A friend told me that Provence has 25% less water than last year at this time and that they are expecting a drought this summer. Nevertheless, it rained all day yesterday, one of those really nice soft rains and everything looks refreshed and green today. I bought some flowers to plant but the lady who sold them to us told me that it was too early to plant them. I probably should have waited until the middle of May once the days of the Saints of Ice are past-May 11, 12 and 13, but we had such nice sun filled days that I planted them anyway and will now probably be out several nights covering pots with plastic. I have one planting area that I made a couple of years ago that I am just going to cover with gravel. The first time I dug in it, it was full of roots from a nearby huge oak tree. I now know that this is a good sign that plants won’t do well there. I had to water the flowers there every single day and they mainly just sort of sat there, not dying, but very little growth and few flowers. I have three lavender plants there that are still green just sort of blah looking. Always something in the world of gardening.
A friend sent me a link to what turns out to be the caterpillar species that caused me so many problems. Even weeks later I have little itchy bumps on my neck and hands. They are called Pine Processionary Caterpillars. I’ve never seen them myself as I believe they do their little congo line in the winter. Believe me, I will give them and their nests wide berth from now on.
Here are the little buggers traveling in their amazing congo line.
The web/nest that they make. Burn these on site in the tree.