Hilariously hayfeverish

thyme mulchSneezing brought me indoors. And it’s only 715pm. Were I powering on full duracell, I’d be good for another hour outside yet.

But I did so much mowing and strimming today that my sneezing has quite warn me out.

But it was  a cracker of a day. Blazing sunshine all the way.  And for that reason I started early with the mower and then the strimmer and tried to get it all done before the sun was too high in the sky and hot.

I needed mulch for the sloping bank in between the thyme plants and the perovskia and rosemary on the little terrace above.

I managed to mow all the way down the road with a few curves (they may come off if I think they look prissy), and then thought hard ab0ut the lower terrace path. path in forest

In the end I’ve just decided to mow a small path through the huge grassy mess. Actually it’s quite cool and inviting down on the lower terraces after our mammoth bramble work this winter.

But there was no time for lingering; I took the mower up to the east garden and tidied that area a bit, and then whipped down to the orchard and mowed and mowed.

Marvellous exercise.  And then the strimmer finally decided to splutter into life and I raced over to Alice’s path in front of the potting shed and work my way down the steps to the pool.

The steps now look neat and tidy. Unlike me. I look like I’ve been dragged backwards through a hedge.

floppyArtur didn’t mind. He’s feeliing very floppy still after the tick attack. He kept wanting to drape himself over me.

The main thing is he is sticking close by and not looking like he wants to sneak away into the forest and not come back.  So I’m pleased he thinks we are worth sticking round for.

I did keep an eye on him today.  When I wasn’t making a din with the mower and the strimmer.

He loved it best when I started on the big project of the day: painting the planters in the courtyard.  There are nine wooden planter boxes for roses and mint and lilies and nasturtiums. And all had flaking paint.

I had done the main job yesterday afternoon: sanding back. Goodness. I realised I didn’t mention yesterday.

It was a huge success. I have now launched myself on the lecture circuit in the villages of the Ardeche. Hah!  The talk went very well with a turnout of around 30 people sitting politely on chairs in the mayoral hall. iris

It was also a gloriously sunny day so I was a bit surprised people would want to be indoors, but they seemed to appreciate it and I had lots of people come up afterwards for information and a look at my props. (I took books, magazines, sampels of pots and mulch.)

Saint Pierreville has a very active and dynamic garden society, and they put so much wonderful effort into the event: the 1oth anniversary of the Fete des Jardins. I nabbed a poster so I can remember the day.

We started out with a plant swap in the main square – and I received some goodies; all still standing at the front door I fear as I don’t have time to get things in the ground when I’m so busy mowing the ground.

And they had an exhibition in the little shop opposite – and there on the walls were framed photos of the garden. Amazing, I hadn’t expected them to look so glam.  Plus a display of all the gardening books in their library.  All the Filippi books would you believe, luxury.

And posters and little booklets and a display of cactus.  I was gobsmacked by the amount of work that went in.

IMG_4196The lovely Bernard set me up in the hall and was so reassuring that I didn’t feel worried.  I think because it was so light and airy, it felt more like a classroom than a lecture hall.

And Martine was manning the tables giving away plants with such generosity and forever offering me goodies.  Twas fun indeed.

But back to the garden. This is where it has to happen this week. Tweaking and fine tuning and the last weeding.

But first the planters. It’s so warm and sunny and windy that the primer and first coats dried in no time. I managed to get the final coat on at the end of the day – and yes, I did change out of my second last pair of pale moleskin trousers and into my painting clothes before I added the green paint.

A woman wielding a paintbrush and sneezing at the same time is most interesting.

I forgot to take pictures. But my hands were so sticky with paint, I didn’t dare get it out of my pocket. So I will retrofit this blog with pictures tomorrow.

And then the day ended in that langorous way (well, apart from closing up the pool) – watering.  Lovely.  The potager is looking very handsome indeed.

Leslie is coming over tomorrow to give me a day of help in the garden. I can’t wait.