Pomme de pin

Had to check the camera photos just to see what I did today. That will teach me eating too much chocolate at lunchtime. Sat out with Nicolas on the east lawn drinking a cup of tea and powering into some cheap bar of chock. Sometimes it’s the cheap stuff that does the trick.

I went for a walk down to our nearest hamlet – Le Buisson (with secateurs) to see if the chimney sweep was coming. Old technology. I don’t have their phone number so actually had to walk to their house to speak. I knew to bring my secateurs as it’s been a few months since I have taken the track through the forest. And I know what happens when your back (with weapon) is turned. Had to hack somewhat through the bushes of Spanish broom that have grown over the path. I really should zip down there with a strimmer. But I have all of our property to finish first.

That done, (oh, no sign of the chimney sweep, now there’s a surprise) I unearthed the mint pots that have been outside all year. Time to bring them into the potting shed and into the house. The rest will just have to cope. Or die back or go black and slimy which is what I recall they do.

Then I planted up the bank with Deschampsia that I grew from seed earlier in the year. Lolita the dog very helpfully came to see how I was doing and nearly took the whole bank with her in her tail wagging enthusiasm. So I have attached a net.

And having managed to prize the lid off the water tank a bit -that’s what I did this morning, I went up there to collect pine cones (pomme de pin) and kindling sticks. So I can now water the garden thoroughly for the first time. And hopefully not bring down all the grasses that I have so carefully planted. Nicolas said it hasn’t rained for three weeks and it feels it. Some was forecast this weekend, but I can’t see it right now.

In my watering spree I had a good look at the herb bed for the first time. I know, you can walk past something six times a day en route to the garden and pool, but I haven’t really had a good lingering look. It was worthwhile. Not only did I dispatch two large caterpillars from a nearby plant, but was surprised to see how well the artichokes were doing. During the summer I thought they were going to conk out. But they are thriving and so too are the euphorbias. Something is going right.

That last comment was because I have undone all my good vacuuming pool work by blowing the dirty contents of the filter back into the pool. Stupidly forgot the rinse cycle after the backwash manoeuvre. Most annoying as I don’t really have the hour and a half spare that it will take to do yet another vacuum tomorrow.

Here are three pictures of Nicolas’s work. A terrace completed, one in progress and one to do. Rather him than me. I need to go and remove a lot of rocks from each of the terraces before I get the mower down to these nether parts of the property. And I don’t think I could even get the mower down the steep steps.

He has had a great session at the top of the property as well; yes, that is my top vegetable bed all clean and neat and unrecognisable. How do I keep it this neat? It has to be a priority and I have to stick to a timetable. Zap it in May before the weeds get too high. And put up some more weed proof fabric on that useless slope. It’s pure rock face so you can’t grow anything on it anyway.

And now the part of the property we use as a log repository (throwing them down from the top of the forest) is ready to receive its winter load of logs. All clean and no brambles that tend to snag the logs.