The phone rang and woke me up and I lay in bed, running through the various people it could be – offers? cancellations? people in flat cant make the hot water come on? Children with disastrous news (boys only ring when there is monumental news to give or they need money) but in fact it was a lady with an immense property for sale. She had seen the ad I had put out a couple of months ago and left a message. Didn’t recognise the Departement dialling code. Went back to bed and drank tea. Wagtails running along the crest of the barn roof. The confused owl still hooting. Small white clouds floating across the top of the window view.
Had breakfast and realised with a shock it was only 10 am. On looking at the Planting by the Moon calendar, I see that today is good for fruits so I plant tomatoes, Crimea Black and Cherry, piments, peppers, haricots, choux and epinard. The strawberries are still ripening so we eat them ‘sur place‘. OH chops some bamboo out of the bamboo forest and makes some more supports for the raspberries, of which I have both Summer and Autumn fruiting varieties bought from B n Q by OH on a trip many moons ago and they are rampantly healthy, never a malady, and give huge crops.
The bamboo is a good 25 feet high and grows at the edge of the river that forms the boundary of our property. It grows on runners underneath the soil and emerges as vicious spikes like giant thorns out of the earth. The spike grows about 9 cms a day in hot weather. A thin spill of bamboo then emerges. You have to keep mowing them to keep them down.
Have lunch of yesterday’s chicken and some epinard and followed by fresh navel oranges from Spain. There is nothing like a navel orange, tart and juicy and full of vitamin C. OH then goes fishing and I put a leg of lamb on to cook with garlic tucked under the skin, some sprigs of rosemary lain on top and a coating of honey. I have foil cook bags so everything just cooks away on a very low heat for hours and the flavours infuse properly.
As well as planting by the moon, I also pay attention to companion planting or ‘planting by association’. Some plants love being next to one another and some absolutely hate having their roots in the same soil as another plant.
Here is a link if you want to look before you plant
I did test out an association which was listed as bad and the cabbage next to the bad association suffered whilst that next to the good one, thrived. Pondered on the good and bad associations in my life and the necessity of being with positive, dynamic and exciting people.
Had rest in deckchair and dog attempted to knock over my cup of tea; his forté.
I have a variegated honeysuckle which is strangling the herb bed. Battle for two hours and manage to cut most of it back, make the topiary bay tree reappear and get out most of the weeds. Decide to award myself glass of white and OH reappears early (too much water in the river) and so we eat for 8 pm and watch a new BBC series Jonathan Strange and Mr Morell, which is just as terrible as the book which I abandoned part way through.