The idea of beginning a garden from zero means that initially your design is all that is there. The garden exists in your head, but when it rains, all there is is mud. Then when it’s sunny, the mud dries and cakes up where you’ve stepped when it was muddy.
But the vision of the garden-to-be hangs in the air, in the soil, inside the seeds, on the piece of muddy paper under the rock you’re using as a guide to remember why you’re sweating and rubbing blisters into your hands. This is gardening.
This week we managed to create a triangle out of grass seed, being eyed and cawed at all the while by a huge crow sitting in the nearby oak tree. We thought it safe to plant CDs on strings over the path as a shiny bluff into the air at him, though I’m not ever sure crows eat grass seed, though I know from experience that blue tits and sparrows do and they are never far. Little midges and wasps found us as well as a white butterfly, as a sign of good weather (« papillon blanc signe de beaux temps »).
We also managed to get radishes, white onions, batavia lettuce, parsley, strawberry shoots and a tiny abused sorrel plant in on the warmest of September days.
Fortunately, the construction site next door has huge dumpsters full of wood we pilfered and set down to walk between rows and eventually to make a composter out of. This weeks’ design project also gave us a pile of string, tarps and dried bamboo poles for stakes.