By snailspace

Doomed, I tell you, doomed...

Mr L was up and away at 07:30, on his way to Cognac with Heidi Hymer. I scrapped plans to take Nell for a long walk today when I learned that we were to have temperatures up into the Thirties. However, as I hadn't been out for  a few days I did extend our walk and made the most of the cooler air at that hour. I would say that we were back for breakfast, having tucked 11,000 paces under our belts, but I'm not eating breakfast these days.

I took the camera with us but found nothing to point it at.  Luckily I was saved by my lovely French neighbour, who was out trimming her shrubs on her other neighbour's side of her wall.

We had one of those conversations in which she tells me a great deal and I understand very little but we smiled and we laughed and I commiserated with her over the need to cut her Clematis back. I told her that in English it is a Clematis and asked about the French, which she said was the same. Then she asked if I would like to take one of the prunings in order to strike some cuttings. At least I think that was her meaning...

She went on to tell me, I think, that I should cut it at one of the leaf nodes and put it in the ground and firm it down well. The parent plant had been grown from just such a cutting. Of course, I could be making all of this up and she could have been telling me something very different...

I don't like to tell her that rather than a case of green fingers, I have black thumbs... so I shall do my best and see what  happens. I will not let the fact that I have no soil get in my way - I seem to recall two things about Clematis and the most important is to shade the roots but the second, if  memory is correct, is that they quite enjoy a poor soil?

Our "garden" is largely rubble. An old barn was demolished and our "terrasse" is gravel on top of building rubble. To the rear of the house is grass over cobbles, with some rather ruinous outbuildings. On the road side of what remains of the the garden/barn wall there is sme garden ground that is now strewn with rubble and is full of brambles and nettles.

Sounds awful? It's actually rather charming when taken as a whole. One very strong pnt is that one of the old beams has been partially retained. It looks much like a gallows but is a fine timber, with ivy growing on it. I think it would look pretty fab with the addition of a clematis. (See extras)

Overall, I feel I might be best striking my cuttings in a pot of compost and growing them on a bit rather than trying to root them in stones..

Any gardeners able to advise me?

I am going to spend the remainder of my morning getting to grips with an online language course. We are going to Italy later this year, to Modena. We are dining at Osteria Francescana and I hope, should we actually get to meet Massimo Bottura that I can hold a simple conversation in his native language and do better than I do with my gardening neighbour! I think it might help that I know a great deal more about the culinary arts than I do about horticulture.

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