Sunday, April 24, 2011

When Will There Be Rain?

It's been something like three weeks now since we had any rain and watering the new plants and seeds is becoming a chore. The outside water supply is empty so water has to be carried either from indoors or scooped out of the millpond - a job only Jim can do.

However, it has now rained a little yesterday and more is promised.

So, what development on the projects? Well, the pergola is up although Jim has been left the job of putting the top beams in place and to hang the basket chair for which I have to make a cushion.
Here are some pictures of the job in progress:

The first upright is secured

The first horizontal beam

It's taking shape now

Adding the cross bars
View from the other side
Detail of the joints - notice the pegs
I have to plant the grape vine and the two Actinidia deliciosa (Kiwi fruit) that will eventually cover the beams.

The second project was the preparation and planting of the pumpkin field. Some seeds have been planted in the pots I made last week and these have been left in the serre to sprout (hopefully).

It was decided to use the  field below the leat as it is the sunniest and also close to a water supply. Matthew and Andre took the tractor up to the top field where Cyprien's horses have been grazing for some time and loaded the bucket up with the evidence. This was mixed with some bags of bought compost and soil and put into about 45 prepared holes in the field 2m apart. When the seeds have grown and hardened off they will be planted on the mounds at weekly intervals (we don't want them ripening all at once). We have never done this before so we are not quite sure how it will work out.

Mixing the compost
Digging filling the holes
Adding a bit of 'top-dressing' from the leat
The finished mounds with markers
The sunflower part of this project has been left to me - I have to prepare a patch in The Sleeping Beauty Garden and elsewhere if possible where there is sufficient sun. A job for next week weather permitting.

The third project - the boules piste did not get started - perhaps when Peter gets here?

On the Wednesday evening Andre prepared a picnic supper of bean and egg salad and we took it up to Peter's place with a couple of bottles of wine and enjoyed a picnic and watched the sun set. A glorious evening!
Myself, Rufus, Andre and Matthew

Matthew and Jim

Matthew was pleased to find that the little pond he had formed last year where there was a spring had now become full of tadpoles. Also four grass snakes were spotted. These eat tadpoles and frogs so the teeming hordes will diminish in time.

Wildlife pond
And to finish, a delightful little drama we all spotted on the top of the wall -

- two ants carrying home supper for their family


  1. Charming! You have been busy. The tractor looks clean! Love the Pergola and those medieval joints, very French. How did you make the holes for the pegs? Will there be a hanginf chair in the Pergola - did I understand correctly. And sunflowers in the SBG! Where to they fit into the project? Looking forward to helping out with the developments, watering the pumpkins etc. Very dry here too. Will be out with the hosepipe this evening and we're still in April in Wales!

  2. What a treat to find you here- it all looks like paradise.