This afternoon I removed the landscaping fabric on the middle section that I haven't used yet and began the earth-moving. Admittedly I spent more time sitting around drinking tea and admiring the view - I was frightened! But I've started.
I'm thinking that each 45 degree slope (which will not be for vegetables, but only to form the flattish areas for growing them) will be covered with a long piece of landscaping fabric and that I'll plant lavender through the fabric.
This year I attempted to ignore vegetables (I am a bit of a flower obsessive), but as a vegetarian it was a no-win situation. I missed so much of what I enjoyed in the kitchen last year. And thinking about what to prepare for my dinner tonight was a timely reminder of how important our veg patch is.
With the pumpkins I am eating a lovely Nepalese greens dish (also curried, using kale and broccoli leaves), taken from Oxfam's The World in Your Kitchen. I've found my driving force for earth-moving on those slopes! Even with no effort - and loads of neglect - all of the vegetables in this night's meal have come from the garden.
So much inspiration on the web these days! If you are growing pumpkins, have a look at these suggestions for using pumpkin seeds, courtesy of Garden Betty's 'Diary of a Dirty Girl'.
1. Laying some paving in the poor old Rose Walk . There are no baby box to define the lovely straight path now, and I don't want to carry on the time-consuming task of weeding the path to remove all the annual grasses - and the other things that love to self-sow there. (Docks, are you with me? Your time is up!).
2. Getting rid of all our rubbish. Well, at least it's (almost) in one place after months of toil.
3. Planting out the coloured-stemmed willows. Have you read The Borrowers by Mary Norton? Normally I do a little plan on the computer of where I've put things. Didn't do this with the willows. I've learnt my lesson because the garden 'borrowers' have had two of the labels. Processes of deduction have saved the day - in the picture is Salix alba 'Chermesina Yelverton', but I'm pleased to see that a Salix daphnoides cultivar ('Continental Purple') is also doing well, since I love the subtle grey bloom on the stems of this willow. Willows are a beautiful and interesting choice for an area that is occasionally flooded.
The currants are important because I eat a lot of muesli and they are a delicious fresh addition to a dried cereal. They also contribute to a traditional apero (pre-dinner drink) in this part of France: a white Burgundy wine (usually Aligote) with a smidgeon of crème de cassis added (made from blackcurrants). You can tell my taste buds have been driving me wild today.