This week’s silence has been brought to you by a large infrastructure repair job that took down our telephone and internet connections in four villages scattered over a wide region in Deepest Darkest Rural Idyll.
Very, very challenging for fans of the 21st century who get complacent about the wonders of the technology.
It got so bad on the afternoon of day two I was forced to beetle round the mountain with my laptop and beg a go on a wifi connection belonging to the mayor’s office for some urgent communication. (Translation job, if you must know.) For some reason, that part of that village hadn’t lost its power. It was a trek.
But perch in a kiddie chair in the reading section of the library on the other side of the mayor’s flimsy office wall and urging the ether to give me some internet juice was not conducive to creative writing.
But if it doesn’t disappear on me in the next few hours I will be able to send news.
I just need to go to the market with my flowers first.
And then spend the rest of the hacking at thistles on the lower terraces. Sorry about that.
Before I get carried away here is the subj of today.
I have finally landscaped the last gap in the long terrace that links the guest house to the walnut bank via two walnut trees.
The big job of getting the main oak bank was done last year. And I kept averting my gaze from this last patch behind a monster boulder.
Unwanted festuca glauca grasses have been slowly colonising their way down the mountain and have ended up on this rock.
So I went at it with my favourite fork. It took a day.
Digging out the grasses, using a wire brush to scratch the soil off the rock, a broom to sweep all the mess off these gorgeous granite monsters. What else? Raking, marking up where the garden ends and the very steep bank begins. That’s where I chucked all the weeds – upside down of course so the grasses don’t grow.
I had to mulch carefully around that American oak tree. It is growing on the rock (hence its titchy size after five years of struggling). And I was plotting a bit more landscaping until the day ended with that Caterpillar Incident.
A few days away, a bag or 23 of mulch. And here you go.
It’s so annoying that unless you are over seven feet tall, you can’t see any of this new work from the courtyard looking up.
Still I know it is now done. The mulch is duvet thick and lavish. And all being well the colour of the chippings will settle down soon, the weeds won’t appear, and it will look at bit more like this.
Next year I’ll plant bulbs in this new area. The alliums in the oak bank hiding behind the eragrostis grasses are coming up nicely. Just a few paces along from the new linked landscaped gap.