Signs of spring

Ah, spring. We aren’t there yet. More cold weather to come. But it is that delicious time of year when you are so impatient for winter to be over and spring to start that you just get stuck in.

And for me that spells a spot of potting shed work and seed sowing.

If you had to define this early part of the season it could be summarized in one scene. It’s the moment when you put your open packet of peas into your jacket pocket. And remember, only too late, that there is a hole in the corner.  And moments after this discovery you are on your hands and knees picking the pinging dried peas out of the gravel path at your feet.

Early season and one isn’t in the routine.  Still, there is time to get it right. For now I have just sown peas (climbing ones) and broad beans into two garden beds in the main potager. I’ll wait another few weeks before I really launch.

I will be away for almost two weeks which will give them time to just germinate.

And plenty of time for the effing deer to leap the fence and eat them all.

Oh yes, wildlife dramas again.  I have added a few strands of wire to the potager fence for a bit of height, but I’m going to have to think more carefully about the whole invasion of the plant snatchers I see before me.

Hunting season is now over in this part of France, so that means Diedre the Deer (as we aren’t calling her) is going to have a lovely mixed diet for the rest of 2018.

I think she likes to camp out in the jungle of brambles and forest just beyond the end of our property. It has good cover, easy access to water (the duck pond) and now access to a steady rich diet of good veg.

I have resorted to a temporary netting.  But I’m not pleased with the results. We have so many small birds about I am fearful that the critters will get caught up in the loose net.  It’s blowing a hooley at the moment and I’m not sure the netting is well secured.   I need to make some netting panels – with small gaps down the side so birds can escape if they get caught. But not wide enough for a deer head to get in.  Maybe next month when it becomes more urgent I’ll have a go.

And believe me, coming out of a morning to see deer prints all over your vegetable beds and all the unprotected sorrel and chard munched to the ground is not a good start to the day.

Here’s a better start.

We have had a blast of sunshine which is warming the potting shed up nicely. And Artur is busy incubating the potatoes.

Well that is what it looks like.

He seems to be channeling his inner chicken. I swear if he lies closer to these chitting potatoes he will hatch them soon.

As long as he doesn’t lie directly on the seedlings all will be peaceful and calm.