Les poissons en France

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"For Every Season ..."

Well, summer is officially gone because the Head Gardener has turned her mind to the future and we have started Campaign '14.
We were shopping yesterday when Sue spied pansies on offer, buy 2 get one free ... and although it's early, you have to grab them when you can!  There was only a slight complication in the supermarket carpark when she blocked access to the shopping trollies whilst choosing her 90 colour-coordinated plants.  Then there was the problem of loading them and 4 bags of compost into the little Clio before going to do an enormous shop (we have guests coming next week!)  But, of course I rose to the occassion.
I hope we don't see too many more 'bargains'.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rain Stops Play.

The weather has been unseasonally cold and wet for about the last week and it has restricted the gardener!  Therefore, so as not to waste the time, and to be prepared for next year's campaign, the little porcherie opposite the house has been turned into the organisational centre for Campaign '14 (aka potting shed).

As you can see, it's one happy, sunny gardener and she's already pricking out and talking about over-wintering Geraniums etc. etc......
Meantime, the lonely artist has had to move out of his garret and is now, again, ensconced in a corner of the porcherie/potting shed.
This little attractive, bijou studio comes complete with floodlighting and excercise bike and even provision for heating. It's just a shame there's no room for a bed!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Patrimoine Weekend

You may not realise but this is European Patrimoine Weekend, loosely translated as Heritage Weekend. We had never heard of it when we lived in the UK but things may have changed in seven years. It is a really big thing here in France where lots of obscure buildings etc. are open to the public which are normally closed. We believe that if you receive any sort of grant from the Government towards your renovation project etc. you have to open to the public, I suppose on the principle that the public has paid towards it.

Having scoured the paper to see what appealed to us, we decided on visiting two art exhibitions in the extreme North East of the Lot. It is a very pretty rural area that we have not visited for some years. Thanks to the GPS we found the first one in Sousceyrac, truely "the back of beyond". Well it wasn't quite what we expected!! More a display of local peoples' diverse hobbies, from paleontology to making furniture out of cardboard. However we had indepth discussions about local fossils (we can now speak authoritively - in French - about ammonites) with three really charming people.

We then went to St. Cere. It is a well known tourist centre which we have never explored and rather dismissed in the past. It turned out to be an attractive medieval town although much of it it was masked by the "fair" which was in town for the Fete weekend.

 The second art exhibition was housed in a beautifully restored medieval building and the artwork was definitely our style. John came away with lots of ideas but seemingly not a lot of time to try them out.
John took photos of the paintings for inspiration and I took photos of the municipal flowers for next years "floral displays"!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Late Summer Garden

It's time to bore you again with pictures of the garden. It has suddenly become autumnal, a big shock when the temperatures drop 15 degrees. However, the garden moves on to its late summer phase and I think it looks nice this year.
This last photo shows my Indian Lilac.  I have waited five years for it to flower although local towns are smothered in it at this time of year. Now it knows how to do it lets hope it remembers!! The rest of the pink haze comes from Japanese Anemones. I have threatened to pull them up many times as they spread too much, but they have won a reprieve as they are making a lovely show at present.
Notice the geraniums in the background. Eureka! Those plugs are flowering at last. As they have required so much attention this year I hope to be able to keep them through the winter but that depends on my keeping a very close eye on the weather forecast - which is often wrong.
Meanwhile John's veg patch has finally swung in to full production.
Whilst I was wandering around in "David Bailey" mode some real work was going on!!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Fame at Last

We were quietly cooking in the kitchen, listening to  Postbag edition of Gardener's Question Time (GQT) on the iPlayer when all of a sudden, we heard 'Sue Herring has written in...'.  We were so thrilled that Sue has finally made the national radio that we wanted to share it with you all!  So, if you listen to the Postbag Edition first broadcast on the 6th September 2013 and, at approximately 33 minutes into the programme, you'll hear sue mentioned!!!!
For a signed photo of our garden, just send a self-addressed stamped envelope to ......

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Here, There, and .....

A bit here..... in the garden.  I'm trying to give Sue a couple of hours a day in the garden so that we can arrive at Spring on top of the weeding, splitting up etc, etc, and be able to start the new campaign ahead of the game!  So .... I took it upon myself to clear the Christo bed of 2 years of weeds.
Most of what was on the mound was dead and so it wasn't a major job.  All that is left alive are 2 buddleias and some blue/green grasses ... over to you, head gardener!
And a bit there ...as you know I'm jointing up the tops of the front walls of the house prior to fitting guttering, but, as the legs are weary, and it's back to temperatures in the 30's, I'm trying (again) to sort out our front door.  You will remember that David and I made a new door back in May.  However .... due to crap materials ...
...the door has split and warped.  At this point I can tell you the story of the 3 Doors.  The first door was made and fitted but became very poorly.  The second door was bought.  We went to buy a similar door to that which we made but, unfortunately, I was seduced by an 'exterior' door with 3 glass panels.  Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to 'modify' the door, largely on account of the plasterwork of the wall above the entrance.  So, if anyone is interested in a slightly modified front door ....
We are now on door number 3, the door I should have bought in the first place! Yet, even here, some work is still required; a 90 cm wide door turns out to be 88cm i.e. 'nominally 90cm'.
But wouldn't life be boring if everything was straight forward!!!