A truncated day

strimmed roadIt’s 930pm and only now have I been able to get onto the internet.  We have Had Interruptions.  Three nights in a row of tremendous thunder storms. That’s rare.  We usually only have one night of storms and things settle down.

And about as rare as the rainfall we were hoping for from the storms, but not getting.

Both Andrew and Leslie have emailed me to say they had downpours.  So to the south and to the west there is rain. But only a few measly millimetres on our mountain top.

Ah well, mustn’t grumble; 5mm is still 5mm and better than nowt.

But you do hope for a bit more from the hours of storms.  It did start to sound like a distant Grozny in the first Chechen war. Endless booming and thundering over the other side of the Eyrieux valley.

I had a day of truncated stops and starts. I wanted to get down to the lower terraces for more strimming, but I had to stay a bit closer to home as the engineers were expected.  So I cut all the grass on the steep bank beside the road.  The mayor’s hedge cutter is supposed to do it, but the machine is broken, so I knew I had to do it myself.

It’s quite satisfying, but the tedious bit is the raking.  I hauled bags of dry grass off to the fruit trees in the orchard as a mulch and then, glory be, the engineers turned up. bucket for Elodie

We have no end of teams coming all the way from Valence and they usually start off by shouting as they get endlessly lost en route.  It never ceases to amaze me why they don’t bother with maps or even sat navs.  How much time do they waste?  Hours it seems by the ranting from the het up gentleman in the van.

But once they were pointed in the direction of the pylon and the house they calmed down and we were friends again.

Shan’t bore you with the gories, but it ended up having me crawl through the teensy space in the roof with a cable as I was the only one of us who would fit.  It was a cobwebby, icky experience and I hope dearly never to have to do it again.

As soon as I was released from cabling duties I shot out to the garden and did my favourite Wednesday task. Picking flowers.  I have quite a few buckets to do each week and it’s fun to put the combinations together.  First up is Elodie’s bucket . don’t need to make a bouquet as she loves flower arranging. strimmed raspberries

And then I need one for Daniele, and for my friends at the market on Thursdays: Manu, Isabelle, Lydia and Dominique.  The last three get small bouquets. But I had some lovely zinnias and my first dahlias to add to the mix.

new dawn rosesI’m using lots of yellows and greens this week.  I let some parsnips flower and I love the yellow flower heads. Very umbelliferous. I actually want them to flower so I can harvest the seeds. I’m tired of paying a fortune for parsnip seeds which only seem viable for one year.  So hopefully I won’t be greedy and raid all the plants for flower arrangements before I sensibly turn into a vegetable grower again.

The cosmos are coming on now too so that’s great. It’s all go in the flower borders.

Anything else achieved today?  I started cutting down the mirabelle suckers which have turned into trees.  That’s going to be a long process. I had (erroneously) thought that the suckers might turn into productive fruiting trees. But alas no.  So I’ve probably weakened the main trees by letting the suckers grow, and the only good news is I have lots of material to chip.  But I wish I didn’t have so many damn plum family suckers around the farm.

Oh, and I kept on deadheading the roses.  The Gertude Jeyklls are long gone, but the New Dawn roses on the west wall of the house above the herb garden are billowing and blousy. It’s a shame they have no scent here in the hot south of France.  But they do put on a good show.