The September farm

gardenseptHome. Back home. Can you hear the smile of contentment as I type?

I arrived last night; racing up the mountain as fast as I could so I could see what things look like before it got dark.

img_2434In a word. Fine. Parched but fine. And I am so grateful for Nicolas, Jean Daniel and Elodie to have been so kind in looking after things while I was away.

I went first to the rain gauge to see just what one month’s absence would yield.

8mm and a dead grasshopper. Hmm. Not much.

This is a seriously parched mountain. And yes it’s summer and one should expect it. But I did rather fancy a few dramatic thunderstorms with some good soaking rain while I was away.

Apparently we are about to get one either tonight or first thing tomorrow, so I had better type fast. img_2451

The plants that are suffering the most (averting my gaze from the dying wisteria) as the overbred beauties that look desiccated next to their rather sensible cousins.

So my cornus kousa is rattling with dryness, while the plainer cornus are hanging on.

The climbing hydrangea on the sides of the potting shed is similarly suffering; but the virginia creeper looks as lush and ready to engulf everything in sight despite the drought.

img_2429I am a bit alarmed by how many of my hornbeams are suffering.  The hedge is super brown and crispy.  I’m waiting to see how much rain appears tonight. And if it’s paltry, then I’ll need to pour some buckets over the most miserable of the trees.  They usually come back. I just like to think of it as early hibernation.

So I had time to feel relieved that Nico was able to do as much grass cutting as he could. Everything around the house is strimmed and tidy. I couldn’t take a lot of shots in the gloaming, but more to come.

And glory be, there are veg in the potager. That was a surprise. I had time to do a quick lap and then hurriedly harvest raspberries.flowerssept

And someone forgot to tell the dahlias and zinnias there’s a drought. I do have a drip watering system; but the source ran dry ten days ago.  So goodness only knows why I have such a bumper crop.  Believe me, I’m not complaining!

dahliastodeadheadI’ll be deadheading for days.

I set the alarm for 630am, my usual summer start time. But woke to, err, darkness.  Mid September really does mean that the season is changing and I had to wait patiently until 730am before I could spring out and attend.

And just in case you were wondering: yes. Here is Artur.  He didn’t come down to the house this morning, but when I went up to Jean Daniel’s with a large bouquet of flowers and a monster bag of his favourite Macadamia nuts, there was the little critter. Snoozing by his (empty) food bowl. And slightly delighted to see me.

He has been supervising today’s raspberry harvest and has only bitten me once. So that’s a result.