Home » The (hanging) gardens of Termas da Azenha

The (hanging) gardens of Termas da Azenha

“After this I’ll continue in the chicken meadow, will you do the office garden then?” I call after Broes, who, grunting, disappears, with a bottle of beer in his hand, because it’s around nine in the evening, clearly after working hours and one can exaggerate everything.

The gardens of Termas da Azenha need attention and water, or they’ll be hanging gardens

this wall of roses is already hanging

Don’t imagine blooming fields full of flowers, because it’s June and things are starting to dry up. Even here, where the spring water flows generously through the old bathhouse before disappearing into the valley. In earlier times this was the only water the inhabitants had, and it still applies to us today. Rather this living pure mineral water than the municipal water that is killed with chlorine.

The only downside: it contains a lot of calcium and magnesium, which some plants don’t like.

So I give the tea plants in the greenhouse from the watering can with a dash of vinegar. Dissolved, solved. Apparently they’re acidic plants – okay, fine. They like it in the greenhouse, just like the mango tree and the basil. There are already two pineapple crowns in a glass next to each other, trying to make roots, and then maybe even a new pineapple!

All that is possible, with a greenhouse. A big step forward in the area of gardening

A number of fruit trees have recently been planted in the chicken meadow next to the greenhouse. You can’t call that an orchard yet, but if I continue to water consistently and serve them pep talk, I may not only consider myself lucky, but may also hire myself out as a fruit tree coach in the future.

The basis of all this is the efforts of my family.

Brother and brother-in-law have dug holes in the greasy clay for the trees in the blazing sun, loosening the soil as much as possible. Ample holes, because they need to be able to spread out their roots a bit. And then you have to keep an eye on them, water them, encourage them (“You can go around those rocks with your little roots, I’m sure! And then make new leaves. That’s great, impressive, I have no idea how to do that!“) I’ve planted fruit trees before, with the message: “Well, there you go, this was my share, you can do the rest yourself” – and that usually doesn’t work.

There are a few that survived, but they probably had a very strong character. They have not yet given fruit, even after 14 years, so there is something to be said for a different approach.

Brother and sister have weeded the garden in front of the office, and planted it with a lot of new physalis, borage, snapdragons and carnations. That is a different type of soil: stony, dry, rock hard. You can only dig holes in it and put new soil in it. The opposite of the garden at room 1. They dug holes there too, and now there’s a lot of plants who are utterly content and are planning on making the nicest flowers ever.

Office garden, Butterfly garden, Flower garden, orchard-with-greenhouse, and a shelter to put your things under. Big steps forward in the field of gardening!


We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal.

A big step, especially with two small children.

We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday houses, rooms and a campsite.

You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

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