l’aesthetique tranquille

detail of new pathWhat on earth have I embarked on?   A simple four line path with its apex in a circle in the middle. Large barrel of tulips and hardy annuals potted up.   A neat little design for the potager.

Nicolas is heroically working away – and I calculate it will take three more full days of his labour to get it done.   An expensive little exercise.   I just have to hope that all this toil will be worth the investment.

One of the spokes is almost complete. And in the almost dusk I have managed to get the bark chips down to hide the weedproof fabric.   I don’t dare take any more pictures as it’s just a building site right now and not really pulling together.

nico building potager wallsThe title today is a play on words.   Leave the aesthetics alone is the translation and sometimes one can think it’s true.   All this effort for a vegetable bed.

Still, building site is the phrase of the week. We have the carpenters in. New ceiling in the main house and new window.   I am  forced outdoors to hide from the dust and noise.down comes the ceiling

So back to the gardening.   I have planted up the first crop of next year:  broad beans. Just a few rows of the Aquadulces to test and see if they make it through the winter.   It worked the first winter, but twas a mild one.   They are under cloches so Daisy won’t walk all over the perfectly raked bare soil.   And if and when the beans germinate, I will change over to a cloche with mesh.   It was fun to actually sow again.   Especially as the soil is so perfectly moist and rich from a great soaking in the past month.   broad beans planted

And then it was on to my biggest ‘to do’ list: get all the tulips in.   I have added two planters to the space under the wisteria in the driveway.   Not their best final position, but it will do for this spring. I had hoped to put them in front of the newly rebuilt potting shed.   But it aint built yet, so I can’t.planters in driveway

I also had some crocus snow buntings sprouting in their original paper bad.   Where to put them? I had thought they should join the originals Jan planted in the east lawn.   But my energy levels weren’t up for the heaving of the turf and the close planting.   So instead, I have put all 200 in the first layer of the spare wine barrel down below the euphorbias.   Fun to plant up when it’s bare soil and easy to push the little bulbs in.planting crocus snowbunting

What else have I been up to? Well, no bare earth for the next bit. Mowing. I did this days ago and can’t remember if I have posted this picture already, but it is satisfying.

last mow of 2009Easy on the back (except when you have to haul the grass catcher out and it’s full of damp grass clippings and you need to trudge a few hundred metres to the nearest stock pile.) and such fun when you get some great swathes of lawn tidy.   And sorted for the rest of the year I hope. Mind you, we are having a real mild spell right now which may cause the grass to keep on growing, but it is at least neat and organised now.   The orchard looks almost like a working one.

I’m itching to get the first terrace tidied away. But I don’t have the time this week. Once I get behind my mighty Viking and I have a good few hundred metres of grass in front of me it’s boy racer and off I go.   But I can gaze and gaze at the fantastic sight of our mulberry back lit by an autumn light.   mulberry in autumn

Almost as dramatic as the apricots and peaches down in the valley. My mouth was positively agape on my Sunday drive down to Andrew’s. An exquisite mix of oranges, yellows and greens.

orchard autumnI do so love this season.