vegetables far more than we need flowers.

As in the previous post, we had visited the market to buy plants, though my Portuguese language skills left me and we had no idea what some of the plants we bought actually were. But on Facebook there are some amazing gardening groups and with in minutes of posting photos of what we had bought, we were informed that we had cabbage and kale.

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So now our borders are full of tomatoes, cabbage, kale, broccoli, horseradish, lettuce and lots of berries.

We also bought a collection of fruit tress to go with the ones that we already had, so we now have orange, tangerine, peach, plum, figs, lemon and lime tress.

We are hoping however long this Coronavirus crisis lasts, we will at least be able to feed ourselves.

I have finally become Felicity Kendal, all we need now is chickens, but until we can get out and buy wood to build a coop, they will have to wait.

But for now we are self isolating on our finished terrace with beautiful painted walls.

Stay safe everybody

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We are Jenny and John, currently living in Portugal and renovating an old manor house, which should be finished soon and open for holiday lets. We also manage a website for accommodation and information on Portugal at

7 comments on “Gardening in Portugal

  1. So awesome. Me and my mom (the one that is from Fungalvaz) just loved it. Can’t wait to see it live and in color.


  2. Maria Costa

    So inspiring! I love seeing the progress pictures. Thank you.


  3. Jacqueline Wolstencroft

    The garden and terrace are wonderful. I imagine you have a great view from the terrace. I’m visualising myself with a glass of wine, in the sun watching the sun go down!


  4. Well done! The terrace and garden look awesome!


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