And then it rained, and rained some more…

Having got accustomed to no rain, it’s taking a while to re-adjust to ‘normal’ Brittany weather. It seems to have rained non-stop in my absence. I say that because the garden I left ten days ago is now a sodden, mouldy mess – with grass ankle high and toppling over. Flower buds have balled instead of opening. In fact the garden seems to be almost flower-less, and the tomatoes are engulfed with Blight. Not a single healthy fruit to be found anywhere…

There are collapsed (voled) chard plants dotted around. The bulb fennel transplants from Michel have similarly disappeared. The mache that I sowed either didn’t emerge or got eaten the moment it did. Either way it needs re-sowing, although it’s a bit late now. Cabbage white caterpillars are making lace of various brassicas – and are moving on to the Rocket. Mice have nibbled the beans and slugs have scoffed the lettuce. Not good.

However… here’s where I try to be ‘glass full…’ I gathered the best crop so far of walnuts from the two trees in the garden. I have got back in time for the chestnuts. The mushrooms are still coming – Chanterelles, Boletes, Millers, Deceivers.

I’ve planted about half of the Narcissi I brought back with me – ‘Martinette’ – finally finishing the bankside. Until now it’s been all ‘Tête-à-Tête’ so I’ll actually be able to see how well these come up as they are so markedly different with their orange trumpets. I had to check back on photos that Caro had sent me earlier in the year to see how far my planting had progressed. I’ve also begun hacking back the grass…hopefully there will be some properly dry days soon and walking on the grass won’t be such a problem. I’ve scissored about half the path through the middle o& the garden and will carry on tomorrow.

I’m trying not to sink under the huge list of things that are ‘to do…’ and also to keep in my head all of the ‘improvements’ that I can see need doing… I just hope I have the energy/inclination to carry through. The main thing is that so much has outgrown its allotted space, especially trees! And as a result the garden feels overcrowded, claustrophobic even. Massive pruning/hacking back required. But, of course this is now, at the end of the growing year – I’m always shocked when I look back at the photos and see how empty and sparse the planting seems early in the Spring.

….

And a few days later and the rain still keeps falling… So, a few cheery photos of non-rainy times to boost the spirits!

Blackening Waxcap (Hygrocybe conica). Found at the Gorges du Coronq.

Walnuts and Chestnuts from the garden.

Doyenne du Comice from London, ripening in Balanou.

Down by the stream in Huelgoat Forest.

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