Thursday, 4 June 2015

Bless the French ...

... and their (at least round here) suspicion of anything even slightly unusual.

The so-called "potager" has not been a success this year.

I was deeply disheartened when all bar one of a row of tiny pea seedlings were chopped off at the knees - each small stem with its two leaves scattered across the ground. Mice at play maybe?

Then NONE of the row of broad beans I planted came up.

And only three of the cavalo nero (sounds much posher than black kale) emerged.

I was full of plans to replant, but then the weeks slipped by, the ground became harder, I was busy doing other things and the beds became weedier and weedier and my disheartenedness (disheartenment?) got deeper and deeper, not least because every day I went into town I passed all these immaculate weed-free front gardens with row after row of burgeoning peas, neatly staked tomatoes, just-emerging onions and artichokes

But the "other things" (a photo competition and an exhibition) have eased and we have guests arriving shortly and I thought I just could not have them walking past this sad veg patch, looking like there's an Eeyore hiding in there, somewhere.

So drastic measures were called for, I set off, without much hope, to the large Jardiland in Agen where last year I had bought those oh-so-successful yellow French beans.  That was at the right time of year though.  Now it's much too late to be planting, especially with this heat.  And sure enough there were a couple of sad tables displaying left-over etiolated tomato plants, courgettes and a few melons, aubergines and the like.  Not a "haricot vert" in sight.

But then, on closer inspection, joy of joys, there tucked away in the middle punnet after punnet of healthy young plants - yellow green beans - so much tastier than the green variety and so much easier to see when they are small and sweet and hidden beneath their leafy cover.

I bought twenty-four!  And that still left a few.  Just in case there was an adventurous French gardener around who might, possibly, be tempted to try something different.

Here's hoping that I can keep them all safe from marauding mice, slugs and the heat.  Then maybe I'll be able to fool our guests that I am a serious veg gardener.  Bit like buying an M&S cake and passing it off as home-made!


  1. My veg rep sold me those yellow beans years ago....telling me that no one local would trust them...
    Nothing has changed!

    1. Hello Helen, the French don't know what they are missing! :)

  2. We are not gardeners and do not feel guilty about buying all our food when and if we want it . Too much time is wasted in just cutting the grass!
    However, those neat productive gardens have their appeal.

  3. I forgot to say that I'd imagined you and yours floating along in this pleasant weather!

    1. Hello Lesley, No such luck! Hopefully, we'll get out in a couple of weeks when our friends are here. :)