Pea defeat

clearing peasI am giving in to the inevitable.   This season was just too hot and too dry for peas.   So this morning I have pulled up the plants.   No point watering leaves.   There were a few mangeout on every second plant or so, so I had a happy munch as I worked my way down the rows.

And then I had to decide what to put in their place.   One row I have decided to keep with the pea and bean theme by direct sowing dwarf beans (boston).   There are already three beans per row that were suffering from lack of light.   So if miracles need to happen can they please happen in this potager? nicotiana and echinacea planted

I am actually pulling small runner beans off every morning, so the climbers are doing their job; but I never get the volume I want.   There are so many fantastic pickled bean recipes that I want to try this year.   But I need enough to feed us fresh first.

echinops plantedAnd one row I have decided to devote to flowers.   Andrew had been babysitting some plants for me this past month; and it was great to be reunited with  them: so in went nicotiana purple and echinacea cherrry along one of the rows.

And I even decided to do a bit of long needed weeding of the steep bank at the edge of the potager.   This is a tricky corner. It has to be steep to hold up the wall, but what to plant?  I have some echinops successfully growing on the flat part.   So decided to add a few more.   These too had been living south for the spring.   I know from experience that they won’t do much this year, but if they are in the right spot, they should bulk out next year.   If they don’t die in the meantime. file edge of potager

Also in here are four crambe plants I grew from seed which I think need some space if they are to thrive.   The soil is nice and deep, I just need to keep an eye on them and try and water as much as I can.   I love this moment of planting; you picture the success.

artur contemplating vegThe philadelphus which Teo propagated for me is slap bang in the middle of this display.   I mulched it and watered it and sent out soothing words.   Talking to plants? Well it might work too.

Artur was certainly enjoying me being in one spot.   The poor old gent is to go to the vets this afternoon.   The plan is to trap him in the potting shed as he is a tad reluctant to go into his cage and get driven to Vernoux.   I feel guilty using his favourite sleeping spot as a prison, but he is poorly.   Losing great lumps of hair and generally being cranky.

stachys to plantEarlier I planted out the stachys.   These little ones are much more advanced in growth than here. Andrew’s garden is usually two to three weeks ahead of mine being warmer and lower in altitude. So it was fun to see what I can look forward to next month.   I wheeled them to the long border that faces north on the barn wall and planted them up.   stachys planted in calabert bed

It’s very satisfying to see a part of the garden which is grown entirely from seed and cuttings.   It just needs to get through this last ten day’s absence.

The whole day had been overcast, warm and very menacing. It often happens that storms brew up and rain falls in the far hills. I always look enviously towards Albon and think, lucky Leslie and Teo, they are getting this rain.   But for once, it came our way too. Only 4mm, but a good soak.   Artur and I both repaired to the potting shed.   And he was bundled unceremoniously into the car, and I attended to potting on.

This is madness to hope that these seedlings will survive my absence, but they were bursting out of their first little pot and needed space.   So I spent a happy hour enjoying the din of rain on the roof and putting lettuce, cabbage and kale babies into bigger pots.   They are going to have to lurk in the shade of the open barn and maybe survive.

I always get grumpy the day before a departure.