April has been a beautiful time to be at The Farmhouse, the sun has shone most of the time and on Rob’s birthday it was 28 degrees C. We have had very little rain, which has been lovely but there are always knock on effects. I have been trying to seed some new lawn, which is not growing at the moment and I am already on the watering rota for my pot plants. We have organised a self-watering system for some of our new plants and I think it will be invaluable. The barrels we found in the barn have been stained and compost has been added to provide floral interest. Our grounds maintenance team have been with us for more than 2 weeks and with their help the garden is getting under control again after the winter, thank you Steve and Cheryl for all your hard work.

Paul opened the pool yesterday, it was such a milestone day… you feel that summer is around the corner. With the gurgle of the pumps and the bubbling of the water, several times I caught this new sound in the air and smiled. I collected some new sun beds on Saturday for the pool side and have bought parasols to match. The sunbeds have felt such a big decision and I can’t tell you how many “ bain de soleil’s “  have been sat on in the last month (Cheryl you will back me up on this) .... assessing them for size, comfort and durability.

The Hoopoe’s are back this spring, there are a pair and they have been delightful to watch. We have listened to their calls and their particular tone made Guinness bark, quite bizarre! Most days they have been around and if we haven’t seen them we have heard their call. April is a good time for the wildlife and I think the hot weather has meant there have been lots to see. The Redstarts are fliting in and around the barns and the Blackcaps seem a squably bird chasing one another in and out of the bushes. The Scops owl has been heard, its digital bleep making us wonder if the fridge door is open!

Not so welcome in the garden has been a box hedge eating caterpillar, the problem is that it does not have any predators…..except me! Apparently they don’t taste very nice to the birds and so are multiplying totally unchecked. Having taken and implemented advice it’s a fingers crossed situation at the moment, I just hope the bushes can survive.

The builders have been back with us for a few days. Four of the bathrooms have been fitted with electric towel rails and we have had some under cupboard LED lights fitted in the cuisine. It should put a lot of light on the subject for the cooks in the house.

Finally this months visit recommendation is to go to Auvillar. This pretty town is a “Beaux Villages de France”. We visited on route to Toulouse airport. Auvilllar is approximately 50 minutes from The Farmhouse and well worth a visit. Sitting at a restaurant, on the pavement, on a balmy evening soaking up the atmosphere,  Auvillar is…….just perfect.

April at The French Farmhouse.

April at The French Farmhouse.

The Hoopoe.                                                                                                           Photo: Geoff Carss                          

The Hoopoe.                                                                                                           Photo: Geoff Carss                          

The Hoopoe.                                                                                                           Photo: Geoff Carss

The Hoopoe.                                                                                                           Photo: Geoff Carss

The Hoopoe.                                                                                                           Photo: Geoff Carss

The Hoopoe.                                                                                                           Photo: Geoff Carss

Auvillar -April 2017

Auvillar -April 2017

Auvillar - April 2017

Auvillar - April 2017

The view of the River Garonne from Auvillar.

The view of the River Garonne from Auvillar.

 

 

 

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