Forbidden fruit

Here is a picture of the small wisteria plant growing on the south side of the house. It is being kept very small as there is no way it is going to be permitted to spread over the house. Strimming rather too vigorously nearby helps to keep it in check. And it is perfect as a foil to the fact that the next two paragraphs are photo free. I forgot to take my camera up to the top potager to snap the asparagus and rhubarb. Sorry. Have some woodland violets as well. They are carpeting the lower terraces right now.

Confession time: I have partaken of the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Well, in this case the forbidden asparagus tip in the top vegetable bed. We have one more year at least before the asparagus is for us. Right now they are meant to grow unheeded of a knife and put down yet more roots and growth. But I carelessly knocked the top off one as I was moving a hose. And there it sat on the black plastic – taunting me – with its crispness and perfect shape. Sorry plant. This one’s for me. It tasted divine. All crunchy and sweet and pungent. Gone in about a second.

I also found another surprise thanks to the black plastic that so unattractively covers so much of this bed. I inadvertantly forced some rhubarb. I had forgotten that I had planted three crowns of the veg – two I have been watering and watching and plotting about. But then when I was giving the cranberries a good watering I lifted the plastic nearby and found some perfectly pink forced rhubarb underneath. Thin and straggly, but definitely rhubarbesque.   Down they came for the kitchen. I think I will roast them with pork.

We had a breakthrough hose moment this morning: up at Vernoux’s garden centre we found the same hose connectors I bought in London; but these ones have 25mm and 20mm attachments. Different sized hoses that talk to each other. Amazing. Well, I know. It’s pathetic how little I know. But it solves the problem of how I was going to join one fat hose with one thin one. Promise not to go on and on about the water supply. I’m starting to sound like Jean de Florette.

But we did have great fun unearthing one hundred metres of black hose from the brambles on the far eastern edge of our property. The hose must have once gone down to the vineyard when the vines were getting established. And about seven years of brambles had anchored the hose in place ever since. So with real archeology skills and a lot of muscle up it came. Can’t wait to get it back to the garden up the top and put it to use.

Before then there was the small matter of pruning the entire vineyard. Gad that’s tedious. And a bit late. Some of the vines bled a bit which had me anxious. But anxiety is soon replaced by eye rolling fatigue as you work and work and work your way up the rows. The mistake one makes is to look at all you have done and think how clever you are. And then to cast your gaze east and see that you still have eleven rows to go. It took hours. And three trips up to the house to dump the cuttings for the chipper, dose up on water and chocolate and plod back down. At least I got to admire the wildflowers in the lower terraces en route.

Once the sticks have been converted to mulch I will feel better. And my wrist may ache less. Where’s that beer?