Dutch still life

monday blossomMedical report: Artur is no worse and seems a bit better. So that’s a huge relief. But he is still clingy and floppy. Or maybe he knows the weather forecast better then me.   The temperature is going to drop tomorrow with rain (hurrah), wind (boo), and cloud cover.   So he’ll need to find somewhere comfortable to snooze. He’s trying out lots of spots in the potting shed.

I didn’t have much time to linger with him as I was going to have a visitor. Andrew was coming up for lunch. And when he finally made it past the road works down in the valley it was fantastic to see him. asparagus lunch

We had lunch out on the terrace even though the wind was blustery. Lots of cherry blossom swirling about like mad and just on the edge of comf0rtable.

But we had the first asparagus crop, chicken campagnolo, fresh goats cheese and a new loaf of bread from Madame Boudouin’s relentless marketing drive. This loaf was called zig zag.

west point tulipThe main fun of course was the garden tour and the goodies. Andrew brought up my order of 50 lillies and 50 crocosmia Emily McKenzie, but also kindly brought me more little lucifers to add to the crocosmia colony I am trying to establish among the fruit trees.

And he brought me an abundance of cut tulips from his garden- such extravagance. I feel like I’m living in a Dutch still life painting with all the blooms about the house.

I’m not sure about my flower arranging – I need Jan to be here to sort it out – but the colours are unbelievable. andrew tulip

And best of all, I was able to show the new landscaping projects I’ve done in the past few months and the plans for the next ones.   And when fresh experienced eyes have a good look at the garden there are always great ideas.

terrace above courtyardHe has a clever and elegant solution to the blank canvas of grass up on the slope above the courtyard: a grove of oaks. We have thousands of seedlings up in the forest and it would be fun to try and bring some on and create some cover and watch our own holm oaks grow.

There is one holm oak there already which I’ve given the Nicole de Vesian treatment – cut the lower branches and shaped the crown – so here’s hoping they will grow lustily enough to get the same treatment. 001

Ah, gardening.   You look at a blank patch of ground and you are already pruning fully grown oak trees.

marigold calendulaBack to earth. Andrew also brought me up my precious seeds of Oillet d’inde Reine Sophie and Favourite Red.   That’s french Marigold to you.   And they are hopefully going to form part of my swoosh design in the potager among the leeks.

I’ve sown two large trays of seeds and hopefully will get a quick germination.   The ones I sowed last year came up in no time.

And to finish the day I planted out most of the lilies and crocosmia; weeded around the soft fruit trees, planted out the irises that weren’t happy in the potting shed, took one last look at the blazing setting sun and came indoors for a nurafen and pain relief electrodes. Sciatica? Who mentioned sciatica?