The soft-dying day

Work has begun in earnest on the outdoors. I think up until now, we’ve been kind of getting along, where as now we’re preparing for the winter, getting ready for the next year. It’s like preparing for hibernation!

Jake and I mapped out ‘le triangle’ yesterday – we’re 113 metres across the top, back lane, 103 down the side and 106 down the main road. A roughly equilateral triangle, all in all. We have a big chunk of land at the back which was going to be my garden but is really that far away you’d need to take a picnic to enjoy it! It’s 32 metres across the back lane – just under a third of the plot,26 metres down – roughly a fifth of the length of the plot, and then narrows to 17 metres/15 metres. Not so bad when my garden back in Bolton is about 5 metres by 4 metres. Poor garden in  Bolton!!

It has a line of grapes – mixed – about 26 metres across, and the rest is grass. Well, it was weeds.

The back plot back in May... not so under control as it is now!!

Now it’s back to being mown weeds with a little grass. This morning, I was planning on digging a 10 metre by 5 metre patch into it, but it’s hard as nails. It will be my ‘allotment proper’ – the patches on either side of the poly-tunnel are really rather small. Mr Stephen and I made our way round the garden, me with my list, him half listening to my demands. Compost in the corner. Cut down two plum trees along the back (I reckon we have 25 plum trees, so it’s not an ordeal!) and clean up the other trees. Plant a hedge along the fence. Cut down the knackered old plums in the plum orchard behind the vegetable patch. Take down Madame’s bizarre garrotting lines (I’m not entirely sure why there are wires hung like washing lines around the property, all at Steve’s neck height. I, being  a midget, can just get underneath them. I wonder what happened to M. Arrouet??!) and remove all the old mole traps. Take down all the knackered old fences. Cut down more plum trees and an apple tree with apples so small they’re barely bigger than acorns. Not sure where all the pips go on that! Remove all the moss and lichen from the trees. Paint the trunks with lime. Remove the old dog run. Clear the old orchard, which is mostly full of wonky trees, suckers, odd branches, weird angles, diseased limbs and so on. Spray them with Bordeaux mixture if they survive the cull. I’m going to reclaim the orchard as my garden, so it’s going to need a bit of work!

And that’s without getting down to the bottom of the garden!

I’ve raked about 5 bin bags of leaves up from les trembles – the aspens – and ‘fall’ hasn’t yet really begun. The carrots that have been in for a month are now fairly established – apparently, they need 65-75 days to go from seed to picking, but they don’t look big enough yet!! That would mean that they should be ready from early November. The spring onions are also looking a lot like little spring onions, though they too have got a little bit of time to wait. I’ve weeded out over 2,500 weeds and pebbles today (yes, I count them – it’s therapeutic and I can switch my brain off!!)

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