Yesterday was a subbotnik day at Andrew’s a few hours further south from our home where we cleared his terrace of pots and had a major sorting of all sorts of things. So wonderful to be driving home with a car full of tools that he brought over from London. No longer will our spare bathroom in London host the spade, fork, edging tool and hedge cutters that have been languishing. If Eurostar’s security guards could consider a pen knife a weapon, imagine the apoplectic fit they would suffer when confronted with my two foot long hedge cutters beaming up at them in the xray machine? If I didn’t want to have it confiscated it might have been a fun spectacle.

So I am glad they travelled back to France in a van. And I had twelve (or was it ten?) Calamagrostis Karl Foerster plants, plus kniphofia and pulsitella plants to bring home. And some gaura from Andrew and a few other things I have already forgotten. Dreadful memory.

What I haven’t forgotten was the amazing drive back. From Privas to our house (a drive on a main road of about 50km) I encountered not a single car behind or in front. What a wonderful ghost town this place is at 9pm at night. So easy. And I made it home in time to pluck yet more roses for a late night jam session. Of the bottling rather than the musical variety, and a watering of the seedlings.

Up just after dawn to plant the grasses, water every single plant in all the gardens (am away for another week) and hide most of the smaller seedlings in the space in the bread oven enclosure. It’s too tricky and tedious to take them down to Bernard’s for just one week. And I hope that he will water on Monday. They should be able to survive. And if they don’t I shall weep. As it is the very first time that I have managed to germinate cleomes in such a quantity. I have almost 40 little seedlings coming up. And as much again of precious basil, and a thousand and other things that need just one more week in their pots before they go out. Curse this going away. It does tend to make gardening and planning quite problematic.

And then one last lingering look at the lupins. They will be well over in a week. And a quick netting of the climbing beans and sweet peas in the potager. I realised too late that I really ought to protect the two blueberries that are right on the edge of the path. But not time. It was time to go.