A vase of ironic blooms

Now the irony is not lost on me. Here I am cutting flowers for the house. But they are wildflowers. And all that work on sowing, pricking out, planting, watering and nurturing all those hundreds of flowers up in the cutting garden are not doing yet their job. I need to get some plants in much earlier in the year if I am to have flowers for the house in mid July. Cow parsley to the rescue. Again. Well, I do have lilies and for that I am grateful.

Actually there are flowers up at the garden: the liatris spicata bulbs are up and flowering. And the agastache is tall and wafting its liquorice scent. But I don’t think they will do for the vases indoors. But if I am desparate they may serve.

It’s hot today. 30C and a bit humid. We actually had some rain this morning – happened of course when I was watering the blueberry bushes. But it didn’t last longer than the time it took for me to go up to the house, don raincoat and come back to the garden.

But at least it gave one hope. My first job today was to admire the thyme steps down to the vegetable bed. It doesn’t look half bad with all that gloaming weeding of the brambles. You can even see the thyme plants now. And don’t they look parched. Must remember to give them a slosh of water when I cruise past on the way up to the lemon verbena plant. And the tomatoes could do with more watering too. I cut off a whole bucket full of leaves last night. But I can’t really see the difference. Some of these branches low down need staking too. But one of the advantages of the weedproof fabric is that the fruit and vegetables never really rot on the ground. It does make it easy for bugs and slugs. But neither seem to be in evidence right now. Too hot for the poor dears. Luckily the butterflies and bees are well supplied with flowers and nectar. Doing my bit.

But speaking of staking, I couldn’t work out why I had trouble going past the thornless blackberry bush today. Had they grown a few feet overnight? No. Their string support had broken under the weight of the fruit. A quick twinkle up to the potting shed (read that as a slow trudge in the hot humid heat) and I brought back some sturdy wire and secateurs for any random weeding en route.

I found a few ripe berries under all of this mess. And they were delicious. There is something about eating warm fruit from the plant that enhances its flavour. Or is it just greed? Probably the latter. But we are definitely going to have some fabulous fruit tarts this year. And a groaning freezer full of good intentions. Or will I make yet more blackberry jam. That sounds ideal.

For some dumb reason I chose to plod about the far reaches of the property in this heat. I could be in the cool of the house reading book four of the Martin Beck series by Sjowall and Wahloo. But no. Outdoors and under a very large hat.

There was something Nicolas mentioned on the phone yesterday that had me pondering. Did he mention continue the work in the vineyard? Or commence? If it was continue then I really must go down and see if the vines are still head high with weeds.

But the reward of the walk was in the viewing. A weed free plot. Amazing. He has a knack of getting in between the vines with a strimmer without chopping the vines to bits. I can’t manage it, which is why I just avoid. But they look great. And I can even see some fruit on the vines. There could be a crop this year. If any one of us can be bothered to harvest.

And while I was in this quadrant of the property, I thought I should go and find a spare hose for the raspberry bushes.   I seem to recall there were some random bits of hosing on top of the rabbit hutches in the spare shed.

A spare shed? A surplus of sheds. Everyone’s dream. We have a spare shed going begging at the far end of the first terrace below the road. It is the repository of rabbit hutches right now. But one day may be better used. Actually I think of it as the last bastion against the tide of nettles down there. If there wasn’t a shed in the way they would creep another twenty feet down the terrace and eat more lawn. But I found the hose and then walked with it all the way up to the raspberries at the top.

The fruit is crying out for a water and I have three barrels of the stuff just ten tantalising feet away. I don’t think I have the stamina for endless watering cans worth over every tree later tonight. But I may be able to siphon it off and get a good flow. The water is a bit green and there are floaty bits, but the raspberries wont mind. I will if I get a mouthful of the stuff when siphoning, but we shall leave that for later.

And then walking back down to the house (the call of the crime novel being most insistent now) I decided to inspect the mystery fruit tree up above the road above the guest house. How could we have missed something this big before?

And just look at the fruit. Peach? Some of the fruit look like nectarine. Maybe there are two seedlings growing up side by side. The result of a careless toss of a stone whilst driving past? Who knows. But you can bet that I will be up there and harvesting as soon as they are ripe.