It’s a long Bank Hol weekend for my husband. In France, workers missed out on a day off on 1st May because it was a Sunday, but 5th May is a public holiday (Ascension) and the husband managed to get tomorrow off work too. So a lovely 4-day weekend to look forward to.
Sun is shining, skies are bright blue, not a cloud in sight, and we’ve been gardening. First photo to show you of our Lily of the Valley which is a little late this year
Only a few bells have opened, and I expect it’ll be another week before that shadey corner of our garden is lovely and fragrant. Everything else seems to be coming to life though. In our little herb garden, things are doing well
I’m not exactly sure what we’ve got there. Things like sage, laurel, rosemary, chives, thym and mint. Theres’ probably some taragon too. It’s in a nice practical spot, just a few strides down the gravel path, and we have fresh herbs for cooking. That’s Abby in the photo . . . she was accompanying me on my little walk about. Here she is again, having a stretch lol.
Such a tiny thing, she is, despite being almost one year old. Ducky tips the scales at 6 kilos these days, but Abby doesn’t weigh much more than 3 kilos still.
The fig tree, also has some early, baby figs. I’ve learned my lesson from last year with figs. We will be eating them fresh from the tree this year. No point in trying to wait for a reasonable sized harvest and fig fruit don’t keep very well once they’re ripe.
Those photos were taken in the garden, just behind our house . . . I then wandered into what we call our veggie garden, to see what was happening there.
We invested in a few bits this year: a rotovator and also two temporary greenhouses. The greenhouses are already planted with tomato plants, courgettes, melons, and a couple of rows of spinach, beetroot and parsnips.
Elsewhere we have
a row of “cardons” (cardoon in English). Hubbie is very pleased with himself because he grew these little babies from seed, and we have a total of 8 healthy plants all in a row.
The strawberry patches took rather a bashing earlier in the year because we made the mistake of letting hens have free run in the veggie garden lol. This explains some of the bald patches. However, strawberry plants are resilient things, and they’re gradually covering more soil . . . and first fruit are already on their way!
Raspberries were pruned right back and have begun to flourish again, although it’s too early for flowers
And I’m getting very excited about the future fruit production this year! We have 2 pear trees in the veggie garden (planted last Spring) that are already showing signs of fruit
As well as 2 old pear trees in the orchard, and 3 plum trees which are covered in little fruit buds already! Cherry tree is doing well, and 2 of our remaining apple trees are just coming into blossom.
Not everything is edible ^^ This 25m2 bit of soil has been turned over and replanted with prairie grass seed – it will be for the hen coop this winter.
And this 20m2 plot of grass was replanted and will also be reserved for the hens in the autumn. Oh yes, have to think ahead and make sure that my lovely hens have decent pecking ground later on in the year!
We have also planted other veggies . . . here, our little patch of potatoes (the “ratte” variety, which are lovely little new potatoes).
Brocoli did extremely well last year, so we’ve planted 6 brocoli plants (with celery at the closest end) and, to the left, we’ve just sown two rows of beans: 1 row of green and 1 row of butter beans.
Opposite, we are trying brussel sprouts this year (yep another celery on the end).
And our “côtes de bettes” (chards) survived the winter and are already flourishing for a second year.
On the old wall, at the far end of our veggie garden, the grape vines are spreading. We have 3 old vines and 3 new. They’re for “table grapes” not wine. And most of the vegetation you can see on the ground is wild strawberries . . . so yep, more fruit and vitamins!
We’ve still got lots of land all ready for more plantations . . . as weather warms up, we’ll be adding more tomato plants and sowing more beans. I need to invest in a large freezer before the summer. The plan for this year will be to enjoy fresh fruit and veggies as they ripen, but also to freeze as much as possible so we don’t have to buy much produce over the winter months.
And last photo – yep that’s Abby again . . . obviously spotted an insect. Doesn’t take much to keep a cat amused, does it?