Les poissons en France

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Under Gardener

We once saw a TV programme featuring a man who cut his grass every day. At present John is trying to emulate him, although he is only mowing every other day. Unfortunately 10 days ago the new mower we bought last year broke down. Any machinery braking down is a catastrophe as far as John is concerned and I always tread very carefully (the only time). We made innumerable trips to the shop, made daily telephone calls but to date the after sales service is non existent even though it is under guarantee. John became more and more tetchy as we watched the grass grow 2 to 4 centimetres each day. Eventually he couldn't stand it any longer and we have become a two tractor family. We rushed off to the garden centre where we are known as those funny English people who keep buying tons of compost. Obviously being known has its advantages as the mower was delivered by 2 o'clock.

I must say the "grass" sets off the garden beautifully and it was most gratifying when a group of about 20 walkers from the village came past and were very complimentary.  However I do wonder what they say about us. As I have the lights on in the porcherie for about 16 hours a day there were suggestions that we are growing cannabis!!

Unfortunately, despite having a new mower the under gardener continues to be grumpy. We have been planting dahlias in the Christo bed for the past couple of days (30 down 25 to go) with their associated poles. He is not happy says it looks like a bl---- allotment. I keep telling him that it will be wonderful in mid summer when the supports will be covered, however he is not convinced.

On a more cheerful note, it is the start of the iris season and we have a stunning display of the common ones, the more exotic ones will not be out for a few weeks.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekend Update

The sun has been continuing to shine and of course, the grass has continued to grow.  So the under hand has been mowing about every other day!  But Saturday, the Head Gardener demanded that it be cut on the lowest setting, something I've shied away from as I thought our ground wasn't level enough.  But She was right!
It cut ok and made the garden look really good!
So then it was the proper gardening work of digging up, splitting and replanting.  Sue is trying to fill the new bank at the top of the front garden so we were planting up Oenothera, a sort of evening primrose which flowers all day.  This then needed watering.
 Sue keeps raving about the Honesty which is a backdrop to the new bank
but we're very pleased at how the garden is looking ( I know some of you will be getting bored with gardening by now!)
More plants parked in the sun for acclimatisation.
ps it's been raining nearly all day today
"lovely warm rain, the right sort"

Friday, April 17, 2015

Buried Treasure

Last week I reported that I had done some planting in the white bed. When I went to water it the following day I found that one plant had been disturbed, I assumed by "some creature" as there was a 6 inch deep by 18 inch wide depression where the plant had been. Whilst planting yesterday I decided to replace the dug up plant. As I began digging in the mound of earth created when the animal was digging, to my surprise I unearthed a complete leg bone. We deduced from its size that it was probably from the deer carcass we found some weeks ago. When John found the carcass it had a leg missing. The bone I found yesterday was "relatively" fresh. The plot thickens, but is total conjecture. However the resident detectives find it fascinating.
More buried treasure, only this seems to have been buried so deep it is not showing itself. You will recall that we "planted" 1000 anemone blanda in January, I would now like to show you to one of the four which have flowered this year. I am confident that they will be better next year. John says that I am ever the optimist!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tulips from Mas de Bouye

I had to take these photos whilst we still have some tulips. The temperatures are now in the thirties in the sun by mid afternoon, not good for tulips!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Planting Continues

We are still battling on with the planting but some how it seems to be plant one buy two. The supermarkets have such bargains at present that I can't resist them. I planted the white bed yesterday with perennials and shrubs but there are lots more white plants in the production unit to be planted out when they are ready.

We began planting the Christo bed today and I intend to sow lots of annual seeds in it tomorrow. We continued planting and splitting plants in the long and the raised beds. The idea is to cram the plants close together so that the weeds are crowded out, which is fine but difficult when it comes to planting.

However I have another cunning plan. I have had my eye on some old rolls of hay which have been abandoned in the field next door for a number of years. I managed to accost the farmer the other day to ask if I could have them. I explained that I could use them as a mulch in the garden if he had no use for them. He gave me a funny look, obviously deciding that I was just that funny English woman. Unfortunately the grass is growing very rapidly in the field and it is time for the snakes to wake up so I sent John into the field to gather the mulch. We were both surprised that the hay had not decomposed as much as we expected, but hey ho it's free. John covered the two formal rose beds but was exhausted when he'd finished as it was 25 degrees by mid afternoon. There's still a bale and a half left!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Garden Omnibus

Of late we have done little else but garden, although we have had a little socialising thrown in. The perfect balance as far as I am concerned. However I am conscious that you are probably totally fed up with me prattling on about the garden so I have refrained from reporting every plant I've planted. Then I reflected that we told you about every bit of plasterboard we erected so what's the difference!!

Having prepared the new beds it's time for the fun bit, filling them up. As you know we planted the 120 bare root lavenders and I was relieved to see signs of growth on some today. We have selected and split plants from the serpentine bed which will grow on rock and very little soil and moved them to the raised bed. I have arranged them in large blocks for a different effect. Sorry there are no photos at present as half dead plants that need to fill out do not look very impressive. However I am pleased with how things are progressing. About half the raised bed is planted and I have seeds to plant, cuttings to grow on and more plants to source.

I have more seeds than ever growing on in the house and porcherie this year. John has installed lighting in the porcherie so I have much more production space. I think I will be planting things out for the next month. John's assistance has been invaluable this year and today we planted 200 crocosmia corms, a drop in the ocean compared to what we have to do. We have had frosts each morning so that has meant I've had to protect a lot of things. Well it's all change today and the temperatures have soared to the mid twenties, so we have had to change tack to watering mode to keep the transplanted plants alive. John is now fretting about his beloved grass (well mown field) growing faster than he can cut it. As you know gardeners are like farmers, the weather is never right!!
We are reveling in Spring and I thought I would show you some delights from our wild bank.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Dry River ...

... flows along.
Current estimate is for another 40 bags of compost, so I'll spend summer gradually putting lots more stones in it to reduce the amount of compost needed.