This year, May is devoid of clients in the gîte, which gives us time to blitz the garden just when it's growing the fastest. We have been able to trim the hedge, weed the whole thing and sort the veg patch out. Everything is probably as neat as it will ever be this year: the customers start arriving next week.
On the left of the veg patch are the tomatoes: 10 Rio Grande, 5 cherry and 10 coeur de boeuf. Under the tarpaulin behind them I have planted butternut squash and melon. To the right, from rear to front are aubergines, runner beans and chili peppers. On the raised bed to the right are lettuce planted between various brassicas: cabbage, broccolli and cauliflower. The brassicas are not doing too well, about half seem to just have faded away. A root problem?
The next bed to the right has beans. I planted berlotti beans for cassoulet under twigs from hazlenut treets that provide climbing supprt. I also put in some broad beans but I think that mice or birds have eaten most - I have 4 seedlings out of about 20 beans. Next year I will have to start them in pots. Perhaps I will have to create a seedling nursery area.
The onions and shallots in the next raised bed are doing well, and I planted out leeks this weekend in the same bed. I am hoping for good things here. Next door are the gooseberries and strawberries, that seem to nourish the birds more than they do me. And finally at the end, the spuds. I planted Miss Blush again since I love the flavour, and this year I an trying out a variety that makes big potatoes for baking: "Samba".
I am trying, for the first time this year, "companion planting" which is an excuse for planting flowers among the veggies. I put African Marigolds between each tomato plant, have dotted Zinnias about, and I put French Marigolds (seeds harvested from last year's plants) around the brassicas. There are Nasturtiums in the somewhere too. We shall see if this all helps.
Meanwhile, the Iris are flowering.