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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moving into the Last Rounds of Planting

One of four crates of tomato plants waiting to be planted.

The garden: it’s all I seem to write about lately, but it really is somewhere where we spend a lot of time.  I planted the potimarron and butternut squash last week and we are moving into the final rounds of planting for the summer.  So far, spring has been pretty cool and that delayed earlier planting, but the tomato plants our neighbor has given us have gotten too big to ignore anymore.  Christophe planted them all this morning and this weekend we will finish with my seedlings and the rest of the garden.  The “rest of the garden” also comes from our neighbor, who grows everything from seed.  Apparently, she has such a green thumb she can make anything grow just by willing it.  Thanks to her, our garden will soon have all different varieties of peppers, zucchini, eggplants, cucumbers, and pumpkins.  All in all, the garden consists of hundreds of plants, a somewhat monstrous undertaking.

In the past, we used to plant everything in one day.  We would wake up early, get the plants from our neighbor, and start right in on the garden.  We worked throughout the day, but we often didn’t finish until after dark and we would drag ourselves back to the house and collapse once inside.  We didn’t do it this way by choice; Christophe used to work in a sawmill far away and returned home late and exhausted; there was no way he could have tackled even part of the plantation on a weekday night.  As for my part, it was my first few years here.  I never had a garden larger than a kitchen table; I was overwhelmed and unsure.  I didn’t want our neighbor’s hard work to go bad just because of me.  Christophe wouldn’t have let me anyway; even though the work is long and exhausting, there is a satisfaction in looking back at a job well done, and he revels in that moment.

We still have that moment, but thanks to a few changes, we’re able to spread it out over a few days.  We’re still dirty and tired at the end of it, but at least we’re enjoying it and the garden better for it.  I know we are.  So, this weekend, we’ll do the very last round of planting for this summer. I don’t know how many plants are awaiting our attention, I imagine a lot, but I’m pretty excited about it and will finally be able to look back at our completed work without squinting my eyes through the twilight.

Christophe planting on the upper terrace.

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