We have praised the weather this month on a number of occasions and been thankful for the sunny T shirt days for working in the garden. Once the sun starts to go down however, it gets cold, very cold indeed. There is always a lot to do in the garden and we have planted more hornbeam and re-potted geraniums in the hope that they will live until next year. The geraniums have joined the olive trees, stashed in the old pig pen and sheltered from the frost. We know frosts can be hard here and the winter nights bitterly cold, so we are preparing. We must have planted two hundred bulbs around the grounds and we wait with baited breath for the spring and for the daffodils and crocuses to emerge, fingers crossed they were planted the right way up!
The last few days have been spent on the tiles…so to speak. Our terracotta barrel roof tiles need maintenance. Over time the moss accumulates in the channels, this causes the rain water to build up behind and then it’s trouble!! With buckets in hand we have spent some time sitting on the roof and collecting the moss, some of which has fallen and littered the ground on the perimeter of the wall. It reminds me of the work that the birds do when they scratch and sort out the moss on the roof. We have been on “La Vue” side of the house giving some attention to the old pig pen roof. Sitting on top of the world, up high on the roof, is a great feeling. The scenery, way into the distance with sight of Montflanquin and on a bright sunny afternoon is fabulous. I feel a new plan coming on for a bedroom… in that very spot… with a view, a few years down the line, I think!
Talking of birds ( a few sentences back…) we have been visited by a friendly or maybe not so friendly robin this month. Its behaviour is a little strange as it appears to want to come in the house. The little thing sits on the door handle and peers in or flies to the first-floor window and does the same. It seems that maybe it is seeing its own reflection in the glass and exhibiting territorial behaviour of frightening off other robins.
The wall on “la vue “ side is taking shape. We have big plans for this area, however they are fluid and waft and wain as we work with the landscape and the raw materials of the land. This will be the courtyard eventually, a place to sit and a place to cook. We have started the cooking bit already, inspired by a visit to a local restaurant where the meat was cooked over an open fire. We decided to use the embers of one of our garden fires to cook pork. It was absolutely delicious, the wood smoke adding a certain flavour and the quality of pork, having been reared only a few kilometres from The Farmhouse, meant it was superb, a real treat that left us wanting more.
Emmie has been a big helper in the garden!!! She has loved sitting in the big piles of leaves that we have made, as we attempt to take control of nature! It is a bit of a thankless task as one knows there are lots more to come down, so the job is never finished….. washing up and ironing come to mind!