Since we've come back from Scotland and our quick tour of a bit of Somerset and Dorset we've been busy tidying up outside and getting things ready for winter.
Now before you start imagining all sort of Herculean labours, let me disabuse you: our house sits in just a tad more than 2 1/2 acres but this is rough grass with an abundance of trees. A quick, and by no means exhaustive, count gave us 17 different species. All of this means that with a regular application of the sit-on lawn mower things can look nicely maintained. Even the rough grass [aka weeds] looks good newly shorn. Flowers are represented by some pots and what blooms on the trees and bushes. Slowly we are adding to that, as splashes of colour are always welcome!
|chrysanths all in a row|
You have only to take a look at any cemetery in France right now and you'll see what we mean about colour. The vast majority of the graves will have large pots of brightly flowering chrysanthemums. At Toussaint & Defuncts [All Saints & All Souls] people remember their dead and visit their graves bringing flowers; the flower of choice being chrysanths. As they are associated with Toussaint one doesn't take them along as a gift when visitng French friends! Without wanting to sound trite our local cemetery here in Charnizay looks postiviely cheerful - especially when the sun's out! Naturally the dead also have the best view of the Aigronne valley.
|best view of the valley|
Back to our patch. It isn't a garden in the traditional sense but we have been adding to the flower and colour content. Regluar readers will know that we've just had the terrace sorted and it's now all ready for tiling come spring. As a transition to the semi-wooded 'beyond' we've decided to edge the terrace area with something called 'Gazon Japonais'. Mixed grass/wild flower seed to us. We hope that this will make a nice swathe of easy maitainance colour--you can tell we're not the sort of people to be out morning, noon and night digging, mulching and generally pestering everything green into perfection. In addtion we've also planted bulbs along the path leading to the kitchen door and the terrace. Two types of tulips: a pink double and a red flamed variety as well as blue iris and white narcissi. Lastly we've also put in some alliums 'Sphaerocephalon'.
|Tres Riches Heures: November|
While we were planting along the path it sounded as if some giant grinder was dogging our footfall but it was only the millions of walnuts crunching underfoot. The tree next to the kitchen path has been especially productive. As have our oak trees-- loads of acorns in contrast to last year. Any medieval swineherd would have been very happy - as would have been his pigs!
It has been very mild so far this year -- hardly a log burnt in the woodburner -- so the grass continued to grow. Don't think we've ever cut grass in the 1st week of November before, but we did this week. We'd tidied away the graden furniture just before we went to Edinburgh. Typically it is still so mild that on sunny days like today we could easily sit out. Cue a rootle round in the barn for the camping chairs -- you've got to enjoy every bit of sunshine you can! Especially as we are getting, as is normal now that we're into November, ever more gloomy days of rain. However, there is still the odd sunworshipper about...
|late butterfly on warm soil|
All we have to do now is wait to see what happens in the spring and buy a new trowel. The old one died planting the bulbs in our claggy soil.