Friday, 1 April 2011
It's in the trees
Blossom against a blue, blue sky
After a couple of miserable drizzly days the sun came back. The progression of blossoms continues, the plums and sloes are on their way out now and it's the turn of the pears. This is the apple-pear behind the old cider house, the pears are hard and not very sweet but shaped much more like an apple or an oriental pear than the usual French or British pears. I suspect conditions aren't quite right for it in Normandy as I can't believe they were planted in the expectation they'd be quite as tasteless as they are.
Contrail noughts and crosses
Despite being far enough away from everyone else to imagine ourselves back in another century, sometimes it's hard to ignore the modern world all around us. It's just an ordinary Friday afternoon, no particular holiday period or international emergency, and this is the regular traffic of jet planes from Paris, America, the UK and further still crossing the skies over the farm. Above is the view to the south west and below you can see the sky traffic from the south east. From morning to late at night, thousands of travellers pass high over us and never know we're here.
Globe artichokes look to heaven
In the garden today; I dug another strip to add to the plot in the back garden. Moving the covers disturbed a big toad, so I've built him a Hall of some magnificence. I hope he finds it and settles in. In the newly cleared land went some garlic potted up in the UK in February and the strawberry plants that were still alive. We're quite disappointed with the quality of the plants that we bought from Buckingham Nursery as half the strawberries appear to have been dead on delivery and it seems several of the raspberries aren't going to make it either. However, it was a very difficult season so perhaps it's not fair to be too harsh.
I repotted some more globe artichoke seedlings to add to these two in the picture. It's surprising they came through both the last very cold winters but I'm not complaining. In the main beds, spinach, lettuce and radishes have germinated, along with a lot of weeds that will need hoeing soon.
Now the tomatoes are out of the heated propagator there is space for the cucurbits. Two sorts of courgettes went in, White Trieste from Realseeds and some Long Green Bush, sold as marrows but perfectly fine taken when small. I wanted something stripy. Pumpkins were Big Max, essentially one of the sorts for carving. Whangapararoa Crown although I won't save seed from them this year to add to the breeding programme, just eat them. Kakai which is a hull-less variety for edible seed production. Vegetable Spaghetti, I've not grown these for years but if they don't get too big to cook they're quite fun for a few novelty meals. Sweet Dumpling which are a very suitable size for one or two people at a sitting and some ornamental gourds that were bought on a whim some years ago and have been languishing in the seed box ever since. I also put some Achocha in, the first time I've tried them. I'll start the pickling cucumbers in a couple of weeks time.