Gardening angel

leslie digging manureNow isn’t that the most pefect shot? Leslie shoveling cow manure.   My lovely gardening angel drove over from Albon (45 minutes away) to be my strong arms, back and legs for the day.

The manure was hers and Teo’s gift last month and I just couldn’t manage shovelling it into the wheelbarrow and getting it onto the vegetable bed, despite it only being 40 metres away.   So while I prepared lunch, Leslie worked away.

It’s now on the right quadrant and ready for me to spread out onto the beds some time over the Christmas break. Lovely rich stuff that ought to solve some of my fertility problems in the top part of the plot.   The soil is thinner there, and suffers from the run off of a secret underground spring that can flow in heavy rain.   Naturally I have to weed it all first. But that’s easy stuff compared with hauling the material into place. manure on potager It looks a bit like a giant cow pat from a very large beast right now. But when it’s spread out it will be more picturesque.

We had lunch, grabbed tea and then started in on another project.   Digging over the calabert bed.   This is part of my major planting project this winter. Three thinnish, long beds that lie parallel to each other on the terraces above and beside the big open barn – the calabert.   I can manage the two lower ones, but the sloping one requires thought. And muscles.

calabert bed dug overSo while I sat elegantly on the side putting the unearthed weeds into the heap, Leslie forked and dug like mad to create this lovely blank canvas.   The photograph is deceptive: it’s actually eight metres long. And once I’ve built a low small wall at the top of the bed, the erosion from heavy rain shouldn’t interfere with the plants.

It really is too cold to plant anything right now.   The ground is frozen until about lunch time and I’m worried the new roots won’t get enough moisture.   So for the moment the plants will stay inside the studio until the thaw.

Leslie left just as the sun was setting and I was grateful for such a generous gardening friend’s visit. Tomorrow I will definitely finish the studio!