The Answer Lies in the Soil. Or: My Sad Life

Ariège, Gardening

So my life has come to this.  A new plant-bed full of fresh earth, topped off with quantities of unctuous well-rotted manure, and I’m ecstatic.

Herb bed in waiting

That new bed for herbs that we’ve built in the courtyard has been a bit of a problem.  I couldn’t lay my hands on any top soil to fill it.  Then at last, I was in the right place at the right time.  Mireille’s neighbour offered her some. She didn’t want it, but I did, and yesterday, the laden car made two trips down from their out-of-the-way hamlet, la Couronne, stuffed with a dozen or more tubs of rich crumbly red earth.

Manure to gladden the heart

Did I put those tubs away once I’d emptied the soil out?  No. Our manure-providing donkeys are on strike at the moment (they ARE French after all), or rather people have been taking their produce faster than they can deliver.  But Jean-Claude, our new friend from the Andorra trip, has come to the rescue, and just after 8.30 this morning, there I was, shovelling the stuff into those over-worked tubs to pop in the car.

The garden’s sorted, manured, I’ve planted spring bulbs, re-organised the strawberry plants, generally slave-driven myself all morning long.  And do you know?  I’m happy as anything.  Could it have anything to do with the sun, I wonder?  Here we are, October 6th, and I’m in strappy top and shorts while the thermometer reads 23 degrees.

A late passion flower, its petals open for one day only, keeps me company

P.S.  If you don’t know why ‘the answer lies in the soil’, you’re not a British child of the 50’s, and you may need to explore the link.

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