Monday 29 April 2024

Getting the rocks out

The garden here is full of rocks, and I am currently digging over a new area for veg planting.   This means getting rid of the rocks and stones that used to be part of the limestone cliff that underpin the garden.   They are mostly of manageable size; that is, I can lift them, but this monster that I uncovered yesterday needed both me and a friendly neighbour to shift it (see the wheelbarrow for size comparison, and the stone wall behind for the availability of rocks)  Worse, there's this even bigger one still in the ground.   It has defied all attempts to lift it, but it does move a bit when enough force is applied.   I think I am going to have to break it up with my electric jackhammer.

In other garden news, the onions and garlic are coming on nicely, and the potatoes have broken above the surface and seem to have avoided frost damage.   This year I have a small amount of perpetual leeks and perpetual onions.   These are both becoming fashonable for some reason.  I won't be harvesting anything from either of them for a while - I will be reproducing from my existing stock of two examples of each.  Can you believe €10 for one perpetual onion from a nursery?   I didn't pay that much, nor would I.

It looks like there the weather will be much warmer from next Wednesday, so I'll be putting out the tender plants - beans, squash, courgettes, etc.  I'm trying gherkins for the first time this year, and having another go at sweet potatoes following last year's dismal failure.

Saturday 20 April 2024

Not a greenhouse

I can't really call it a greenhouse because it doesn't have sides, but it will at least keep most of the rain off the tomatoes.   The original greenhouse was super-cheap, (€50) but a strong wind shredded the thin pastic covering after a year or so, and bent the plastic joints of the frame.   I got new joints (half the price of the original greenhouse) and a neighbour gave me some new, stronger, white, rip-stop plastic.   I am keeping the whole thing stuck to the ground with two vertical stakes, one each side, firmly hammered into the gournd and tied to the verticals at two points.  I think/hope it will do the job.   The tomatoes will go out into it after the current cold spell.

Monday 15 April 2024

Wisteria, etc

The recent rains have made it next to impossible to work in the garden.   However, the work still needs to be done.   Hence some recent, frantic gardening activity.   As a reward, the Wisteria is putting on a fine display, and the garlic, shallots and onions are coming through nicely.

Monday 8 April 2024

Trip to the Park

The Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne is about an hour and a half from our place.  We took a day out to visit it, and also enjoy lunch at their restaurant.

I was a bit concerned that we might have missed the flowerings of the early shrubs such as the Rhododendrons and Azalias, but no - in fact perhaps we were a little early.  Many were still in bud.

Not only does the garden feature some impressive specimen plants, but it also offers different vistas that seem to appear out of nowhere, and give pause for contemplation.  It's also pleasing to see that the park is still being developed with new plantings; young trees still supported by stakes and in protective mesh, new beds being populated.

The lunch was good too, in a restaurant that retains its old world charm, with a proper open fire that took the chill off the natural stone walls.

Tuesday 2 April 2024

A book

Waterstone's is always good for a browse.   I'm not buying so many physical books these days; I tend to buy what I would describe as disposable books in electronic form, but reference books I still buy the paper version.

The graphic novels are a case in point.   They don't really work well as electronics.   They're similar in some ways to a film adaptation of a book, they offer a new perspective on the story, and rely on a visual artist's impression of the images, rather than the reader's own imagination.  Some are more successful than others.  This one is a good one.

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