Aaaarrrgh, not again! This is what we woke up to yesterday – I am so fed up of snow. Thankfully, it wasn’t a huge amount but even so, will spring ever come?
At least I had managed a few days outside this week before the snow returned. Our neighbour Rolande is starting to think that I spend my entire life digging the garden, since every time she wanders down the lane for a chat, that’s what I’m doing. She tells me with that impeccable Gallic shrug of hers that it’s far too early and far too cold to even think about digging, yet alone planting anything. Crazy Anglaise! She’s probably right on all counts but that British gene that has me programmed to getting stuff in the ground as soon as possible is still coursing through my veins. Maybe next year I’ll be able to adopt a more laid-back approach like the locals? Anyway, it has been great to be able to dig after a couple of water-logged weeks. The easterly wind has been a nuisance but it has dried everything up a bit and I’ve managed at least to turn all the ground I wanted to.
We’ve covered the last strip of grass with old silage bags and lino – not very pretty, I agree, but they do a grand job, and next year that will be just the spot for asparagus and globe artichokes. For now, it’s down to work with a fork to clear the ground of couch grass roots which will probably take me most of the summer.
As a break from digging, I’ve been pushing in pea sticks to support the ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ peas that are zooming up, and making several more wigwams from hazel poles. Two are for French climbing beans ‘Yard Long ‘ and ‘Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco’ and I will plant a row of dwarf French beans between them.
The other I’ve sneaked into what will be the brassica bed for a glorious colour combination of orange nasturtiums and blue morning glories, going in on the grounds of companion planting and general gorgeousness. Roger tells me it’s totally unnecessary and is just taking up valuable veg room but this is where the battle between his functional (and yes, very practical and successful) ‘man plot’ style and my more girlie, quirky (untried) approach begins! I know I’m my own worst enemy here and will almost certainly run out of room, but hey – I can always do some more digging.
It’s been an exciting week of new arrivals, all of them very welcome. First, our son Sam and his lovely girlfriend Adrienne flew in for a week’s holiday. It’s always great to see them but I was especially chuffed this time as they brought my package of blogging voucher seeds. Yippee!
We’re fairly well sorted for veg seeds so apart from a few extra lettuce and baby leaf mixes to ring the salad changes, I’ve opted for mostly herbs. First to go in will be the lemon and purple basils. I’m planning to interplant my tomato ‘forest’ with them as companion plants; whether or not it’s effective, they will at least make tasty companions on the plate. Some flower seeds made it into the order, too. I chose a couple of different French marigold types – ‘Red Brocate’ and ‘Mandarin’ – to mix through with the trays of ‘Petite’ that are already going well. I think a happy afternoon of seed planting in the polytunnel is beckoning!
The other arrival was delivered yesterday: a reconditioned micro-tractor and mower, which will be ideal for keeping the grass under control, hauling logs, harvesting apples and eventually rotavating some field strips for growing bulk veg like potatoes. For now, Roger is very happy putting it through its paces in the orchard– and while he’s busy with that, I might just be able to get away with more girlie nonsense in the veg patch! 🙂