Casa Norinha sits in landscaped grounds of just over an acre (half a hectare), surrounded by countryside. There are many mature trees and shrubs, including a very large, old alfarrobeira (carob tree), palms, yuccas, pomegranates and several olives.

The terraces have containers with various succulents and there are honeysuckles climbing outside the orange bedroom.

The garden is visited by many bird species, including hoopoes and red-dumped swallows. Swallowtail butterflies are a common sight in the Spring and early Summer.

Spring is a perfect time to be in the Algarve countryside, as there are masses of wildflowers, and the birds are out in force, tending to their chicks. Various house sparrows and finches nest in our terrace roof and the swallows dive bomb the pool to catch insects.

In Winter 2013 we started some major re-landscaping to make better use of a large space that used to be set to lawn, adding a petanca (boules) court and an orchard. We built a pergola for climbing roses and grapes and also planted hibiscus, lavender and many other interesting heat and drought-tolerant species. The grass and flowers in the orchard area are left to grow as a small wildflower meadow.

The garden landscaping was finally finished in 2016 and we’ve added a beach-style gravel garden to the decking area, complete with striped deckchairs and a palapa parasol. We also planted a rose garden complete with sundial.