Deja vu

first mowThe last weekend of March seems to be the annual first mow of the year. Every year. I just had a quick check and found out that I mowed for the first time on the 29th March in 2011.

So despite what the weather threw at us this year, here is the mowing season starting right on time.   I could have done with a bit less heat. And as I couldn’t find my peaked cap (the only thing that fits with the ear muffs) it was a warm project.

But it didn’t take too many hours.   I started in the orchard, nipped up to the terrace in front of the house, mowed the main lawn, did a quick tidy of the part of the lawn beyond the pool we call the piano. And then swooped down the track and finished back up in the orchard again. lawn's first mow

If I had any energy, I would have trundled all the way up to the top of the property and done the pesky bit of the walnut path which you can see from the courtyard.   I’ll just have to close my eyes a bit on that part of the garden.

newspaperAnd of course the main reason for the mowing was to collect the grass cuttings.   I’m planning on a major mulching of the potager. So that meant out with the old Guardian Weekly newspapers, into water, nice and wet and then lay them on the path between the carrots.

And then onto that went all the grass cuttings. It’s a start with the few wheelbarrow loads I collected.   But it will mean a rather constant bit of collecting over the next few months until I have covered the lot. mulch down

I had other plans for covering the rest of the work area.   I have a few bags of mulch left to put down in the area where the cabbages will go.   But first that meant trudging (it was hot) up to the very top of the vegetable garden at the far end of the property to collect two more cloche structures.

cabbage mulchI need to sort out the netting on these cloches this year.   I only have a limited supply of the good stuff that will keep out the cabbage moth butterflies.   And the netting that’s on it now are full of holes.   So I sorted one of the cloches out, and will ponder how to fix the rest.

But it wasn’t going to be today: too hot. And I was flagging. So to change tack and escape the heat, I repaired to the potting shed where all the windows and doors were open.   Here the plants were hot and thirsty too. So a spot of watering and then some serious potting on was required.

artur and saladI’ve decided this year to give all the seedlings one extra size up before I plant them out.   Usually they just go from seedling to being pricked out into individual small trays. And then they have to battle for themselves in the garden.   But as I am flush with Floragard potting compost, they are all going into a nice rich little pot one size bigger.   Lots of red and green cabbage (again) and mixed oriental salad leaves. potager mulchings

Artur ambled in for a look.   He isn’t happy that his endless supply of water in the blue buckets is messy from all the watering of pots of plants.   And I am potting on all the little redcurrant bushes as well.   They are close to being planted out.   But I can’t get them into the ground just yet.   I need a good supply of mulch and manure before they get left to the mercies of the sandy soil up near the oak tree near the top road.   But that’s for another day.

022He retired to the apple crate in front of the potting shed. Shame about the lilies that are trying to grow underneath him.   And I went on with mulching.

This time it was the terraces above the potting shed.   Here’s the view from my window. It all looks full of promise right now. The plants are up and not suffering from lack of water just yet so it’s all exciting. mulch

terraces mulchedI’ve run out of compost now, so that’s going to be it until I next drive down to the valley.   So I’ll have to look at my list and see what’s next on the exciting toil.   I have a few trees to plant tomorrow, and some herbs to get in the ground.   And of course there is a lavender bed to sort out. Oh joy. That’s a headache and a half.   But it’s all gardening and fun really. I’ve just had a very long week. view from potting shed

At least I’ve sowed lots of seeds in between the beefier stuff. I’ve lost my list. I’ll fill it all in tomorrow.