Sitting down for a well deserved cup of tea. After five weeks in hospital over Christmas and New Year, and a couple of weeks of fiddling around the Domaine repairing the damage the wild boar have done, finally I have restarted work on the plants. Being able to work in a T Shirt with a wonderful view of a snow covered Canagou probably helps.
Caroline was up before me and kindly labelled all the Moroccan Mints (Mentha spicata var. crispa) which I had separated out yesterday, as well as sowing 65 pots of parsley who’s seeds she had soaked for a good 24 hours before hand. The Moroccan mints are truly incredible, a variety of Spear Mint with such a powerful aroma, makes a fantastic tea, great for adding to salads, mixing in with fruit salad. A client from the Perpignan market brought me back some cuttings from an organic farm her brother runs in Algeria .
Finally I got round to digging out the Aquatic Mint barrel, killing all the horrible moth larva, cutworms I think, that infests all the barrels and replacing it with Chocolate Mint (Mentha × piperita ‘Chocolate Mint’) to create a mother plant for the years to come. What on earth possessed me to buy an aquatic mint in the first place eludes me, they are wonderful if you have a stream running at the bottom of the garden, or a pond, half way up a mountain in the south of France is however a less than optimal location.
The French Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa ) is way ahead of schedule, so I lifted out the smaller of the mother plants and separated out 35 side shoots- if we don’t get a late winter they should rapidly flourish. I did however pop them into small pots, so if no hard frosts arrive then they will have to be repotted in April/May.
I may be completely wrong but I have a suspicious feeling that Winter isn’t finished with us yet, usually she waits until the Pyrenees ski stations close, after Easter, and then dumps a load of snow.
After the devastation caused by the wild boar all around our garden I finally took a deep breath and rebuilt the wall of the last years tomato patch. I clipped back and replanted the Loch Ness blackberries that the pigs had dug up, hopefully saving them. In front of them I put I a line of rosemary, then sage and in the front marjoram oregano, if all goes to plan and they are not dug up again they will be great from cutting and drying by the end of summer- although I do find that Rosemary takes at least two years to get its roots down before it starts growing noticeably above ground, I think I will clip their heads off and see if that encourages side growth earlier. Now onto the rest of the garden that has been dug up.