Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Out Gardening

While all of France is caught up in the presidential elections, all I'm really concerned about are the goings-on in my garden.

I gathered wild garlic from a field in Salvetat and replanted them in a deep pot, hoping they'll thrive here in the Midi. For a good quarter-hour yesterday, I hand-picked the snails infesting my iris, then drowned the pests in vinegar, their punishment for daring harm the bearded beauties that are blooming so well this season. After much research, I've figured out what plants can survive the poor soil and the heat of where we live, so I've brought in ornamental grasses--Festuca glauca and Carex buchanani--as well as sempervivums and various sedums--acre, spectabile, monregalense, and reflexum. The Pampas grass we dug out of a nearby field and replanted here last autumn is currently testing its new home with a few tentative blades. Roses like sandy soil and lots of sun; they grow well here. So I've taken cuttings from Jeanette's profuse peach variety and pray that it's not too late for them to root. To give them a boost, I soaked the eight-inch long tips in weak tea made from split-open willow twigs. The oleander cuttings have received the same treat.

When I do wash my hands of soil and brush up on current events, I find myself drawn to the colorful first-round losing candidate José Bové, high-school kick-out, defender of sheep farmers, Roquefort cheese-maker, marijuana decriminalization adherent, one-time Rainbow Warrior passenger, organic farming proponent, genetically modified organisms enemy, and, in connection to this last and most famously, a McDonald's dismantler.

On top of all that, I have to admit, I am awfully attracted to his posters decorated with a giant coquelicot, my favorite spring flower.


writerinresidence said...

I just had escargot the other evening and when I read you drowned snails in vinegar, my mouth began to water. But you don't eat those snails, do you?

malatemail said...

lucky you, you know your garden! the only things i'd recognize in a garden are banana and mango trees (oh, and the occasional coconut tree).

apol said...

You can, NOELLE, but were not so crazy about snails. I drown them in vinegar purely to stop them munching my leaves.

Hey, DIANE, I only started recently, but I'm a geek, so I do a lot of reading up. Pati botanical names nililista ko. Har!

Anonymous said...

Hi Apol, I was told by a friend of mine to visit your site and so I did. May I say that reading your entries made me laugh. You made me sigh. You bundled me up in all the emotions I could think of and in your writing you took me to a place (France) that I've never been before. You're a reminder to me to always seize the day.
Now that it's spring, I've raided my garden just like you. Salt is what I use on those darn, pesky slimies. They'll unlatch off the leaves and stems in no time. Also, I heard beer works too. A neighbor had told me that. Place a bowl of it in the middle of your flower bed and soon slugs and snails will dive themselves into the brew. Sounds crazy but it works! Might as well have them die happy I guess :).
Thanks for a wonderful read - rowena

apol said...

Hi, ROWENA. How your note touched me! I'm emotional, yeah, and I don't mean necessarily sad; just that I feel quite intensely, so I guess that communicates in the blog. And, seize the day, of course. Remember my battle cry: GAME!

P.S. I shall try this beer trick, because at the moment they're latching on to my mint and valerian.

haze said...

Do you have a green thumb Apol ? I don't so I guess having a garden will be impossible for me ! I would really like to have a flowery garden but as soon I touches them parang talagang namamatay sila :( !

haze said...

Do you have a green thumb Apol ? I don't so I guess having a garden will be impossible for me ! I would really like to have a flowery garden but as soon I touches them parang talagang namamatay sila :( !

apol said...

Hi, HAZE! I don't think that green thumb thing is true. You just have to do a lot of observing, look at gardens near yours, for example, to figure out what plants thrive there.