A little essay on happiness

vachon shopSunshine. No more rain. Yes, we woke up this morning and discovered that our epic adventures in flooding is over for a bit.

The forecast is for blazing sunshine for the next few days.  I would dropped to my knees and offer praise, but my trousers would get too wet. It is still sodden underfoot.

So. How do you celebrate the return of normal planting weather? Why, one plants trees.

I drove down to the plant nursery (via the local tip, the recycling, the bread shop, the bank – no such thing as a single journey in rural France) and picked up what I had written on my list: planting out

20 hornbeam trees (carpinus betulus)
5 viburnum tinnus
5 portuguese laurel (prunus lusitanica)
2 eleagnus x ebbingei
1 cotinus

I’m not sure how the cotinus got into the car; it wasn’t on my list. But I have a passion for purple foliaged shrubs that don’t grow too large.

hedge and future plantingThe plant nursery (Vachon) had had major flooding too. But as they are located next to the Rhone river they are used to this sort of thing; all their acres of stock are slightly sloping and they have pumps that shift the water.

I learned all this as I  stood gossiping by the hornbeams with my favourite Vachon employee. I fear I don’t ever know her name, but we were both beaming at the sunshine as we chatted.

Then it was time to fill the car. Thank goodness I have a station wagon. 33 trees and shrubs fit nicely.  And the trees are fantastic value. I came away with 130 less in my pocket, so it comes out at around 3.50 a tree.

And then I roared back home. Bounty!

The ground is perfect for planting right now; moist doesn’t quite describe it.  And it is still absurdly warm. hedge planted up

So I spent the afternoon putting in fifteen of the hornbeams in the bank above the iris bank.  I tweaked the hedge a bit my removing a yew, and shifting around a rose which I’m not keen on.

And then I pootered about, placing the rest of the shrubs in the space I think they will go (I’m lucky that Andrew will visit on Thursday and I will get him to cast his expert eye over my plans).

I hummed and smiled, pulled weeds (they come out so easily) and generally rejoiced.

Artur came out of the potting shed briefly to frolick and interfere.  And dare I tell you? He caught a mole. I didn’t know much about it until I stumbled over the half eaten critter on the path.  Did I detect a hint of swagger in the cat’s return to the potting shed? I’m not sure, but it was a happy day all round. Except for the mole of course.