Où sont les arrosoirs?

I’m making the most of this time between papers and students to get out and try to whip the garden under control. Not so easy in 32°C. Weird considering it was 17°C maximum last Wednesday and it rained most of the day. Less than a week’s worth of summer weather and it feels like it’s been summer forever.

I try to do as much as I can before 11am – walk the dogs, weed… it gets too hot afterwards. I’ve mostly weeded back the brassica patch, but it’s been heavily eaten by creatures of the crawling variety. Plus, I’ve been heavy handed with the weeding, so I pulled up a lot of spring onions by mistake. Some of the seeds I sowed directly haven’t taken, so I’m planting some late veg – swedes and bok choi. Today, I’m going to be pulling out the broad beans and putting in a row of parsnips. It’s a little late but we’ll see.

The big patch will be next. There’s a lot of stuff coming up…

IMG_0527This is a square of corn with pumpkins at their feet… there’s two rows of tomatoes behind them, then some peppers and chilis behind those.  But it is in need of hoeing and weeding. There’s a little space left alongside the dragonesque cardoons

IMG_0478These are a totally statuesque plant and are forming a great border between patches. Not sure why more people don’t grow them as ornamentals because they’re magnificent. On the roundabout in La Rochefoucauld (I know, illustrious!) there’s a few planted in a gorgeous, gorgeous flowerbed. I always mean to take some photographs but I’m sure everyone will look at me like I’m completely craaaaaazy. Like it’s acceptable to take photos of my adopted home town’s flowers, as long as they are doing pretty things and not adorning a roundabout near a supermarket.

It’s the flowers that are the stars at the moment though. The hollyhocks are starting and the roses are in full bloom. I mean to plant some darker hollyhocks, as I have every shade from Deep Purple (just like saying that because of the band…) to a Whiter Shade of Pale (I started, so…)

rosetremiere

Today will be an early start to see if I can get the brassicas weed-free and then to get on with the mowing. There’s a lot of stuff that needs weeding, so it’s just weed, weed, weed right now. You wouldn’t believe how fast those things grow. If human beings could eat weeds, we’d have no need for GM crops and we’d not be considering how we can introduce insects into our diet more regularly, just so we could sustain a gargantuan population. If only crab grass were edible…

I suspect I am three or four weeks off a first crop of tomatoes. It’s late, but you know what they say. The mini-pop corn are in flower and the big boy corn doesn’t look far behind. Beetroot are fattening up nicely, carrots are looking good. None of the onions have gone to seed and I might be able to harvest a few in a couple of weeks. Roll on harvest!

And unless something terrible occurs, the plums are definitely going to make up for the spoilt cherries. I’ve already had to prop a few branches up – they’re that heavy with babies. I’ll also get all the vines tied in over the next couple of days – bit of a slog to do 150. Luckily, I have more helpxrs arriving in the next couple of weeks. Not sure they will be as fun or as lovely as Shannon and Marcus though! It’s one of the benefits of opening up your house to passers-by – you get to meet lovely people and see their bit of the world as they tell you their stories.

Better get out there and get on with it. I’ve a huge jobs list. If it’s as hot as it was yesterday, I might have drowned in a pool of sweat by evening. I sense a long, cold bath at the end of it all. Bliss!

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