Experimental Garden Make Over

It all started with the mango tree. We inherited it when we bought the house. I gazed at it and envisaged harvesting luscious, juicy mangos. My mouth watered, I love mangos.

It flowered profusely, but then the developing fruit all dropped off as they got to the size of a golf ball.

Oh the disappointment…

But I waited patiently another year, then another. Occasionally 3-4 would get bigger, but then just before ripe enough for picking the bats or birds would get them.

So I tried being experimental. It was pruned and fertilised and pampered, but now 18 years later we still have never got a mango from it. I also discovered that I have no photos of the actual tree in my archives only the garden around it…



These are earlier photos of the mango tree area. In the left hand photo you can see the trunk of the mango as it lurked behind the compost bin. The right hand photo shows the shady area it created. But I have decided it is time for change.

The mango tree must go. Oh the brutality. This is a very drastic pruning that Jack did, and I am planning to cover the remaining trunk with bromeliads and other plants. But at the moment it looks very forlorn. shed corner 011_3000x4000

It does create another problem all the plants under its protective canopy were tropical shade loving…shed corner 005Within a day the sun had started to burn the tender leaves of the bird’s nest fern and my beautiful bat plant (the big singed leaves in the bottom right hand corner). So I had to perform a quick rescue. I dug a hole, a big one, In another shady area of the garden and it was very hard going among all the tree roots. I had to use a mattock. shed corner 014_3000x4000Fortunately the bird’s nest fern, though a big plant, only has shallow roots. So now it was in its new home and I was so relieved a few days later to see new fronds appearing.garden wheelbarrow 024_4000x3000Look carefully and you will see the burnt leaves at the back. I did cut them off. A number of other shady loving plants were either given away or relocated. Now I have an empty area of garden to experiment with. It is also in full sun.


garden reno 037_4000x3000So I emptied the compost bin and dug it in. Spread over cow manure and a sprinkle of lime topped with trace minerals, then waited for the rains to come and wash it all in.

Now I am going to the nursery to buy some native plants. See you soon…


  1. That looks like it was a big monga mango! I have only seen a few of those in the Los Angeles area, and they were not big trees at all. I think I would want to keep one small, just so it does not make too much fruit like avocados do.

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  2. As usual in the garden one job leads to another! A shame about the mango, but there are times when things aren’t working and you have to make a change. I look forward to seeing what natives you have in store for us!


      • I found a delightful dwarf grevillea in the garden walk the other day – I think it is a Pink Pixie? Wondering whether I can squeeze it into my garden, along with the kangaroo paw and more agapanthus. Of course they don’t like frosts, so it is a risk, even though frost is rare this far south west.

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  3. Environments are all interdependent. Whilst the mango tree created its own microenvironment, I’d be very unhappy that it wasn’t producing fruit after all this time. I’d have cut it down earlier. Well, I’d have paid for a gardener to cut it down. I’d be too lazy to do it myself. 😉


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      • Bit of both, Pauline. Looking forward to the light show up at Durham tomorrow and the ease of familiarity but I’ve already had several messages from the neighbours asking when we’ll be back. Nice to be missed. And I do so want to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks on the bridge at Tavira. Hopefully next year 🙂 🙂

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    • Hi Naomi, good to hear from you. I’ve been following your dramas with the eye. Hope it gets better soon. I figured cow manure would be ok. The soil here is quite sandy originally, but over the years I have added lots of compost. A ph check would be a good idea. So far they are looking good. Are your tenants keeping your raised gardens going?


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