Five acres of garden. Am I mad?

Valentine’s Day: and what better thing to do today than start off the year of sowings. (Well, David did give me an extravagant box of chocolates that are calling out to be scoffed – but it is only breakfast time, so I shall have to hold off.)  I do so love this little project. I had dreamed that one day I could stand in a green house and do this, but right now it’s another dining table, the tweezers, the pots, the box of seeds and the deft attempt to keep all things neat.  I have planted four jiffy pots each of basil, brocoletto, tomato marmande, tomato gardener’s delight and Fasold climbing French beans. In another box I have two nasturtiums sprouting like mad, two sweet peas leaping upwards, and two sweet peas sulking like mad in their soggy toilet rolls.  They are in a natty little green box and will go right next to the window here at my desk.

It’s too wet to go allotmenting today and I don’t think I will get up there until Friday or next Tuesday. I want to get the ground ready for the peas. To my joy I have discovered that I can actually plant them this month. I always start too early on so many things. But peas are ripe for planting. Should I soak them in paraffin first to deter mice? If I can find paraffin.

I have been able to watch some vegetable gardening programmes on TV lately and had that pang of seeing the presenter being able to walk outside the house and to the plot bursting with produce. Taking on this French house project does mean that I will have to postpone that idea for a while. And the commuting to the allotment will definitely pall in a few months time.

I couldn’t sleep last night for thinking about one of the houses I saw in the Drôme last month. I really thought that I wasn’t going to get the chance to get a second look at it as it was going to be snapped up. It’s next to the amazing village of Mirmande and was a former cherry and apricot farm. The farmer pulled up the trees and now there is just a flat expanse of five acres of garden. Am I mad? You aren’t really supposed to go from window box to half an allotment plot to five acres in just three years; but I have this lust for land that cannot be assuaged.  But the house needs work and the price is way up at the top end of our budget already. It all comes down to David when he visits next week. Will he feel the same? I have already tempted him by saying that the size of the grounds are the equivalent of three rugby pitches, but we will see.

See that’s what happens with this house hunting, you spend more time day dreaming rather than getting on with Real Life. And real life for me are the curse of slugs. I am going to do the beer traps this year. That was something I saw on the gardening programme this week (David was away on a trip and I had an illicit half hour watching Carol Klein enthuse about first time vegetable gardeners.)  I’ve never seen them in action and they may just help me when I plant out seedlings. That and the oatmeal round the base of the plants, and maybe even the organic slug pellets. But I still resist that last resort.