>Potting and pottering / Repiquer et bricoler


There seems to be so much to do in the garden at the moment … watering, because the weather is suddenly hot and we’ve had very little rain for weeks, planting out lettuce seedlings, sowing other salad plants, preparing the ground for the pepper and tomato plants, having lunch … and so on.

Il y a beaucoup de travail au jardin en ce moment … l’arrosage, parce qu’il a commencé de faire chaud et il n’a pas plu pour quelques semaines, repiquer les salads, semer les autres salades, préparer la terre pour les poivrons et les tomates, manger le déjeuner … etc.

I’ve repotted over 60 tomato plants (more than we’ll need, but they’re growing very slowly, so maybe they won’t all survive) and some of the courgettes which already have quite large root systems.

J’ai repiqué plus de 60 plantes de tomates et quelques uns de courgettes qui ont déjà des longues racines.


Over the past couple of weeks the garden has become a very noisy place as the bees buzz around the rosemary and the broad bean flowers. / Pendant les semaines dernières le jardin est devenu très bruyant avec les abeilles qui bourdonnent autour des fleurs du romarin et des fèves.

broad bean flowers   beetle_1_1

And on this broad bean flower there’s one of the big flying black beetles which are very common in our garden.

2nd broad bean sowing_1_1_1

The second (February) sowing of broad beans are coming up well.  I’m specially pleased with these as they were seeds we saved a few years ago and had forgotten about!

Spring salad / salade du printemps

march salad_1_1

Rocket, wild rocket, oregano and sorrel leaves / les feuilles de la roquette, la roquette sauvage, oreganum et oseille.

Wild asparagus / les asperges sauvages

wild asparagus_1_1

A friend had given us some spears of wild asparagus she had picked and we added some spears from plants growing wild in our garden.  Wild asparagus is thinner than the cultivated variety, with a herby, more concentrated flavour.  It grows in the garrigue, especially where there has recently been a fire so that it has less competition from other bigger plants.  Here the tradition, especially on Easter Monday, is to go for a walk in the garrigue and pick asparagus and then make omelette with it.  We did this in the garden today.

Les asperges sauvages poussent dans la garrigue.  Elles sont plus fines que la varieté cultivée et elles ont un gout concentré.  Il y a une tradition ici d’aller dans les garrigue le lundi de Paque pour ramasser les asperges et puis de faire une omelette aux asperges.  On l’a fait au jardin aujourd’hui.

wild asparagus omelette 1_1_1_1 wild asparagus omelette 2_1_1 wild asparagus omelette 4_1_1

Pepper germination / germination de poivrons

We’ve had very high germination rates for most of the varieties we’ve sown.  All these seeds came from Kokopelli except the Long d’Espagne which our neighbour gave us.

Corno di Toro: 100 %    Italian Red Marconi: 100%  

Lipstick: 100%             Kolaska: 100 %

Kandil Dolma: 60 %      Nardello:  100 %

Long d’Espagne: 10 % (but these seeds were a few years’old)

Yellow cornos (from Kate) and chilli peppers (our own saved seed) were sown later and have not yet germinated.

The problem with the peppers now is to keep them at a consistently high enough temperature and give them enough light.  Today we put some of them out on the balcony under polythene, but some of them got a bit too hot and dry.  I think they’ll be OK.

The apricot blossom is over now, and the cherry blossom is here … / Les fleurs d’abricotier sont finis maintenant, et les fleurs de cerisier arrivent …

cherry blossom_1
Cherry blossom opening on a tree near our garden – the tree is on public ground, so we’ll keep an eye out for the fruit in May.
cherry blossom 2_1_1_1

>October weekend / un weekend en octobre


Today was a perfect October Saturday – an almost cloudless sky, a mid day temperature of 25 C and not too much hard work to do in the garden.

Aujourd’hui c’était un samedi parfait d’octobre – le ciel presque sans nuages, le temperature à midi a été 25 C et il n’y avait pas trop de travail dur dans le jardin.

garden 25 oct panorama

The garden is rather untidy at the moment, in transition from summer into autumn into winter, and the shadows longer, but it’s still somewhere to enjoy lunch in the sun. I like to decide what will go in the salad as I’m walking around the garden, looking to see what is ready to eat.

Le jardin est un peu fouillis en ce moment, en changeant de l’été en automne et vers l’hiver. Les ombres sont plus longs mais c’est toujours un endroit où on peut profiter du soleil et prendre le dîner. Il me plaît de choisir la salade quand je fais un tour du jardin, en regardant quelles plantes sont prêtes à manger.

garden salad_1_1

Today I found a colourful mix of lettuce, wild rocket, tomatoes and thyme. / Aujourd’hui j’ai trouvé un melange aux couleurs vives de laitue, rouquette sauvage, tomates et thym.

We ate it with grilled pork and green peppers from the garden. / On l’a mangé avec du porc grillé et des poivrons verts grillés du jardin.

Mizuna update / mizuna mise à jour

Before we went away the snails had eaten some of the mizuna plants which Kate planted for us. We put lavender cuttings around them and this seems to have turned the snails away. The surviving plants are growing well and will soon be ready to be added to salads.

Avant de partir nous avons vu que des escargots ont mangé quelques plantes de mizuna que Kate a planté. Nous les avons entourées de boutures de lavande et elles ont découragé les escargots. Les plantes qui surviennent poussent bien et bientôt seront prêtes à ajouter aux salades.