So, you have bought a lovely property in North Cyprus, well done! Now is the time to think about planting your garden.
First rain in September
The first rain showers of the coming winter are likely around the end of September, softening the ground just enough to get your spade in. What to put there? There are four main plants that form the backbone of a Mediterranean garden; bougainvillea, jasmine, oleander and hibiscus. Where you put them, and the crucial question of water supply, will dictate the style of your garden.
If you intend to be a full-time resident with water always on tap, or you can afford to buy it in via a tanker, you may have a green garden, perhaps with a grass area and fruit trees. If you are not going to live in North Cyprus, or have an unreliable water source, go for the grey/green look of olive, fig, and pine trees with gravel. Be careful not to plant too close to the house, where the roots can undermine your foundations.
New Garden Centres
The good news is that most anything grows in the rich soil of Cyprus. Also, there are many new Garden Centres with a great choice of plants ready to advise you. Even the least-skilled gardener will quickly find things blooming in the sun. You will savour the smell of orange and lemon blossom, marvel at the purple fronds of the jacaranda tree and, as the day draws to a close, swoon over the aroma of the Pakstani Night, whose powerful perfume is released only after dark.
For a quick grower to fill a large space, go for a California Pepper tree with its delicate “weeping willow” look … and you can use its pretty pink peppercorns. Or you may prefer a Norfolk Island pine, known as the Monkey Puzzle tree. It will grow high and make a feature with its loose, see-through shape.
Australian variety, pennisetum is the grass to plant
Placing is important, The prevailing wind comes from the north-west. Some plants won’t like this and must have shelter. If you want grass, it has to be the Australian variety, pennisetum. It is drought-resistant and grows almost horizontally, forming a thick mat. You will never have a lawn like a tennis court, but you will love the cool feel under your feet next summer.