26 April 2009

Gray weekend

As so often happens, despite predictions of significant rains, we had hardly a trace of precipitation yesterday. But we had gray, chilly weather, with a high of about 13ºC. That's the mid-50s F.

April, eh? A cruel month. Yesterday we had a fire in the wood burner. This morning I'm going to have to turn the heat back on.

Snow? Hailstones? No, it's apple blossom petals
that the wind has blown off the trees.

Meanwhile, we are watching the plants grow. Cool weather may be slowing them down, but I see that at least some of the plum, peach, and cherry trees have fruit on them. And our radishes are going strong.

Rows of radishes in the garden got a boost
from the past week's warm sunny days.

I'm kind of taking the day off. It's time for me to go out for a walk with Callie. That'll be when the rain starts — while I'm outside. Again, predictions are for significant rain this afternoon, with a chance of thunder and lightening. The temperature is 9ºC — upper 40s F — this morning.


Radishes and chard are the only crops we've planted in the garden so far. Conventional wisdom says it is not a good idea to set cold-sensitive plants out before May 15 here in northern France. That might seem late, but the days are long in May, June, and July, with sunset at 9:00 going on 10:00 p.m. Plants grow really fast.


  1. Hi Ken,
    Your garden looks 'piccobello'. I'm sure it has taken you and Walt a lot of hard work. But the result is fantastic. I hope the weather will cooperate in the coming weeks and months. We've had lovely sunny spring weather all last week. Since yesterday evening however the sky has turned grey and this morning it's raining.

    BTW word verification is 'cheaveri'; that reminds me that it has been impossible to get Selles-sur-Cher goat's cheese in Belgium for the last few weeks. Are the little 'chevraux' drinking all the milk, so that there is none left to make cheese? :)) Martine

  2. I listened to "les grosses tetes" live this morning. I get the jokes and play on words but it also made me realized that I am now more American than French. It is so nice to listen to french music but it is so amazing that you can listen to artists from the 60's and 70's and a second later have the newest bands... It is very eclectic. Interesting facts that kids in the Netherlands are the happiest kids in Europe. France was 15.
    I love your garden, but why not raised beds? Easier on the back, non! Also what I really like about reading yours and Walt's blog is that I think you guys are very happy and it shows through.

  3. Ken, this does not apply to your
    garden photo of today, but reading
    www.menton-daily-photo, I was
    reminded of your pictures of the
    growing wisteria -- take a look at
    what can happen as time goes by!


  4. Hi Martine, I wonder if the goat cheese production is seasonal, with a springtime period when there isn't any. I noticed that our neighbors the Boulands are back selling their good goad cheeses at the markets in Saint-Aignan and Montrichard now. Patience!

    Nadège, bonjour, raised beds would be nice but they are a lot to trouble to build. And fairly expensive. We'd have to have materials delivered, since our little Peugeot 206 is too small for hauling cumbersome or heavy things. We'd have to have tons of soil delivered too. No, we'll just keep amending our soil and hoping for good weather. We had gorgeous, productive seasons in 2004, '05, and '06. 2007 and '08 were not so good. Cross your fingers for 2009.

    Sheila, thanks for those pictures. I wonder how many decades it will take for our wisteria to grow to such a size. We just hope it doesn't get killed by a hard freeze any time soon. I doubt they ever have freezing weather in Menton.


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