25 June 2012

Please send heat

We're not freezing or anything like that. We are getting slightly mildewed, but with the Kärcher power-washer we can clean that off. It's raining again this morning and today's high temperature is supposed to be a less-than-scorching 72ºF — 22ºC. Au secours ! The French word for this kind of weather is maussade — grim.

Lettuce is still our best bet for 2012, garden-wise.

It's not so much our own persons that I'm worried about. We'll survive. I'm sure Callie is happy with this weather, even though you couldn't call it "dog days." Bertie seems to be doing fine, even though he's not crazy about going out hunting in the rain. It's supposed to rain here all day again today.

Tomato plants waiting to spring into action

Enough moaning. We just had three days in a row of no rain. Never mind that we were either either gray skies or being buffeted by gusty winds during all that time. The wind wasn't strong enough to damage plants in the garden, or trees, but the sun wasn't sufficiently bright and hot to encourage anything to grow much either.

The state of the vegetable garden in late June — still
much potential but not much punch yet.

The three dry days let us get the grass cut another time. I also gave us time to till up another garden plot and finally plant some squash, both summer and winter varieties. I guess it's good news that the repaired-and-serviced rototiller is running smoothly and doing its job. Planting summer squash this year is an act of great faith and optimism. Sometimes I feel like I'm back in San Francisco. The weather is that bad. The winter squash will surely do just fine.

A long row of peppers and eggplants, just biding their time

Blackberry brambles and "escaped" grapevines are threatening to pull down our fence and take over the yard. Ivy grows up tree trunks all around us. I spent a couple of hours out there yesterday with pruning shears (a.k.a. a secateur) cutting back what I could cut back, and getting scratches and puncture wounds from thorns on my arms and the backs of my hands.

Some cherries, at least

In my plundering and plodding, I discovered flowers that I hadn't yet noticed, and I can report two pieces of good news: the cherry tree out behind the garden shed has quite a few cherries on it, and one of the four apple trees actually has some small apples growing on it. And here I was thinking we wouldn't get any apples or cherries at all this year. By the way, the little pear tree has hundreds of pears on it.

A cactus flower, shyly

There's also been just enough sun and warmth for the cactus that CHM gave us years ago to produce a couple of yellow flowers. It's planted against a south-facing wall. The flowers only open up fully when the sun is bright and hot, and we are still expecting that to happen one day. Meantime, flowers there are.


  1. J'adore la photo du champ avec les coquelicots ! Je veux en faire une comme ça, lol !

    Over here, it was sunny on Saturday, we could have a nice apéritif (made of rosé wine, lime, slices of peaches, and, after soaking for one night, some grapefruit syrup and... whisky) on my friends' terrace in Sainte-Marguerite-sur-Duclair. They have just moved into a sweet "chaumière"/thatched cottage in the countryside :-) It rained throughout yesterday but improved in the evening when we went to the picture (my friends and I went and saw "Adieu Berthe..." which is excellent) but is sunny today, ouf/phew ! But it is not very warm...

  2. Just read a blog from Tarn-
    et-Garonne. Blue skies and
    getting hot (all weekend)
    down there. Maybe it will
    head your way.

    In New England we always
    started cukes and squash
    in little peat pots. These
    can then be transplanted
    directly without disturbing
    roots when weather heats up.
    Sometimes they''d have two
    or more true leaves before
    they went in the ground.

  3. Do your records show a previous Saint-Aignan summer with this kind of weather? How did the garden grow that year?

  4. Judy, 2007 was the worst. It rained all through June, July, and August. Weeds completely took over the garden and there wasn't much we could do about it. Then September turned hot and sunny, for three weeks, and that saved the grape harvest. But the tomatoes and other garden vegetables were ruined.

    Sheila, there are several climate zones in France. Ours isn't the rainiest, but we are no. 2.

    Hi MJ, yes, the weather reported rain in the north yesterday but sun today. Unfortunately, the rain moved down to the Loire Valley. The cocktail sounds good. Duclair is a pretty place and your friends must be close by.

  5. We've been getting the edge of a tropical storm for the past week and a half. Lots of rain and wind, but nothing serious.

  6. Great to have a tour around your garden.

    Weather here in the UK has been awful of late - well actually, since the end of March!

    Still, today is the start of Wimbledon and the sun is shining.

    Can it last? I hope so...

  7. Reporting from sunny Half Moon Bay (about 25 miles down the coast from San Francisco)... yes, sunny! We've had gorgeous weather and we actually have wee tomatoes on our plants. A summer miracle here in our cool-summer clime... happy dance!

  8. hot and DRY... we're dyin from lack of rain... normally we'd have heat and humidity and plenty of storms. the last couple of weather fronts couldnt even make rain... it evaporated before it got to the ground. so this is odd.

    i guess the upside for you is that you could plant more broccoli and greens? kale would do very well. off to move the sprinkler.. again....

  9. Bon, je vois que votre jardin n'est pas plus en avance que le mien (à Dijon). Cette année, il ne faut guère compter sur des tomates en juillet :-\.

  10. Bonjour Olivier, je suis d'accord. Peut-être qu'on aura des tomates en août ou en septembre. Cette année me fait penser à l'été 2007. Médiocre, autrement dit.


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