WE’RE quite partial to a glass of vino in our house. It’s nice to open a bottle of wine and have a copa after we’ve got the Gidg in bed. Now the weather is improving we can move outside and sit in our garden and look out over the view of the S’Arraco hills and watch them turning from green to pink to blue as the sun sets.
We prefer to look out of the garden rather than at the garden, because it’s a disaster zone. Our garden is a source of constant frustration that we haven’t had the time or the money to crack on with it and make a nice place to be in for ourselves and our little girl. We’re not short of a few friends who are builders and landscape gardeners, but everyone is always so busy it’s difficult to know how we’re ever going to start, let alone finish, the work we want to do.
What makes it even more frustrating is that the garden has potential: it has an orange tree which bears fruit (although we’d probably make more use of a lemon tree to flavour up the G & Ts). And we have the makings of a bodega, if we could just figure out how to get the vine from the ‘making leaves’ to ‘making grapes’ stage without the plant being attacked by evil black beetles. That is why my husband decided to go on a mission to the local garden centre, and returned with a bag of sulphur.
‘What are you going to do with that?’ I asked, ‘isn’t sulphur dangerous?’ ‘I am going to puff the sulphur over the top of the leaves to kill the beetles,’ he announced confidently. My raised eyebrows said it all. I should explain at this point, that although my husband is tall, he’s not taller than the vine which must roam up to ten feet off the ground on a support. And along with having no time or money, we also never have the right tools for the job, which means that every teaspoon and butter knife has been used at some point to unscrew a screw or lever open something electrical.
His first, ambitious plan was to fill balloons with sulphur and then pop them with a sharp (kitchen, of course) implement above the vine, thus sprinkling sulphur all over the plant. This was deemed impossible without the use of helium, or Heath Robinson. Back to the drawing board, and another copa de vino, to help the brain tick.
After an inspirational copa, he put plan B into action. Armed with an empty five litre water bottle, a bit of wire, a bendy pole, a steely determination, and a wobbly ladder, he successfully deposited sulphur all over the leaves (and himself). That should show those pesky beetles. Who needs Alan Titchmarsh anyway? Bodega McLeod is on its way.
By Vicki McLeod