One of Gabian’s fountains
Gabian is lucky in having a spring, La Resclauze, at the top of the hill above the gardens. For centuries this has been used for watering the gardens and, of course, that is why the gardens are where they are. The stream which runs down from the spring also powered mills which ground corn and wheat for flour and olives for oil. These are all in ruins now, unfortunately, although the Mairie and the municipal council talk of a restoration project. A couple of hundred years ago there were rules about when gardeners could take water from the stream,and each gardener could take water only on certain days. Nowadays there is a reservoir at the top of the hill, which provides water for the village and its three remaining fountains. The overflow from it is regulated. For the past couple of years of drought there hasn‘t been any overflow and the stream has been dry throughout the year. This year, after the unusually wet spring, there has been water in the stream again.
collecting water from the stream
Today we installed a pipeline from the stream down to our garden to fill our water butts and to water the plants. It needs some more work on it to feed it into the irrigation system which we put in last month, but for the moment we‘re pleased with our primitive system which involves only a plastic bottle, 50 metres of cheap hosepipe and a couple of connectors. The water is free, unlike the metered supply to the garden, and hasn‘t had chemicals added to it.
We have a climbing passion flower growing on the shelter over the terrace where we eat and this year, its third, it has really taken off. We‘ve had lots of flowers and now there are fruit, mostly green at the moment, but one is ripe and a lovely apricot colour. As this is an ornamental plant I‘m not sure whether we can eat them – they certainly look edible. Does anyone know?
tomato, cucumber, green pepper, garlic, basil leaves and oregano flowers all straight from the garden