Spring pickings

IMG_6546Yep. I managed to fall into the spring gardener’s trap today.  A long list of things I’d love to do.  And I was sidetracked by the chores that had to be done, but then were retro-fitted onto the list.

Plant sunflowers. Where was that when I started writing out the things I want to do this May? Climbing peas climbing out of their root trainer pots and needed some soil fast.

IMG_6539And I didn’t factor in the jasmine which fell down on the pergola.  The weight of the plant far outweighed (in every way) the twine I used to tie it in a few years back.

rose wireSo much for being organized. If I were really organized I would have written in ‘plant sunflowers’ in the same colour as the original list. It’s such a giveaway.

But I did tie in the roses.  Proper wire, proper hooks. Not brilliant wiring. I ought to use strainers on this wall. The same thing will befall these roses when they put on their mad heavy growth as the jasmine. But I didn’t have the skills. Well, I could have come indoors and looked on You Tube. But it was so thrilling to be back at the farm after time away that I didn’t want to halt the momentum.

gite wallBut all the roses are mainly contained. On the new walls no less.

Here is the guest house south wall all done.  Well, they left a few holes at the top of the wall because of nesting blue tits.  Sweet of them. Even if it means the scaffolding stack is going to kill the grass on the east garden lawn until the birds fledge. Curse the tree hugging builders. (Only kidding.)

IMG_6528So where are the pickings? Well I could say that we are picking asparagus and brassica greens like mad. But the rather cool spell has slowed down the asparagus growth. And the brassicas are doing what they should – bolting. We are picking some greens for meals. But the main pickings are of a more mundane type right now.

My pockets are full of cloque.


Peach leaf curl. Oh yes, it is persisting, despite ten years of trying to rid the peach and nectarines of the curse.

apple grubsI’m just not a sprayer. Or poised and ready in the very early part of the season to keep an eye on these orchard trees.

They survive, but they don’t thrive. I’ve already cut one down after threatening to remove it for about four years.  It is out and a sensible apple is in its place. (Which had caterpillars galore in little nests.)

But this particular nectarine produces the most sublime juicy fruit.

grubsSo I pick and pluck and shove the curled puckering pink leaves into the bin.

And for an encore I squished caterpillars from the apples and then the black currants and jostaberries as well.

At least I caught these little blighters in time.  It’s not the infestation like last year.

I’m on top of the soft fruit beasties.  That was something I could legitimately tick off my list.

Tomorrow, try harder.