The broad beans are coming on (tuinbonen voor jullie Dutchies)
Building the raised bed out of old planks we found in the barn
The white witch at work mixing her stinging nettle brew
You find May beetle larva...
...and you find really big May beetle larva.
Caroline collects worms from the soil and adds them to the compost heap to speed up the break down of the stuff we chuck on.
Cold weather work 'distressing' a new cupboard that Ernest made for us. Using keys and chain to dent and scratch the paintwork.
It looks like it was always in the house
The mimosa and fruit trees all bloomed beautifully this spring
Not that I saw much of it 8-(
A weekend visit to Caroline's cousins, Marc and Jacqueline
March was a warm month and we often ate outside at lunchtime. The garden was under control and Caroline was very busy preparing her stinging nettle brew to use as an insecticide. A few weeks later and the same mix is very potent and smells disgusting, but is brilliant as a compost feed for all sorts of new plants.
Meanwhile all sorts of bugs were coming out of hibernation and gobbling up the greenery. You can't stand around watching nature get on with it, other wise you'll be in deep trouble (see our May diary).
Worming your way out of gardening
The compost heap had a refurbishment. Moving one sticky mess from one bin to another and preparing the second one with straw, leaves, kitchen waste and handfuls of worms. The end result is a very rich, dark soil that we dropped into a new experiment, a raised bed. Using old planks, cardboard and straw, we set up what may be the first of many beds. They require no digging and keep the weeds out to a great extent. Not being clay soil, many other plants can be sown and grown. The potatoes are already coming up!
Antique or repro?
We asked Ernest to help us by building a cupboard for our guest bathroom. The naff IKEA drawers were falling apart and we wanted something more in line with the house. Using a set of old windows we found in the attic of our house as starting point, we designed the cupboard and Ernest did the rest. A few layers of different coloured, self-mixed paints, some weathering and distressing and it looked nice and old.
Caroline's cousins, Jacqueline and Marc, moved down from Venlo in Holland to the Charentes-Maritimes, just north east of Bordeaux. They bought a chambres d'hôtes and have been hard at work renovating and enlarging the business for the new season. We popped up for a long weekend with a small barrel of white wine and managed to sink it down with oysters, mussels and fresh asparagus. Their place is in a village called Soubran and is a good place to stop over on the way down to us, being 8 hours from the Netherlands and 4 hours from us. Take a look at their site at Domaine la Fontaine
Until next month,