My fingers are tingling as I type. Found a rather unexpected patch of stinging nettles when I was in the vineyard this afternoon. It’s a long walk and a hot one today, but I spent three absorbing hours tying up the vines. It all went well and rather monotonously until I made it twelve rows in. That was where I got up to with the major weeding back earlier in the year. Back when the weeds were ankle high and laughably innocuous. Is that how it’s spelt? Well, wimpy. It was hard work hacking away with the mattock and hoe. But I would have finished the entire vineyard if I knew what an effort it would be just to reach the damn vines one or two months on. The bracken was head high. And dense as a jungle. If the vines weren’t a luminous lime green I swear I would not have noticed them there at all. But even after three hours it was so satisfying to see the vines tied in and trained the right way. Dare it say it, I’m almost interested in this vineyard caper.
Back to lie prone on the sofa after lunch in the cool stone farmhouse and then out for more tying in the lower vegetable plot. This time it was the easy matter of fixing twelve tomato plants to more secure canes. They have put on quite some growth in two weeks and even have fruit. Hurrah.
Making the most of this relentless dry heat I put all the onions out to dry.
And then the thought of dry made me trot guiltily up to the top vegetable plot. Out of sight out of mind, everything must be gasping up there. It’s too far for easy watering and tends to get neglected.
But luckily there was plenty of greenery up there, even if the potatoes are decidedly ‘ready’. To my amazement I found the first raspberries of the year – on the autumn fruiting variety (of course) but they were carefully cradled all the way back to the house. And the potatoes are coming up beautifully. Heaps for every meal.
I then spent about an hour laboriously de stemming (or is it destalking?) the whitecurrants and black currants which I collected by the bucketload from the soft fruit orchard. No time to make tarts. Into our new freezer and on with the outdoor activities.
Sweet peas in little vases served as flowers for the house. And the lilies are coming along beautifully.