The half day dash

A half morning only permitted before a hasty departure to Paris. I woke at 630am to get all the indoor chores completed, and then burst out of the door – kneelers, gloves and trowel at the ready by nine.

Managed the last gassing of the fruit trees with the fungicide. Must work out how to give these peaches a radical prune. Nicolas has kindly offered to prune the vineyard for us later in the month; perhaps I can beg half an hour of his time for the pesky fruit trees They were so blighted by peach leaf curl last year I will just be frankly relieved to see them looking less blasted and sorry this season. Anything beyond that will be a treat. But they do sit so prominently in front of the house. And I find them a bit of an eyesore as they are so shapeless and straggly. Nicolas isn’t really free until June as he has two other jobs right now. And naturally things on our property aren’t finished.

Walls almost there, steps to the pool shed only a rough sketch in his head. With luck another neighbour Olivier can step in. One does tire of unfinished work. And to have things looking less like a building site will be a joy. I find nests of mess build up. And I am one of the worst offenders.

I had another idea as I was hanging about the Calabert today – more a method to hide some of the mess en route to the potting shed. I have sprayed (I know, I know, turning into a chemical monster) the paths either side of the end of the Calabert with the intention of sowing a little wildflower meadow at Easter. And using the messy half-collapsed part before the barn as a receptacle for all the dozens of stones that are lying all over the lower bank.

With only a few hours to get things done I did manage to plant another dozen Pennisetum alopecuroides in the bank above the lawn. That makes 38 in total and it looks a puny effort. But we need to weed before we can go much further along the bank. I was mainly planting up bare earth this morning. But further along the weeds (sorry, original landscaping) is more established.

Felt a pang for leaving – it is spring after all. And I have two crates of small grasses in pots just lurking beside the potting shed and not in the soil. With luck the weather will turn damp and moist while I am away and I can get some of the watering done by the climate rather than the uncertain tap in the cellar.