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The "threshing floor" and "the desert"

The first of these areas is not a true threshing floor it but has been given this name because in size and shape it resembles a traditional Greek threshing floor. It is a circular flat area, approximately 15 metres in diameter, consisting of what was once a lawn and is now managed as a dry meadow, surrounded by a band of drought-tolerant shrubs and sub-shrubs. This meadow does not receive any water and is mown in early summer after the wild flowers in it have set seed. Particularly worthy of note in the surrounding beds are the large mounds of summer-dormant Ptilostemon chamaepeuce, a Greek native plant with narrow leaves and mauve thistle-like flowers in spring.

Threshing floor in December
Threshing floor in March

The area dividing the "threshing floor" from the gravelled entrance to the property is generally known as "the desert" because of its extremely dry and inhospitable conditions; it includes pine trees, a huge Agave americana more than 40 years old, a towering single-trunked Yucca, taller than the pines and home to many nesting birds, Iris germanica and the impressive Euphorbia dendroides, covered in lime-green inflorescences in spring then bare and dormant in summer.
Photographs by Davina Michaelides.


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Video - Terry Moyemont.   Music - David Bristow.

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