Thursday, 20 May 2010

The right stuff

The Dahlia cuttings are getting quite mature, so they are ready to plant out. The weather has been strange lately; we are in our second unseasonably hot spell, with temperatures around 23 degrees during the day. In between these spells we have had unusual cold, with air frosts. Dahlias hate frosts, but the usual planting time is about now, when danger of frost is normally past. So I'm just putting them out and crossing my fingers.

Preparing the ground requires large amounts of manure, and I have been shoveling it where it's needed. Still not quite done, but in a few days I expect the Dahlias will be planted. Incidentally, I left the trailer-load of manure out overnight, and in the morning, I discovered a toad in there trying to get out. He was lucky to survive, I think. I put him at the base of a dry stone wall, and he hopped into a gap in it.

The plants look a bit small when they're planted, but they will soon grow. This work takes a toll on the forks, though. The ground is very stony, and the forks bend. Bend them often enough, they break. I'm glad I didn't use my good stainless steel one.

Finally, a couple of pics of the Ena Harkness climbing rose that's on the wall of the gîte. A lovely shape, and strongly scented too, so you catch a whiff of it as you enter and leave the building.

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