Mulching the dry garden

Oof it feels good to be sitting down. I have a wheat bag gently warming my lower back and the fire is blazing cheerily while I type.

It is so great to be back. Ten days feels like ages when contemplating a huge garden.

I had a feeling that weeds had germinated while my back was turned. And they had the perfect incentive: two and a half inches of blissful rain. Almost 55mm.

As soon as it was light this morning (and I had shoved a purring cat off my lap) I raced out to check the gauge.

Now I needn’t have felt guilty about not watering in the plants I had hurriedly transplanted the day before I left. Everything is moist.

I had a zillion things I could have done on my first day back. But I chose the most pressing one.

Chipping. And mulching.

I have been averting my gaze from this monstrous pile of sticks beside the stables for months.  Only going near it when I hauled extra branches from random forest forays and added to the monster job.

Nothing to do but grit my teeth and get on.

Out came the chipping machine and I just plunged my arms into the pile and pulled out the sticks.

It took all day.  But the sun shone and every sack I filled made me feel more buoyant and cheery.  The warm weather is causing the soil to warm up and I dread a weeding chore that could be avoided with a thick mulch.

I didn’t want to lose time dragging each sack all the way up to the dry garden: so I cheated and used the car as my favourite wheelbarrow.  It helps for the slopes believe me.

Going, going, gone.

That’s better.

I even raked the whole area so the grass has a chance to grow back.  But actually I’m about six sacks short to finish the whole garden area I need to cover.

So the branches will be back. As soon as I get the energy to cut more in the forest.

But I have to take care where I pile them up. Any day now the mini digger is coming to the farm and I want to squeeze past and try and do a bit of landscaping behind the stables.

Bebère called me last night to see if we could do it Friday. But I’m heading down to the plant nursery and then taking Andrew out for lunch later.  And being the Ardèche, everything is a good long drive away. So I wouldn’t be back in time to have a good go after he has finished landscaping the parking area.  I would be so disappointed. I’ve been yearning to have a go for years and years.

Now before I go into a mini digger daydream, here are the shots of the lovely mulch in the dry garden.

Just in time too. There are small bulbs popping up everywhere.  Pretty soon I wouldn’t be able to walk on any of these beds for fear of crushing alliums and muscari.