I’m now in Oleander …

I’m now in Oleander I was about to say. But closer to the truth is that I’m in Alghero, Sardinia where I can see oleander (Nerium oleander) in and around every corner. The city administration must have concluded that oleander is the plant to put Alghero on the map. And who can blame them? The plant is really doing a great job to add prettiness to a green space. And city scape for that matter too. Here oleander is not only used in its natural shrub form but also trained into small trees lining streets and boulevards.

I’m now in Oleander … - Garden Room Style
Giardini Guiseppe Manno, Alghero, Sardinia.

Nerium can be found across most temperate and subtropical regions in the world. The exact origins are not known although the Mediterranean region is a top contender. Popularity is due to stunning flowers that peak in May-September but grow all year. It’s also highly drought tolerant so fits hot, arid regions like hand in glove. Because it’s evergreen it can be used in garden design schemes as privacy screens, windbreak and/or as a hedging plant.

Red Oleander in Alghero - Garden Room Style

As pretty as oleander is, it’s also a highly poisonous plant. Both these qualities were noted Pliny the Elder, around 2000 years ago. As it tastes rather bitter though, neither humans nor animals find it delectable and poisoning cases are low.

Oleander in Alghero - Garden Room Style

If you live in the right climate zone, making this plant thrive should not be a major problem. Oleander tolerate difficult soil, salt spray, high pH, severe pruning, reflected heat from pavements and walls, and drought. If you happen to live outside the “right” climate zone, plant it in a container and bring into a glasshouse, conservatory or the like in winter.