A few pictures of the outcome of some recent "work":
- Some pots added near the canopy's pillars:
- Another pot hanging from the garden shed's roof (OK, I've been lazy, I bought this one already prepared):
- Window boxes on the front balcony:
I know, I'll have to install sticks to support the peas and for the tomatoes, and I also need to earth up the potatoes
Given the garden's layout, we felt like the best place to start a small vegetable garden (just, you know, to "have fun") was left of the canopy, between the house and the shed. The only problem with that idea was that, well... it was a rather crowded place.
The future vegetable garden is both under and behind the thuja (or cypress, or... well, ugly conifers, whatever they are) hedge...
Behind the hedge, it's definitely not any better : a huge gas tank (which will be "disappeared" as we get the house connected to the town's gas service) and, under it, a similarly huge concrete slap... covered with ivy...
To be a masochist or not, that is the question, I suppose... And on that point we're definitely in the "Spank me I love it" club.
So, July 2010: the tank must go. And that implies removing at least some part of the hedge. So lil' Julie gets her saw and her little arms and removes 3 of the thuja (yes, yes, with a saw).
Here's the result:
And without the tank :
Fortunately for my little arms, onto which the ugly conifers caused a bit of an allergic reaction (not to mention cuts and bruises), the in-laws came to the rescue with highly technological artefacts (well, a chainsaw and a trailer truck) in August.
And after quite a few sledgehammer- and pickaxe-related events...
... and many trips to the waste collection centre ...
...and "Chainsaw massacre" operations...
... we finally managed to clear the area near the end of the summer:
This Spring we're preparing the land in order to plant a few vegetables.
We should plant some potatoes this week-end. I'm also considering sowing carrots and beans. Courgettes and tomatoes that were sown earlier are looking mostly decent and will join the rest in May...
Because the ground is really clayey, we're not expecting much from the vegetables this year: it's bloody hard to break the clods! But... we'll see: if I end up eating a single courgette, a lone tomato and 3 potatoes, I'll be happy anyway Besides it can only improve with time, given the amount of organic waste and compost we're throwing around everywhere
Some will notice the presence of 3 hydrangeas and 2 forsythias in the area we were working on; some of them aren't dead! After quite a while in a pot, the hydrangeas found a new home in a clump above the water tank. As for the forsythias, well... I hope they rest in peace: given their size it was quite impossible to move them. In addition, there were others at the front of the house and I don't have a forsythia-related obsession. However, one of their "babies" is currently in a jardinière, waiting to be moved to a more permanent location...
Starter for Julie's birthday.
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 rather big aubergine
- pine nuts et pistachios
- 2 shallots
- some basil
- quite a lot of olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 210°C.
- Slice the aubergine (slices should be about 5mm thick), add salt and pepper, and pour some olive oil. Put them in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Put the tomatoes into boiling water for about 20 seconds, cool them with water, then peel them and dice them.
- Put about 40mL of olive oil into a frying pan, add the tomato dices, sliced shallots, fine-cut basil, pine nuts and pistachios. Cook until you obtain some sort of paste (10 minutes, give or take). WARNING: near the end of the process, there's a high risk of projections!
- Use the aubergine slices from (1) interleaved with a tea spoon of paste (4) to create the mille-feuilles. With the ingredients above, it's usually possible to make 4 mille-feuilles with 4 slices of aubergine each.
- Leave it for a while then store it in the fridge.
Pour a tea spoon of olive oil on each mille-feuille just before serving.