Sometimes my foodie side gets a bit carried away and I forget that this is actually supposed to be a blog about the garden too! So thanks to Ashley for reminding me to give an update on the veggie plot situation!
Since I posted the garden plot plan, we have managed to get all the seeds sown - carrots, radishes, leeks, swiss chard, beans, peas, beets, and herbs. We also bought some already-started herbs from the organic garden center so that we would have some we could use straight away (apparently rosemary, for instance, takes quite a while to establish when grown from seed). We put them in the plot and they seem to be pretty happy there, with the slight exception of the chives, which have gone a little yellowy. I also planted some marigold seeds in the spaces at the end of the boards, and they are coming up already. The radishes are also the first to make an appearance, and the carrots and beets are just starting to come through too. The savoy cabbage are also really thriving (photo below, compare to when we first put them out).
We also decided to try a row of the tomato seedlings under plastic (this next week is supposed to be pretty chilly), with (bought) basil out with them too. We have tons of tomato seedlings, so if anything goes wrong we have plenty for back-up, but they are already quite huge and need to get out in the ground asap! Hopefully they will do ok out there. We only have one plastic for now though, so we'll stick with those and plant the rest in a week or so, or after les Saints de Glace*.
Meanwhile, the potatoes and strawberries are coming along nicely, with my first bin of potatoes on its second reburial and the second round poking through already. The strawberries are developing flowers, which had me excited about the prospect of my own fruit, until I read Max's post and found out I should be pinching them off so they develop better root structure the first year. Obviously I'm not so hot with delayed gratification either, as I haven't been able to bring myself to do this (maybe in part since this isn't our permanent home/garden, so we'll enjoy the most while we can from it).
* Les saints de glace are three days in May, the 11-13th, that are traditionally cold for some reason (I've heard actually the earth's orbit takes it through a dusty belt that diminishes the sun's rays at this time), and traditional wisdom has it that you wait to plant things out (unless properly covered/protected) until after these dates to be completely safe. Plant out earlier and it is at your own risk. The reason it is called 'saints' is that in France every day of the year is a saint's particular celebration day. The weather people on the TV still announce the saint of the following day, wishing people with the same name a "bonne fête" (while France pretends to have a secular society). It is even traditional to buy family/friends a small present on their saint's day. So the 'saints de glace' are the 'ice saints', and used to be Saint Mamert, Saint Pancrace and Saint Servais, though they have since been replaced by Saints Estelle, Achille and Rolande.