Snow tunnels

Thirty centimetres of snow has fallen over the past 24 hours according to weather reports. And I don’t think they are far out.  There are mache plants buried somewhere under there. And the poor artichokes – I pondered last night just how I could help them with the weight of this snow: and may make some sort of tepee for them aafter I have gone out and bashed more snow from the olive trees. The one just below the bedroom window is leaning even more than ever.

Back in at lunch to defrost: and the vegetable garden has been dug out for another day; the olives have had their bashing and the orchard trees have been inspected. This can’t go on. I have made a temporary teepee for the artichokes by stacking pine branches against the wall. But I have a better idea. Time to put the enviromesh netting onto the newly built cloches. And I had a stab of nostalgia as I was building them (or was that the bitter cold wind in the calabert, my place of work?). The last time I used this bug and cabbage moth butterfly protection was out in the allotment in north London. That feels like aeons ago.

By a miracle the netting was in good nick, and even better, it fitted over the frames. Oh joy unbounded when one can wield a staple gun and work with gusto. Out they went into the vegetable bed and if they don’t blow away they may just save the crops for another day.

To celebrate such a nifty job, I took myself off down to the letterbox to collect mail and generally crunch through the perfect snowfields. Crunchy and clear. Only the faint deer marks where Daisy has descended to the lower terraces. But it’s still snowing lightly. Even had to stoop to putting on the central heating for a few hours when I returned. (The Nutella had chilled in its jar.) Fancy.

And once defrosted and toasty, it was up to the potting shed to sort out the garlic. I had hoped to be able to plant them up in the ground. No chance of that, I couldn’t find the top vegetable bed if I tried. And I had hoped that they could just lurk in their small pots for a bit longer. But the roots were pushing out the bottom and threatening to colonise the entire shed. Nothing for it but to pot on into the slightly bigger (but very tidily stored) pots.

There’s no room in the shed so they have to go on the ground for a bit. And that’s going to be very tempting for the population of small rodents / creatures that seem to be creeping in. I noticed that the sweet peas are taking a munching under their cloches. But do they like garlic? We shall see. I know they will enjoy the broad beans. But I felt the urge to sow something in this unforgiving weather. Makes one dream of spring.

And then when there was nothing more to do (even swept the floor and made a makeshift cardboard walkway to get around the pallets that serve as flooring), I collected all the gardening gloves with the intention of washing and darning them overnight. Sad or what? At least the sun has come out and it has stopped snowing.