A new big garden – and a new small blog

It’s been a month since the last post, and a lot has happened. A lot of rain has also fallen, making this one of the coolest and wettest springs on record.

Our potager is nearly filled now : 3 variétés anciennes de tomates, peppers and aubergines, calabrese broccoli and red cabbage, purple and yellow and green beans, peas, purple potatoes and red-skinned too, purple endives and spinach, rocket and various lettuces, artichokes and sweet corn, yellow and green courgettes, onions and shallots.

The  elaborate irrigation system lies idle as the rain sweeps in – we wage a brutal war each day against snails and slugs and weeds. French neighbours have been eating  cargolade, a simple catalan grilled snail dish. We have stupidly been throwing away kilos of the creatures . . .

The list above might seem satisfactory and sufficient – but the actual size of the plot is not big, and not everything will succeed. And there’s not room for a good supply of winter and spring staples.

Here’s a video view of it, a few weeks ago, in between the waves of rain:

There’s still a lot of lawn left – but that must stay, along with the pool, if our ArtHoliday.com business is to continue. Painting groups sit out in the shade of the trees and draw; yoga groups do their moves there. Without ArtHoliday we are sunk. And I’ve been fighting to get our website back up in the first pages of Google so that we stand a chance of surviving the ‘downturn’ a while longer. It’s working: we’re now on pages 1, 2, or 3 for most of the relevant search-strings. Now we need the bookings . . . The new small blog relates to our ArtHoliday activities and is more of a ‘window on our world’  – brief reports on the changing season and wildlife, a glimpse of village life and events. It’s intended to illustrate our little corner of Languedoc for the benefit of those thinking of coming here for one of our walking tours or mosaic courses,or painting weeks or yoga. Some groups and people return each summer- and for them it’s a way of staying in touch with a place they’ve become fond of. It’s at http://www.artholidayfrance.wordpress.com

But in the meantime, between cloudbursts and hoeing and search-engine-optimizing voodoo, I’ve started on a new potager that is three times bigger, on some disused ground belonging to our best English friends here in the village, Sue Bradford and Steve Broadhead.

Sues-plot-before-1

It was once a productive plot, now portioned off to some neighbours who have just cleared their patch. The rest of the garden remaining to Sue (a keen reader of George Monbiot, and PeakOil-aware), and now us together, is pretty unappetizing as a garden project.

The next post shows how far we’ve got in two weeks.

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