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!