Tadpole terrors

Driven by guilt, I set the alarm for an early hour and watered the top vegetable garden first thing this morning. The peas and beans up there seem to thrive on neglect right now.

Nothing beats that cool breeze in a cloudless sky, sun threatening to burst over the mountain and bake for another day. It has been two whole weeks of scorchio on the French weather map: little bright sunshine symbols over all of the Ardeche. And no sign of rain in the next few days either.

The row of land cress is growing well as is the curly kale. Although some insects are giving it a good beating. I threw a whole bucket of water on the poor rhubarb – it really could do with being shaded in this heat. And did the same of the asparagus. It is doing surprisingly well and has plenty of fronds waving in the breeze. One year down, three to go.

And speaking of years, we feel that there has been so much achieved in just one year. But finding a good water source for this lovely vegetable garden is going to be a winter priority.

I also need to get more water up to the barrels around the potting shed at the same time. I have used the last of the water on my little flower seedlings today.

Down to the house for some serious hose action on the lower vegetable bed and lawn.
Once the heat died down it was back down to the vineyard with the strimmer. No way was I going to hand pull that number of weeds. Especially as there are so many nettles a lurking. It was short work – but hot under that protective head gear (great orange monster of ear muffs and visor) so the sweat dripped prettily and rather constantly off my nose as I thwacked into the weeds. But done. And now I can spend the weekend tying up the rest of the vines. And just to show you what three weeks of rain will do. Here is a reminder of what this vineyard looked like on the 1st of June.

But then it was back indoors to make our very first white currant and red currant tarts of the year. Didn’t know we even had a white currant bush. It produced no fruit last year at all. A bit tart. And tricky to destalk. But dump a load of sugar on any tart thing and it hides all bitter sins.

Oh yes, forgot to mention. We sorted the hose. The water trough in the courtyard receives water from the overflow of the tank. It’s way up in the hill and is gushing down right now. And I always found it such a shame that it would overflow onto the pebbles in the courtyard rather than be used usefully on tomato plants instead.
So with a bit of deft DIY it is done. Now all I need to do is untwist the hose and out the lovely spring water flows. Only drawback -there are some tiny tadpoles in the trough that discover life can be very exciting but short indeed. If they are curious about the green snake like contraption sitting on the bottom of their pool they get sucked in. And end up fifty feet away shooting out the end of the hose and landing on the cabbage bed.