My dear friend Joy has been to stay. She booked a flight from the UK ages ago and I was slightly concerned that the weather wouldn’t be at it’s best during April. Thankfully it was kind. We saw days of warm sunshine, a bit of rain, the most amazing storm with thunder and lightening crashing right overhead that went on for most of the afternoon, missed snow, by a day, when we visited Pierre at Lou Rider, but mainly it was lovely.
|Joy enjoying a spectacular sunset|
|snow on the mountains just before going through the tunnel to spain|
|through the tunnel to spain|
|Ainsa, on the warm sunny side of the mountains|
I got to thinking how little of this I do when I am on my own, and how that must change. Now that the project is coming up for a year in the making, the hard graft can be seen to be making a big difference. The clearing that took months last year was brought back under control with an afternoon strimming. A couple of hours weeding in the well mulched vegetable areas and it all looks clean and tidy. I am smiling writing this, as the vision of ‘clean and tidy’ resembles little of what I would have imagined a few years ago.
A deep layer of autumn leaves surrounds the wanted plants keeping annual weeds to a minimum, they protect the soil from heavy downpours and days of hot sun, regulating the soil from excessive temperature and humidity fluctuations, slowly decaying to provide food for the plants and soil organisms alike. Meandering paths allow access to different areas of the plot, cut through swathes of fast growing natives. Beautiful drifts of wildflowers are already bringing colour and interest for myself and the hosts of wildlife that keep themselves endlessly busy day by day. My hours of bramble root digging look to have paid off in the most part, an occasional tour with the strimmer should knock back any determined shoots and, theoretically, in three or so years, the majority will have given up. Other weeds are taking their place. Buttercups are highly visible this spring, dandelions put on an impressive display and the docks are springing up here and there. It’s going to look spectacular as summer unfolds.
|still plenty of veggies fron last season|
|a good layer of mulch keeps the weeds down and the soil moist and friable underneath|
My trays of seedlings are growing fast and will soon be ready for planting out. Need to get some ‘friendly’ slug pellets, if there is such a thing, but I really would appreciate some of the vegetables reaching maturity and with the dampness about at present I fear or the little ones. I’ll try a light liming of the raised beds too, though not too much as it may not go down too well with everything. Perhaps half and half, to see if there is any difference. Will keep you posted if I remember.
|the seedlings travelled too!!|