After all the rain we’ve had during the last couple of weeks we were glad to see that the stream which runs down the hill past the gardens is full again. We hope it lasts until we need to water the garden.
The crocuses were flowering too in the garden ….
Over the hill on the other side of the village, this ruined mazet was looking brighter in the sunlight, half hidden by a Pistacia lentiscus shrub and with its interior full of brambles.
We picked cabbage and leeks in the garden and came home to a lunch of cabbage with lardons, garlic and crème fraiche (a recipe suggested by our son) and a glass of wine. I didn’t used to like cabbage much until we grew our own. This was delicious.
Peppers and tomatoes
While the tomato seedlings were benefiting from the sun on the balcony – and the temperature in the mini-greenhouse was 25 degrees C – we sowed our pepper seeds and put them on the heated seed starter box. We’ve sowed ten varieties:
Piment d’Espelette: slightly spicy paprika pepper from Espelette in the French Basque country, seeds from a string of peppers I bought in Espelette last September. This is the only pepper I know which has an appellation d’origine controlée, like wine, so I’m not sure whether any peppers we grow can be called piment d’Espelette as they will be grown out of the area!
Chorizo pepper: a spicy rather than hot paprika pepper, seeds from a string of peppers given to us by our friend Drew in Navarra.
Chilli pepper: seeds from chillies we grew last summer.
Longue d’Espagne: a long sweet pepper, seeds from our neighbour José.
Italian Red Marconi
Kolasca: a Hungarian variety.
Kandil dolma: a Turkish variety for stuffing.
Lipstick: sweet red variety.
Nardello: an Italian long red variety with a spicy flavour.
Corno di toro: a long red variety.
The last six mentioned are seeds left over in the packets I bought last year from Kokopelli. Last year they all germinated well, but we failed to encourage the plants to grow quickly enough, probably because we couldn’t keep them warm enough. This year we’ll try again, put them in the mini-greenhouses and give them some fertiliser.