Les poissons en France

Sunday, October 28, 2018


No just two old fools on a mission.

We were anxious to move on with the ex-box hedge project. There is really no pressure to complete it other than we want the job finished. We have found the final plants on line and plan to collect them in December when we are in the UK. Unfortunately the weather has changed from perfect gardening weather (mid twenties) to absolutely freezing over night. The fools were not deterred however, we found our thermal vests and three winter jumpers and the Michelin men started to dig up cat mint (nepeta) from other areas of the garden to plant in this bed. The idea is that it will spread to cover the soil and require virtually no maintenance but at the same time be covered in flowers all summer. That is the idea!!

All this clearing up in the garden has prompted us to set up the porcherie as a studio for BOTH of us to work in during the winter. We don't plan to waste a minute. Well that is the idea!!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Grow you B------, grow

Another busy day, making the most of sunshine and dry weather.
I planted more Hypericum acquired from friend's garden (as per the last lot which has grown so well.)
These were then mulched with compost from the local recycling centre (free).
So we now await the prolonged spell of wet weather which is forecast to start tomorrow morning so that the Hypericum and also the grass seed will start to grow.
The strip of soil between the Hypericum Bank and the extended lawn will be planted up in due course!

Whilst I was expending my energies on completing this facelift, Sue has been clearing, cutting back and dividing plants in the Serpentine beds and today she planted 150 Ranunculus (Persian Buttercups).

Thursday, October 25, 2018

In and Out

Yesterday seemed an opportune moment for working on the new 'Exotic Garden' in the old ruin.   We wanted to create raised beds for this new feature and I had found a good beam to use.  The only problem was that it was rather heavy ... in fact too heavy.  So I cut it in two, cleaned it up and then began the struggle to put it in place.
I was able to move the first half (just) with the sack-barrow.
Fortunately I was going downhill ...
then I could spin it round ...
ready to see how I could get it in to position ...
and of course, the Egyptian method !
I was able to roll the beam over some poles ...
before inching it in to place ...

at which point the Head Gardener declared that she didn't like it!

So, on to plan B (whatever that is) and the beam came out this morning.

All good cardio-vascular exercise !!!!

Friday, October 19, 2018

The End of Summer?

Our neighbours are packing up to go back to Paris for the winter and, as a 'thank you' for their help in looking after Cleo when we went away, we took then to the catering college in Souillac for a meal last night.
(Click on the photos to see a larger view of the menu)

It was a special meal around fish; a starter of a bisque of langoustines followed by a medallion of lobster in a vanilla vinaigrette.  That makes it sound too simple, the sauce/broth was out of this world. Who would ever think of marrying lobster with vanilla, but it worked. After the initial bisque we were invited to choose our preferred fish for the main course from the fresh display on the 'fisherman's stall'; tuna, sole, bream or sea bass. John and I could not resist the metre long loin of tuna. The meal was finished with a dessert showing an array of pastry skills.  Everything about the evening was extremely good and was a fitting way to say goodbye to summer.

Meanwhile, back home, work on the replacement for the Box hedge is continuing ...
... and Sue is plodding on with cutting back, dividing and moving plants in the Serpentine bed.
The weather will eventually change but the sun and temperatures in the mid twenties continue!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Clearance continues

The work on the 'old' hedge is progressing (around our normal socialising!).  I've cleared the stones edging the path, raked and moved off the gravel on it and now I've been cutting down the 'stumps' to remove any evidence of the box which formed the hedge.
 Some of the trunks were massive as Nadine says the hedge has always been there (so at least 70 years old!).  As you can see the box is starting to regrow.  It was attacked by the Box Caterpillar which eats the leaves, so there's every likelihood that the same thing will happen again next year, but even if it escapes this pest, we don't have enough time to wait for it to became a proper hedge again!!!

PS What did we do before chainsaws?

Monday, October 08, 2018

One thing leads to another.

Work on the removal and replacement of the box hedge is progressing.  However, the Garden Architect has decreed that the path which ran alongside it has to come out, and this has meant taking up the stone edging which we put in some 10 years ago.
I don't know what we were thinking but we could have built a wall on the bed of concrete under the stones!!!  Once I've removed the rubble I will cut off the remaining stumps level with the ground and then prepare the 'path' for seeding with grass.
I'm told that the planting scheme is still under review.

Meanwhile the Winter Pansies have gone in.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Just nipping to the shops

We only went for  a little saucer to go under a pot !!!!
 Look what Sue found in the cheapy dead and dying section ... prices ranging fro 1 to 3 euros.  She was like a kid in a sweet shop!

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Guy and Lucy

We were delighted on Tuesday when Guy (our son) and Lucy (his Taiwanese girlfriend) Skyped to tell us that they had got engaged. Guy had arranged a trip to Hong Kong for Lucy's birthday which coincided with a rock festival/party which went on for days. Guy wanted the DJ to announce the engagement, but he said "sorry mate, there's already 7 in front of you"!! It must have been quite a "Love In"!