Friday, 26 April 2013

Corfu: the garden isle

There is a metallic trundling sound coming down our driveway.

It is Elias, who has arrived to rotovate a patch of our garden. With all the clearing done and the end of bonfires before May begins, we are ready to cultivate.

The previous day, we had asked tentatively if he would be able to do it for us after we spotted him clearing the ground beneath his vines. He is in like a shot and will not take any money for doing it. He has about four words of English: 'good', 'very good' and 'coffee' so, at the end of his session with the Merry Tiller he says all four.
After coffee on the terrace, where the Sicilian sweet peas I planted a fortnight ago are romping heavenwards to meet the vine emerging overhead, we stroll up to the kafenion and mini-market and take our pick from all the plants outside, at fifty or sixty cents a pot.
We have watermelon and canteloupe to put in, courgette, three varieties of pepper, white aubergine and black aubergine, red and green basil, cucumber and two types of tomato.

The pattern of the day has changed, now that the sun is out and temperatures are hitting 26.5 degrees centigrade at ten thirty in the morning. The warm evenings are ideal for planting and there is a real sense of anticipation in the air and in the ground. So the card players don't come to the kafenion until later in the evening. So many of them have taken to the land to prepare it for planting.

There is also a sense of anticipation in our house. Our first visitors from Lush Places, Mr and Mrs Champagne-Charlie and the lovely Mrs Bancroft, arrive next week, just in time for Easter and the blooming of our prolific mock orange blossom.

Crisp white sheets dry on the washing line in a beautiful warm breeze, while pillows and duvets air on the upstairs balcony. The second half of our year is almost here, with at least six lots of visitors lined up over the next couple of months.

And in exchange for the free session with Mr Rotovator, we let him climb up into our palm tree, where angels fear to tread, to cut the young fronds and extract the white shoots to make the crosses for Palm Sunday this weekend.
That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Wish we were some of the visitors!!

  2. I just had a note from my sister, in response to my 'happy birthday' message - she was on Corfu yesterday and now to the middle east.
    I am positive that rototilling on Corfu is much for glamorous than rototilling at home!

    1. I wonder if she enjoyed her fleeting visit? The best thing about having our own Mr Rotovator is sitting in the shade and watching.


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