Legends from our own lunchtimes

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Victims of a Natural Disaster
Bignicourt-sur-Saulx to Chalons-en-Champagne

One way of instantly telling a "proper" live aboard boat from all the rest, is by the quantity and quality of potted plants growing aboard.  Even as I sit in the Port at Chalons-en-Champagne typing this, the small barge moored beside us has every herb known to man growing in pots on it's deck, some green vegetable that could be bok-choi (or maybe just odd shaped lettuce) and two whole rows of nasturtiums neatly setting off the front cabin.

We of course long to be "proper" but have been well and truly foiled by any half hearted attempt we have made thus far to grow stuff.   Our offerings last year began well enough; a clump of basil and some rosemary and thyne offset at each end of the self watering planter with some marigolds.   Maybe we aren't cut out for growing things in pots, or perhaps it was our frugality that was our undoing, having bought less than premium stock, offset with the clever use of some random bits of dirt which came from the ground somewhere in our travels.

Oh we ended up with a fine looking garden for a couple of months, because before returning home Sunny bequeathed us her geraniums and basil which she had loved and cared for for most of spring and half of summer, handing it to us in its prime.

This year was to be different.   We paid money for proper dirt, bought parsley and basil and chives for our planter as we passed Nancy a week ago, lovingly planted it as we rested in Toul, nurtured it all through all those other places, through the tunnel, and we finally had what looked like something, given time, we could be proud of.

Then, just as everything was starting to reach for the sky, (I'd tip pruned the basil, plucked some undesirable parsley, and combed the chives every day after making sure it was fed, )a black cloud rolled over Bignicourt-sur-Saulx.

In that black cloud was hail.  Crop flattening, basil killing, parsley destroying, chive chomping hail.  We farmers are a hardy lot, but it may take a bit to bounce back from this.

Hopefully, Sunny will see this, feel sorry for us and eventually track us down with another "proper" garden in hand!


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