Sunday, March 11, 2007

Muddy Fingers

We've had a windy weekend. Trees have been blown down, garden centres have feared for their greenhouses and cypress trees have been left lounging at 45°.

I was out in it, oh yes! Having trundled around Botanic buying ground-covering plants, a birthday card for my sis-in-law (must remember to post it tomorrow!) and a gardening tool, I was keen to get everything into the soil and looking good.

When we came back from Botanic, the old lavender and rosemary plants which had been dumped on the path up to the door had been blown about the road making me think of those tumble weeds that you see rolling their way over the Texan desert. I meant to take them to the dump having decided not to burn them, despite the nice smells they would produce. For the moment though they are lurking in front of the house... sooo smart...

However, ignoring the rubbish, the front garden is now spruce with heather, new lavender plants to replace those sad old things that had been trampled on by my youngest, and a ground-covering spruce-type plant. I could go and look at the label, but can't be bothered - it's dark, cold and I've had enough! I was aided and abetted with removing some of the thousands of stones from our incredibly stony soil upon which formerly the only things that could grow were pines or vines, by said youngest who is in 'helpful' mode. Nearly six is a very appealing age.

The back garden now has planted: tomatoes, red onions, peas, strawberries, herbs, coriander seeds and the ground-covering plants for the steep edge. We are considering terracing the patch of weeds to grow flowers or nothing except gravel. It's with some trepidation though that I look at the work there is to do. The earth is heavy clay and the weeds are rampant having had a free reign since the autumn. The compost bin is filling up fast as we rid ourselves of the worst culprits - nasty prickly thistles.

By way of respite today, we went for a picnic at Restinclières, got the last available picnic table and enjoyed a simple lunch of crunchy bread, camembert au lait cru, cherry tomatoes, crisps and a nice rosé wine. We then meandered down to the source of the river Lez where the ResidentAdo said she would be camping sauvage with a friend this summer. As there are notices all over the place forbidding the lighting of fires, I wasn't too sure how this would be possible. It's a serious offense, too, those who disobey being liable for prosecution, so I just hope she is not heading for trouble even if the friend did go camping there last year.

Quite frankly, the idea of camping sauvage now leaves me completely cold. Give me free hot showers and clean loos any day. I was never very keen on it, but went along to be with the ex-h on the odd occasion (including our honeymoon!). Now though, it has to have four stars with playground for the boys and a place that sells frites.

Now, that's camping civilisé!

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