A stroll around Gibraltar No 4: Gardens 

  Convent Garden fountain

Space is at a premium here in Gibraltar so very few people are lucky enough to have gardens. Nevertheless, it would appear that for many, lack of space is not a problem for would-be gardeners. Whichever road or street you go down, you will find keen green-fingered Gibraltar residents making the most of the space we’ve got.   

 St Jago’s

Whether it’s a window box, a row of pots outside the front door or a verdant balcony or roof terrace, those of us who love plants will NOT be beaten! 

 Upper Town

Gibraltar has it’s own Horticultural Society – did you know that? It’s been running for over sixty years. It was founded by Lady MacMillan, the then Governor’s wife back in 1953. Two flower shows are held each year with categories including; balconies, patios, courtyards, terraces, gardens, schools, corridors and estates. So no matter how much or how little space you’ve got, you can still have a go – even if it’s a single geranium plant in a pot. 

 Upper Town

It would seem that the British love affair with gardening persists even in these sunbaked and at times, rather unforgiving climes. There’s a Facebook page for Gibraltar home gardeners which boasts nearly 300 members and is a forum for gardeners to share hints and tips as well as sharing pictures of their horticultural successes and failures. 

 Upper Town

Sourcing plants isn’t too much of a problem here thankfully as there is a (small) garden centre – possibly the smallest in the world! The supermarkets here also stock some plants, although we have found to our cost that a few of them are a bit too ‘British’ for the Gibraltar climate and haven’t necessarily done too well here like hydrangeas and raspberries. 

 Garrison Library garden

We are also lucky enough to have a few garden centres situated a short drive away in Spain, so if we can’t find what we’re looking for here, we don’t  have too far to go to get new stock. 

 Europa Point Lighthouse keepers cottage gardens

Also, in my experience, I have found Gibraltar’s gardeners very generous in parting with their plants. In the last year I’ve been gifted nasturtiums and two types of lily. I have also bought a few plants from the Convent Garden at it’s annual garden party. 

 Upper Town

For some people, of course, their gardens can’t be on ground level and a roof terrace is their only outside space. 

 Town centre roof terrace 

One of the greatest upheavals of moving to Gibraltar (apart from leaving friends and family) was leaving my garden. I was a keen gardener and an avid watcher of Gardener’s World. I attended Gardener’s World Live at the NEC in Birmingham twice and made a wonderful trip to the Chelsea Flower Show. We may not have a beautiful display of bulbs in Spring, a lush green lawn in Summer or a beautiful show in Autumn with our Acers in our old front garden, but in Gibraltar we can embrace a different form of gardening. 

 South District

One plant which has always failed for me after at least half a dozen attempts, both in the UK and here in Gibraltar is agapanthus. I would just love to have some in our patio and lust after these beauties in the Governor’s own back garden:   

 Convent Garden

We have, however, had great success with our geraniums and pelargoniums which we inherited when we moved into our place. I was, at first, filled with trepidation about becoming custodians of such mature plants, but  so far, we’ve succeeded :-), we haven’t lost one yet! They grow so big here as they don’t lie dormant long in the winter like they do back at home (or indeed get killed by frost), as long as they are regularly dead headed and have a bit of plant food every now and again, they give us a wonderful show. They look their absolute best at sunset after a sunny day as the just seem to glow!

  I do hope you’ve enjoyed this short stroll around Gibraltar’s ‘gardens’, please call in again soon as I’ll be heading out for another stroll next week!
 

18 thoughts on “A stroll around Gibraltar No 4: Gardens 

  1. I am loving your walks, steps, Windows and gardens. Most of my garden is begged borrowed or stolen (from family) it means so much more when grandmas lilac blooms each year. I pity the young living in flats with no gardens. Looking forward to your next stroll K xXx

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  2. What an amazing insight into gardens on the Rock. What an ingenious group of gardeners you are. Lovely to see flowers and lots of greenery. The UK is very drab at the moment, well my cold and frosty garden in Derbyshire certainly is. ☔

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    1. Glad I could bring a bit of greenery your way! I know the winter can be bereft of green in the UK but the pay off is a lovely array of seasons and all that those bring with them. I do miss that. But as they say, you always want what you haven’t got! 🙂

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  3. I love the architecture of Gibraltar and as someone who gardens in pots and has done for many years now I love seeing how others do it. Geraniums are a gift for us pot gardeners I think – I eschewed them for many years, but now am completely converted 🙂 Oddly agapanthus are considered a noxious weed here. They spread uncontrollably and kill off native seedlings in their rampant habits. Once they were everywhere now I haven’t seen any for ages.

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    1. Wow I had no idea agapanthus could be so rampant – my attempts thus far certainly couldn’t be described as that. I either get really weedy specimens or a great show of leaves & no flowers! Glad you enjoyed the post. Us pot gardeners need to stick together! 🙂

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      1. When many northern hemisphere plants are transported to the southern hemisphere they tend to go bonkers! Gorse is another one. My old aunt who was a great gardener loved agapanthus as she considered them great space fillers – they would grow to fill a three metre square space in no time and flower for long periods. She would be horrified to know that now they are banished forever!!

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