Quiet Gardening ONLY Please!

After the canicule which wiped us out last week, we heaved a sigh of relief when last Sunday morning the temperature fell to 24 degrees in the shade. I woke up, sniffed the air and immediately got my old trousers on, garden clogs and got the lawn mower out! The grass had grown a lot and had lots of bright yellow flowers sticking up which tickled the backs of my legs whenever I walked in the garden! Very pretty but somewhat annoying.

I mowed and mowed, and it looked much better. I wasn't dripping with sweat either! I was just emptying out the grass clippings and pulled the mower to re start it and thought this doesn't feel right. I pushed the self propelled mower (not self propelling!) up the garden and found Martin doing his mot fleches (cross word) in the shade.

It won't push itself forward I said, I can't do the front grass, am now too hot and its harder work. Let me look he said. Oh a cable has snapped. OH. That put paid to any more mowing for me, The time was approaching midday by this point, and the law here is no noise after midday on a Sunday. Noise like mowing, strimming, sanding... all those renovating jobs and gardening jobs which sometimes need doing on a Sunday! Between 10 and 12 is allowed. At 11.50am my neighbour Yvette was lurking in her garden the Sunday before as I was sanding down the old garden table! Yes, I will be finishing before 12 I shouted!

I understand the law and it makes sense. Sunday, if not religious in a huge way any longer, is a family day. The few shops which are open in the morning pull their shutters closed at 12.30 latest and that is it. Families get together for the french national pass-time - eating and drinking! As we don't have family here, we either carry on with quiet tasks, then pop to a local market or vide grenier, or just laze about in the cool as we did last Sunday.

There is a nice spot by the river Loire we love to go to and take the dogs, well a selection of them who like the water, and there its quite normal to see about 20 people arranging wall paper pasting tables or picnic tables into a long line, under the trees. The women will be sorting out food and drinks from big cool boxes, and putting out aperos for everyone before embarking on a 3-5 course lunch! Imagine organising all of that food! I imagine there must be a ring around mid week to confirm who is bringing what!

My potager (veg garden) has taken a lot of watering, and we have almost ran out of harvested water. Last year most of my neighbours vegetables died in the heat as they couldn't get enough water to it. I'll be switching to tap water soon, and fortunately we are not on a restriction.. yet. I have cut back a lot this year on garden tubs with plants in. Yes they are pretty but boy do they need a lot of watering to keep alive, Nothing worse than crispy dead plants. So I have some pots and window boxes with geraniums, but not much else to worry about in the evening for watering.

I'm not sure if I told you the spa pump has gone wrong? Well after doing the back flush, full flush and god knows what else, having taken lessons off the BestWay website and U Tube and trying to catch the water... its still kaput. I ordered (off Amazon UK) a replacement pump, and the delivery date was set between 12 and 21 July. Hmm I thought I imagine that's the worst case scenario.

I was right, I placed the order on Sunday evening, and on Wednesday morning Le Facteur was arriving in his yellow van with an enormous box containing our new pump! Such a good Amazon seller, I left him a 5 stars review.

So now, we have to find out if we need to empty the spa to take off the old pump, and attach new one, or whether we just pop on the caps inside it and all will be well? I have tried my usual U tube to no avail. Thankfully, the sun is warming the water so we are suddenly solar powered. The air jets still work and I have been able to immerse myself in the bubbles and relax. As changing to the new pump is hopefully a quiet job, I have pencilled in Sunday to sort it out!

I got up yesterday morning raring to go, not sure why! My wrist is not good though, so typing is tricky, gardening is a one handed affair and washing up things is not good either! Before it got too hot out there I decided to tackle the east facing border (as I call it, like its a stately home here!) and take out some unwieldy plants which were very untidy. My Mum says my borders are over full... I don't like too many gaps as the bindweed just takes over! I took out some bits and cut back others and then the lovely pretty honeysuckle decided to come unattached from its fence and flopped everywhere. So that needs re tying in, but what it did uncover was a part of the wall I hadn't managed to reach in the spring time when I painted the rest of the wall! So a little left handed painting and then the sun was too hot and it was time for French class at 11am anyway.

Do you find one small job leads to at least 5 others!? I do!

More soon, A bientot, Clare X

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