Saturday, May 10, 2008

April - water water everywhere

All throughout April it has rained. And to make matters worse the rain was accompanied by a persistent and irritating southwest wind - rather like the mistral in France - which they call the libeccio. We even had a late frost which caused great damage because the plants had already started to put on soft new growth and so there is a yawning gap in one of the flower beds.
So planting was much delayed because the ground was too sticky to walk on never mind dig. Nonetheless the plants carried on bravely and all except the early bulbs (which were dashed to the ground) seemed to have appreciated their first decent watering this year.
The pomegranate burst into red leaf and wild flowers abounded in the olive grove. The earliest of the roses - banksiae lutea - became a torrent of yellow. Ground cover plants such as winter savory and saponaria became a carpet of purple and pink flowers. Iris arrived in waves: first the pale coloured dutch bulb irises followed by darker shades then the rhizome iris germanica. In the orto there was a late showing of leeks and the broad beans have set, with the first few pods ready at the end of the month. But the continual cycles of warmth, wet and wind have made the winter endives and beet run to seed before I had the chance to harvest them. I have sown a few beetroot and radish seed on a day when it was not so windy as to blow the seeds away and stood on the path to dig the rows.

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