Les poissons en France

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Chain-saw Addiction

We're still at it ... this time it's the tree in the courtyard.
We pruned this tree in our first winter here, so 8 years of growth!  It didn't take long to do the pruning with the help of my trusty supervisor to tell me what to cut off.
But this is the trouble!  Huge quantities of brush to then move and dispose of.
Seriously folks, it will grow again.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Running Amok With A Chainsaw

The weather continues to be amazing. Fourteen degrees C at 10.30 last night and similar when we got up this morning. So we are endeavoring to take advantage of each day to get on with our winter tasks in the garden.
We had decided that we would reduce the box hedge in front of  our neighbours house by about 30cms. This had to be done as early as possible to avoid upsetting the sparrows which nest in it from about February. So yesterday John attacked it with his chainsaw. However he soon came to find me to explain that he didn't think this was such a good idea. Neither of us had thought that the leaves were just on the outside and that as soon as you cut into it it exposed the void inside. Whoops!! We now have a hedge with the corner cut off and it looks dreadful. I quickly pushed the trimmings back into the hole and there was talk of buying a can of green paint to spray them when they died off!!

John now found himself with a day to spare so he set about clearing the suckers from the trees adjacent to our new bank.
 We have not touched these trees since we cleared the area when we first moved in. However by the end of the day he had cleared all the undergrowth and I was confident that the plants I intend to transplant will have a fighting chance of growing. However John had other ideas and by 9 o'clock this morning he was out with his chainsaw lopping much bigger branches.
 It really did need doing but he has weeks of work now clearing the debris.
Undeterred late this afternoon we were surveying the trees in the back garden which need the same treatment.

Apart from my "supervisory role" whilst the trees were being demolished I have been lifting the irises which run beside the box hedge. They too have not been touched for about 5 to 6 years and do not flower because they are so overgrown. No plans for that area this year as we have so many other plans for various parts of the garden.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Further Adventures in the Garden

The weather continues bright and warm without a sign of frost and so work in the garden continues to progress.
The holes were dug along the line of the 'deer' hedge and we have now planted the roses with hopes that a hedge will develop.
Once we'd finished the hedge, the Head Gardener was on a roll and we turned to the vegetable garden and the raspberry canes.
We had to clear the bed of our rocquette which was still growing profusely but digging the holes for the raspberries was a so easy compared to the rose holes!
We have planted summer and autumn raspberries, which of course have to be cared for differently.  We think we remember which are which!
ps To show you how crazy the seasons are this year, we have an Iris in flower.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Don't make Plans

You never know what's going to happen here, so plans get changed all of the time!  Like today!
We're trying to redecorate our bedroom but then the Delivery Van arrived ... 20 hedging roses.
The gardener maintains that, planted where the 'failed' Pyracanthas went, they will deter the deer from entering the garden to eat the flowering roses.  (Won't they just go around the ends of the hedge?)  However I didn't voice my reservations.
As they were delivered bare-rooted they had to have the roots soaked.  It's amazing what you can use a baby bath for!
We were side-tracked by things in the house but then went out to 'heel in' the roses as we will be socialising all weekend.  (It's a hard life being retired).
All just done in time for the evening glass of medicinal red wine .... but it now means that I will have to dig 20 holes in our stoney ground on Monday.  No Parole Board yet!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Short Back and Sides

We have made a list of jobs to do in the garden during the winter (John's not happy unless he has a list). Amongst the outside jobs is prune/annihilate a number of the trees. As the weather was reasonable this afternoon and the plum tree had lost it's leaves we decided to make a start.
Poor little tree we had a bumper crop of plums earlier this year but I fear it will be the last for many a year. John says I have become influenced by the way the French "pollard" their trees. 
Well it hasn't been tidied since the year we moved in.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Putting The Garden to Bed

We have had such a glorious Autumn (reported 28 degree temperatures whist we were in Manchester) that we have been able to finish tidying the garden for winter. We usually run out of time because the weather beats us, but not this year. A number of beds had been virtually abandoned and looked awful, in particular the rose beds and the Iris walk.  However in a couple of days we have transformed them.
Originally we planned to have a line of cherry trees in the front garden, referred to as the cherry walk and John excavated a wide path to boarder the trees. However this was one of the failures; no trees would grow in this area as they were planted virtually on bed rock. So last year we decided to regrass this path and as there was no soil we have turned it into a compost heap for the last eighteen months. Recently John suggested that we could turn it into a bank. Great idea, so I had endless fun working out which plants would thrive there and what we could afford. So, I have decide to plant narcissus bulbs next autumn and transplant a relative of the evening primrose, which is a thug in the serpentine bed but I hope will be perfect on the bank. So in preparation, we made three trips to the recycling centre this afternoon to collect some compost to make a start. 
We will need a lot more trips before next Spring - everything in our garden is big!! But whose fault is that??