We are here at the French house on a two-week visit, one week either side of Easter weekend, a special and precious time together. I’m still recuperating after a very intensive working period, and R is partly working and partly having a few days of holiday.
Our gardener has been here several times during our visit, making a flight of steps down into the new exotic garden, we’ve had a meeting with our project manager about the current phase of works, we’ve given three coats of paint to the two new rooms built in the barn (shower room/loo and pool room), we’ve retrieved the contents of the barn from our neighbours who were so kindly storing them for us while the barn was insecure as the new doors and windows were being fitted, we’ve sung in an Easter morning service, we’ve visited garden centres, we’ve taken delivery of a number of plants from Promesse de Fleurs and brought a car load of other plants from the UK (and now planted most of them) some of which I divided and potted up from our own tiny Sussex garden and some of which we bought from Crug Farm Plants, Barracott Plants, Crocus.co.uk, and Burncoose Nurseries . We’ve gone about our normal life, worked, entertained friends and visited others, we (or rather I) have been to my French hairdresser …
and I have spent much of the rest of the time on my hands and knees …
With a new rose garden planted in February, and a newly planted exotic garden, not to mention two other (very) large beds planted within the last 15 months, and a zero-weeds tolerance, there’s plenty to be done.
In a day and a half we need to set out on the long drive north to the Channel ferry (Caen to Portsmouth overnight on Sunday) and I have about another two days-worth of weeding to complete plus I need to take the tractor (also known as a mower) all around the grass before I leave.
Although weeding is a reasonably favourite gardening activity, I feel I reached peak weeding about 24 hours ago. So this morning when I went outside to resume I was doing so solely as a result of self-discipline mode having been activated. The forecast wasn’t encouraging and lo and behold before too long the rain started.
Rain in this part of the world can be very heavy indeed. The weather here in south-west France is very changeable, not dissimilar to the UK but generally much bigger in scale. And the rain today is of the big variety, definitely not a gentle drizzle which could be tolerated in hands-and-knees/self-discipline mode.
So my weeding has had to be parked for the moment and has been replaced by a slight feeling of being out of sorts which is fairly ridiculous given the wonderful surroundings we’re in and the amazing nature of our lives. There we are. A dear and wonderful (now departed) friend once said “feelings can be so unreliable”.
One of the reasons for the rapid growth of weeds in this part of the world is the rainfall. We’ve always had a sense that rainfall in SWFrance is higher than W Sussex. This morning (while I thought I was dodging showers, before I realised game was over, at least for today) I quickly searched on the internet and found that the Bordeaux region (us) has about 50% more rain than the Southern Water region in which we are based in W Sussex. One of these days I shall buy a weather station (perhaps two, one in each location) and record and compare. Well, that’s a thought anyway, whether it comes to anything is another matter.
I guess it will depend on whether I ever feel I’ve got on top of the weeding and have time to spare for anything else!!