Sweet pea preparations (451)
by Max Akroyd
I saw a feature on the weather recently which suggested that the jet stream has slipped considerably southwards this winter meaning the Mediterranean is getting a dose of English weather. I deduce from this – probably quite wrongly – that we’re experiencing a Scottish March. Pleasant enough in the sun but enough to turn your brassicas purple if you’re in the wind. It’s keeping the annual weeds and slugs in abeyance but it’s all a bit samey and sterile by the standards of a normal Breton March.
Although the forecast is the same for days ahead, I’m convinced that things will take off rapidly once we get a bit of rain. So I’m continuing preparations as if the withering wind didn’t have me reaching for a deep-fried Mars bar. Hiding in the shelter of a barn are my ranks of sweet peas sown in October last year. They’ll have to go out soon, not least because I need their pots for sowing cucumbers and courgettes.
The majority of the sweet peas will go in a long row in the area we call the Allotment. But I’ve been wanting to create a small area at the heart of the garden which will be an uncouth riot of insect-attracting flowers. To this end I’ve started digging two new trenches above the perennial beds to accommodate about 30 sweet pea plants:
It’s been a pleasant change to get on with something completely unrelated to pigs and only remotely related to becoming self-sufficient.
This is the area after my day’s labour:
I dug over the foreground bit and sowed some phacelia therein to add to the bee attracting prowess of the place. I dug over the area behind the canes in readiness for sowing some wild flower seeds when the wind dies down a bit. There was just time for a bit of strimming before my meeting with a glass of 3€ Côte du Rhône!
Tomorrow will see an end to this floral foray and a return to veggies and pigs.