A palate cleansing bit of brown

I’m just going out to move a hose; I may be some time.

This has been my week…. In fact as soon as I typed that sentenced I leapt up and had to go out and check the hose for the last time. A dawn raid in my pjs and clutching a large mug of coffee. The dawn chorus is fab right now.

The reason for the hose dance is that the swimming pool (yes, yes, move on) has to be completely emptied so the liner can be replaced. And as all good gardeners agree, that lovely water can’t go to waste.

There’s no chlorine in the water, just rainwater that collected over the winter. So when I was contemplating just where the precious stuff should go it was a no brainer.

All that bare earth left behind from the earth moving horrors of the septic tank installation. The eyesore that is path, terrace, lawns, slopes, potager. All very, very brown. Affligeant. Penible, Douloureux. I came up with all sorts of vocabulary to describe what it feels to look on such a building site of ripped earth. Especially first thing in the morning when I open the shutters.

Detresse. [Where is my symbol insert button? I swear this new version of wordpress Jetpack is making me cross. I’m pretty sure there should be an accent e on the first one.]

I had to wait a week before I could get sowing with the grass seeds and the hose. And in that week the massive expanse of dirt became colonised with ants. Colonies of the critters.

I didn’t know that until I raked the whole area (no small feat) and then lovingly scattered the huge sack of grass seeds. And as I was stamping the whole area with my boots and generally checking the even spread of seeds, the busy little ants were hard at work stealing the lot.

So diligent. So busy. And that wasn’t just me. All the seeds were being picked up and carried back to the nests.

Grrrrrr. I watered. I watched. And I realised that this was an unforeseen little drama I could well do without.

Oh, and the horses were spooked by the ‘snake’ lying across the road for the week.

I sowed twice. The whole area. And before I sowed the second time I resorted to actually feeding the ants. Great big handfuls of seeds just at the side of their underground nests in the hope that they would leave my seeds alone and gorge themselves on the unexpected gift.

And I spent a very dusty and grotty afternoon scraping the soil off the stone wall on the second terrace below the house. I figure I have one shot to get this huge expanse of land perfect.

One day I will mow here. And not having to strim the tufts of brambles and long grasses that sprout like old man’s ears from this edge of the rocks will be marvy.

A heatwave is forecast for this weekend. These lovingly drenched brown areas with sparse seeds don’t stand a chance. I feel I have given it a good try. And come Autumn I will have to try again. And again. And this time next year I will forget the horrors of this experience. But something tells me I’m going to need to distract myself with colour elsewhere on the farm.

I’ll just have to avert my gaze and keep on picking flowers to take my mind off the brown.