The weather that most of us are enjoying in northern Europe has brought everything in the garden forward by about a month. All our roses are out, including all of the lovely old French perfumed roses that we cut for the house. These are even better this year as we managed to spray them sufficiently often at the beginning of the year with “repulsif” that deters the visiting chevreuil from eating the buds and soft shoots.
Perhaps the only, and rather minor, complaint about the weather, that I have, is that everything seemed to flower at once earlier on this year. We had snowdrops, primroses, daffs, wood anenomes, wild orchids, azalias, magnolias and the rhodos all at the same time. It was a shame that we did not have more clients to enjoy the spectacle.
Normally our four huge tulip trees flower on about 3 June (Precisely!). They are beginning to flower now and will be an absolute sight in a few days time. They are huge trees and covered in what seems like thousands of beautiful creamy yellow and orange tulips. Our red squirrels used to love them and spent hours chattering away in the tree tops and throwing the debris all over the drive. Alas the cold winter seems to have killed the squirrels off, or perhaps they chose to move on to pastures new, we shall never know.
We are taking part again this year in the garden open scheme “Bienvenue dans mon Jardin”on the 5 June, organised by les Jardiniers de France. I rather fear that all the flowering trees and shrubs normally out at that time will be over. Our garden does tend to have a biase towards spring and autumn. We have lots of flowers in the spring and a wonderful array of autumn colours in September and October. Still the garden should be varying shades of green and the grass should be cut.
Despite the dry weather the weeds continue to grow and the brambles continue to flourish despite all our hard work. Our large garden mower refused to start yesterday and I thought that I could manage for now with a smaller one. I had hoped to wait for another day to repair it. Then this afternoon I ran over a projecting tree root with the smaller lawn mower and bent something underneath, turning the mower into a rather effective plough ~ aargh!. Perhaps everything in the garden is not quite so rosy as I first thought!
Jenny picked a huge bowl of strawberries this afternoon, so roll on breakfast, they are yummy with cereals. Our guests should enjoy them too. The figs are bigger than I can ever remember at this time of year, and the pears and apples look promising too. We have planted two female and one male kiwi plants this year and look forward to seeing how these will flourish at Coat Amour. They take up quite a bit of space, but the experiment should prove worthwhile. Our friend Barry and Heather Cummings have Kiwis in their garden and gave us the plants as a Christmas present ~ so thanks to both.
We have not had much rain really for a few weeks now. The veg patch is starting to cry out for water. The plants that were put in several weeks ago are pretty well established. I fear more for the recently planted leeks, cucumbers, and lettuce. There is supposed to be a bit of a water shortage and watering the garden is soon to be prohibited. We do have an underground cistern that holds about 125 cu metres of water, that is collected off the roof of the manor house. I can see that I shall have to invest in a pump and run hoses all over the garden.