Winter mulching

It’s cheese on toast weather out there. All of western France has been hit by storms. And for days I have been basking in what felt like the eye of the storm. Mild! Warm! Sunhat weather. Absurd.

Just after 5am it seemed to finally make its way over to the east. Boom, crash… but oddly, no rain.

I was all prepared to accept that the potager was not going to be finished this trip – with the huge views we have on this mountain top you can see the rain storms from a long way off. It all looked marvellously threatening; but nothing stopped the final weeding and the final mulching of this huge vegetable area.


It doesn’t usually take this long but the strawberry work slowed me down.

I can’t abide waste, so every plant was dug up, trimmed of its runner, then dropped in a sack and instead of just throwing it on the compost heap, I had to find somewhere to plant them.

And believe me, I feel like I am spreading confetti in all the most unlikely places.

The drought of 2017 (so pleased to put this last year behind me) means that I can see paths that are usually lush and grass covered in a new light.  Especially if the mole rats have had a go and tunneled underneath.

This area right in front of the house is usually a fetching green sward. But it wasn’t earning its keep.

So I thanked the mole rat for doing the work for me and removed all the sorry grass.

No composting. That went on to build up the path beside the pool (so last week).

You can see why I was slower to complete this job. And photo essay.

The only green left in the vegetable garden for now are two beds of my self-sown rocket.  They needed a thorough weeding too. Rogue strawberries and hesperis matrona. Random euphorbias which I carefully uprooted – they need to go into the dry garden.  And a few self-sown cerinthe plants that really were in the way.

I left a few of them. Good bee food early in the season, and for cutting for flowers.

And I ran out of chicken wire so you can see I had to get creative with my anti deer boxes for the Swiss chard plants.

But I finally hauled myself upright in the gloaming knowing the job was done. A few sacks of mulch over the top (I ran out – I need about half a dozen more sacks to finish mulching all the strawberries in the top edge of the potager.) and it almost looks ready for spring.