A power breakfast of fresh bread, aged cheese and a dollop of Teo’s very good for you fruit jam (he makes it with only 20 per cent sugar) and I’m ready to go.
I’m off to Aubenas down south to meet Andrew in a plant nursery car park. There we will transfer gifts and gardening supplies and then head off to the Cochet plant nursery to pick up trees.
What a treat.
Andrew was on fine form. We met at Gamm Vert car park in Aubenas and even managed to run into Louisa Jones whom Andrew knows well. We chatted briefly, but more importantly was the hand over of goodies. Plants, magazines, wine crates, tea, books. All done and then we went off in convoy to the Cochets to pick up my trees.
Poor things; they are utterly surrounded by a bypass that is being built not a hundred metres from their house. Everyone chatted and I ogled the property but couldn’t find the nursery: it’s a wheelbarrow ride over the road near the river. So not like the Vachon nursery of the day before. But before long I was the proud owner of a new peach tree Red Haven, an apricot Muscat, cherry, Noir de Meched, e two small olive trees Olivere, and one Sauzen noir. And just for fun, two grape vines Baco and Isabelle. All in beautiful condition, and Frederic pruned them for me so I didn’t have to pester Nicolas.
Andrew and I repaired to a cafe to catch up; but we both had to roar off to our tasks. Andrew to build walls and plant bulbs, and me to do the hedge.
No mucking about, we had the 28 plants into holes in no time. I made room in the Nicolas scheme for the asters and the laurel; but it looks amazing. It’s a bit too much like instant gardening to me, but everyone is happy.
I had trouble photographing the work in the low sunlight; but it was a real chore for me to keep up with the master hole digger.
The evergreens are at the back so that the view from Jean Daniel’s will be more green, while I get the lovely roses and sambuscus and cornus on my side. Let’s see how they do. They are going to prove a tasty treat for passing deer.
I finished up the day by planting the three olive trees in the garden between the plum trees and the house. They are to be companions to the mighty olive already in situ. The one that is dying to be pruned hard back and staked properly so it doesn’t grow at the rakish angle it currently possesses. I have added some fir tree branches over the top of the deer protective wire netting in the hope the animals won’t notice the pretty olive plants underneath.
Nicolas finished the day by filling in all the lumpy bits of the east garden so-called lawn.
And my best gardening day was only beginning: Leslie and Teo drove up at dusk to supply me with an enormous carload of plants: a carpet of marjoram, two philadelphis which Teo propagated, roses, two peonies, winter flowering honeysuckle, so many things I’ve lost count. Lucky me indeed. Tomorrow I shall plant the marjoram as a carpet around the newly planted hedge.