Potager progress

I think this is the gardeners’ version of drunk texting.

A pair of secateurs in my pocket at dusk last night. I was just going to put my tools away and decided to trim a teensy bit from a shrub on the way back to the house.

This morning I was appalled seeing how much I had lopped. Pleased, but a bit alarmed I had no recollection of the pruner’s zesty attack.


I wrote that a few days ago and posted the pictures on Facebook. I fear that those of you who don’t ‘do’ the clunky Facebook miss out on these thrice weekly picture essays.

They are quick and disposable and don’t require all the admin demanded to write a blog post each week. Sorry about that. I don’t dare join the Instagram universe as I know I will disappear down a digital rabbit hole that will be wildly entertaining. But take an hour at least out of my day.

And in winter the days are short enough as it is.

So here I am, all rugged up – three layers of fleece tops, a beanie, fingerless gloves, long johns (all hail Uniqlo heat tech) and sitting right in front of the fire.

You have to be hardy to live well on a frozen mountain top in winter. In a bit I will brave the freezing winds and top up the sunflower seeds on the bird feeder and then go and see if the Creature is well. And feed her too. (She is perfectly capable of feeding herself with the rodent population, but I am still thrilled to be an almost pet owner again.)

She is insulated nicely in her potting shed cave of cashmere. And she has no idea how lovely it would be to doze in front of a blazing fire. Ignorance is bliss.

I did just that sort of doze yesterday after our very long plod in the snow flurries to the patisserie in our nearest town.

18.6km round trip on foot (mountain paths, steep inclines and stony tracks) for this:

Well worth it! Even if I had to lie prone on the sofa with a heavy Welsh blanket before getting the energy to make lunch when we plodded back.

This time of the year we usually sneak away and go down to the sunny and slightly warmer delights of Girona in northern Spain.


But to keep you entertained, here is the progress I made at the top potager before my fingers got too cold to work.

The weed proof fabric is down.

And in between the gaps I have taken hardwood cuttings of fruit bushes.

One whole row – 13 – of jostaberries, and a mixed from of red currants and black currants. All spaced a metre apart so if they ‘take’ I won’t have to do major transplanting next year. If you squint you can see the sticks.

I have even been experimental and tried almond cuttings too. We have an almond tree that sprouts out of the rocks below our terrace. It’s a pesky weed and I have decided to try and take cuttings and see if I can create new trees in a better position.

You can’t see the sticks in these shots. Sorry about that. But gaze on at the huge mound of raspberries to the left of the weed pile. More sticks in a poor shot. I have given them plenty of room as everyone knows they will run and run.

But hopefully they will run in the right direction this time. Up the mountain and not down to the fruit bushes below.

I have heaps more to do here. Another compost pile to make with all the weedings from the top side. More paths. More mulching.

In fact mulching is definitely top of the to do list here. That soil has to be covered before the annual weeds return in a few months time.

Plenty of time you think? It’s a huge space to cover. And we are hard at work with the beefier jobs in the forest at the mo. Rather than picking up sticks and piling them up to chip, we are cutting down trees for next winter’s wood.

Necessary if I want to doze on the sofa anytime soon.