Although the weather let us down on occasion, we explored a series of interesting habitats, from limestone rock-gardens to Atlantic sand-dunes, and from salt-marsh to Cork Oak montados, encountering a wide range of southern European spring flowers in the process.
Gardens that are north-facing, overshadowed by large trees or sunken, are often bare and uninspiring because owners are convinced that nothing much will grow there.
But if you do have a shady plot, take heart - the list of plants that will grow in shade is a long one, and with careful planning you can have a glorious garden.
Garden designer Emma Ranson has worked on a number of shady front gardens.
The key, she says, is to get to know your soil before you tackle the planting.
Whilst enjoying a late lunch, we were able to observe Greater Flamingo, Cattle Egret, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Sandwich Tern, after which we wandered slowly along the shoreline in search of colonising psammophiles.