The naughty steppe

Barrell detailI’ve just come indoors to get my hat and have a cool drink.   The morning started out hazy and cool. But now, by mid morning, it’s heating up.

I have determined to get as many plants from the potting shed into the ground today.   And this may mean the seedlings are a bit small and not ready for the big potager and jostling crowds of roots.   This was inspired first by the cool seeming weather, but also because  I’m coming into a period where I will be away a week at a time.   And the seedlings won’t survive that long without a watering. barrell

So this morning in went two cup and saucer plants (cobaea scandens) into the middle barrel in the potager.   These were then joined by two courgette zucchino plants.   They look shocked by the relocation, but I won’t panic for a day at least.

Onion bedI have added five more squash plants to the onion bed: I’m hoping they won’t cause too much competition to the onion roots.   I’m scheduled to lift most of that bed at the end of June, so it will be a bare patch of ground soon.   Well, apart from the lovely parsnips and cleomes that are holding their own at the top of the bed.   And the weeds.

And once I am suitably hatted, I shall plant out a few more dozen verbena bonariensis in the ‘hedge’ at the end of the potager.

Ulysse JuneQuick pause there: Ulysse called and demanded attention.   I have my baby lawn mower on the lower terraces back at the moment. He had disgraced himself by escaping from Jean Daniel’s last week and after a long search he found him (I didn’t ask where) and just plonked him our our terrace.   Being put on the naughty steppe if you will.   He can be sure that he won’t escape here as the perimeter is well sorted.   And I spoil him with a daily apple. Who said horses aren’t smart? But to hear him whinny I wondered if he was planning another escape.   But just a lively whinny.   So I have added more water to his bucket and fed him and he is off to eat another terrace worth of grass. Ulysse fussing

liliesWalking up to the shed I noticed – horrors – a lily beetle on one of the lilies that has grown again from last year’s bulb.   I managed to squish it using the usual technique of cupping your hand under the leaf before you reach for the beetle. They drop to the ground and play possum when you approach.   But this has meant I lost (or is it gained?) about twenty minutes searching out each and every other lily plant in the area and making sure they were beetle free.   So far so good.

And now I’m off to weed the area behind the terraces on the potting shed bank.   I have strimmed as much as I could; but there are little oak seedlings that need (ahem) attending to. And I apologise in advance to our friend Fenning who loves his oak seedlings and would be appalled.   But this is a flower garden.   And I have just planted over sixty verbena bonariensis seedlings here. Not to mention fifteen eragrostis curvula plants.   I want to test and see if the mighty eragrostis can cope with light shade. verbena planted