When we acquired the land for what eventually became Quinta dos Sentidos, it had scattered traces of former agriculture. Mainly, however, it had returned to its roots which in the south west of Portugal is called ‘barrocal’ also known in other Mediterranean areas as garrigue or maquis. A stony, inhospitable-looking ground, a scrubland vegetation composed of leathery evergreen shrubs, prickly wild asparagus, wild aromatic herbs and native olives, figs and carob trees. In spring the wildflowers burst forth, in waves of yellow, white, violet and pink.
Now, fifteen years on, the Quinta still has its untouched areas to remind us of what impressed and charmed us when we saw it first. In the meanwhile, we have taken advantage of the terroir to plant crops of vine and added many more olive trees to those which have inhabited the grounds for hundreds of years. The climate allows the growing of the entire range of subtropical plants and we have indulged in not just planting these but also ventured out into tropical and temperate varieties. This has involved a certain amount of trial and error, but still we are proud to count around 300 different plant species of which a third are potentially fruit bearing, amongst these almost 40 different species of citrus.
We would like to share these plants, one by one, with those who take an interest in the life of the Quinta, so keep an eye on this Blog and the QdS social media outlets.