Two days to go until we load the van and set sail for Santander. Our temporary home is being rapidly reduced to various stacks of boxes and piles of dismantled furniture; once the curtains come down, it will feel bare and empty. I am a great fan of minimalist philosophy ( see for inspiration) and we’ve been happy to embrace it fully in this move. We have sold, donated, recycled and Freecycled in order to reduce our worldly goods to a transit van load, plus trailer for the tractor. Even so, it’s going to be tight and I have a feeling at least one precious item might end up having to stay behind, in the short term at least. šŸ˜¦


I’m hoping there will be a tiny space to squeeze in a few pots of basic herbs to keep us going until I’ve had time to raise more from seed. Also, I really don’t want to leave behind the floribunda rose Roger’s Mum and Dad gave us as an anniversary gift last year: it’s called ‘For Your Eyes Only’ and was Rose of the Year 2015 ā€“ no great surprise, the flowers are exquisite.



As gardeners, May is a mad month to be moving house, let alone countries. We had decided that trying to raise the usual tender plants and transport them was plain daft: better to buy some plants once we got there. Well, that resolve didn’t last long. Having been given a few tomato plants to get us started (the old English ‘Harbinger’ and early outdoor ‘Tamina’), the temptation was too much.


Out came the propagator (thankfully not yet packed) and in went the seeds: several further varieties of tomato, aubergine, sweet pepper, chilli pepper and two types of courgette seed kindly donated by Sarah. I tried ā€“ truly, I did! – to resist the siren call of squashes; of course, I buckled but did manage to limit myself to eight varieties, very restrained under the circumstances, I thought. I’ve grown ‘Crown Prince’, ‘Bon Bon’, ‘Chestnut’, ‘Honey Bear’ and ‘Flying Saucer’ before, but ‘Marina di Chioggia’, ‘Sonca’ and ‘Jaspee de Vendee’ are all new to me so I’m interested to see how they do. Roger has pointed out that I don’t as yet have anywhere ready to plant one squash plant yet alone that lot, but I’ll worry about that when the time comes. They may well end up tumbling over a muck heap or two.

DSCF7099.JPGIn the meantime ā€“ of course ā€“ the plants have gone mad and part of the packing fun on Friday will be finding a safe spot for them in the van.



No such problem finding room for seed packets so we’ve stocked up on a few essentials. I was delighted to be given several packets as leaving gifts when I finished in school last week, all of which will be perfect in our new garden. The climate should allow us to plant half-hardies straight into the ground to catch up in no time, so fingers crossed for a decent harvest and plenty of colour later in the summer.


The idea of me gardening on a mountainside in bear country inspired this wonderful leaving card (thank you, Anna) which certainly made me smile! I suppose it would be quite momentous to meet a bear in the bean patch (maybe that’s what all those plastic bottles were for . . ?) but somehow I suspect it’s more likely to be the usual slugs and snails. There again, you never know . . .


After years of cutting grass, Roger just has one more mowing session left before the mower goes to its new owners. A life without lawns? How very unBritish, but somehow, I think we will cope! The honey bees were certainly taking advantage of the dandelions scattered across the lawn here today, enjoying some warm sunshine after such a bitter week. I just hope our travelling plants enjoy the Asturian sunshine as much. šŸ™‚



2 thoughts on “Countdown

  1. One transit van load only?! I hope that means the tools are already at their destination! Sounds like it’s mainly going to be plants in the van. All the best with the move. I think early May is not such a bad choice, gardening wise – you can still sow almost everything when you get there. How many varieties of beans? I just put up my poles today, but it’s still going to be a couple of weeks before the beans go out here.


  2. Oh yes, the gardening and building tools all pretty much went at Easter! We’re loading the van later today so I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed for at least a few plants. I think it was four varieties of beans in the end, nothing very exciting- Blue Lake, Violet Podded, Borlotti Lingua di Fuoco and I think there’s a few Cherokee Trail of Tears, too. We had a rubbish year last year so I’m hoping for a better harvest this time, then I’ll investigate some local varieties for next year. Good luck with yours, hope the weather is kind!


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