This is our busy time of year as we work hard to get the house ready for the summer season after the winter. It is wonderful to see everything waking up, leaves opening, flowers blooming and grass growing. The tracteur tondeuse has been busy whirling around the lawns and trimming and sharpening each blade of grass. The weeds have woken up too, so there’s another job!

We have been busy over the winter, building a new wall on the east drive. The box hedge that had to be removed left a huge area of ground to be molded and re-designed. Many, many years ago, the house had been called after the hedge making it even more wretched to have lost it to this caterpillar pest! Thankfully we do have many other box trees and hedges around the farmhouse. They all took a huge hit last year but we are cutting back and hoping to salvage some of the plants, time will tell.

In the depths of winter we planted hornbeam hedging, I just hope that there is no little hornbeam eating caterpillar to spoil the plan! We have waited months to see if it has survived and thankfully little leaves of brightest green are filling out the sapling branches. It will develop to be a magnificent hedge too, I am sure.

There had been an ancient wall, crumbling and tired that sat between the two rows of box. When the box went it revealed the wall and we set about removing and sorting the stone, preparing to build a new low wall to frame the drive. We now have an area that is much bigger than we had anticipated in fact I think we need a fountain or at least a greek urn to adorn the space, can you imagine it!

The builders have been with us for a week. They are replacing a lintel and doing some work on the wall of the poullailler (chicken house). We don’t have any chickens but the perch inside is a giveaway as to what it was used for in the past. I always imagine having chickens one day, though I believe the reality is a little different to my chicken dream!

The pool and cover have been cleaned and as I write the water vac is sucking the remains of the winter dust, leaves and debris from the bottom of the pool. The heater will go on tomorrow and with any luck we shall have a pool to be proud of by the weekend. The pool has become a real marker of the years, pool closes, pool opens and 6 months has passed and it doesn't seem five minutes!!!!!!!

I have been busy completing our Spring Newsletter and this time we have a focus upon places to eat in the area. I have only recommended either places we have been to or restaurants that we have been recommended to visit. There are some fantastic places to eat here and I can tell you it is a real chore having to go around dining in these wonderful establishments and eating all of this amazing food just for the newsletter!! Oh well it has to be done! Email me at info@TheFrenchFarmhouse.co.uk if you would like to join our mailing list and get a copy of our free FFQ Newsletter.

Wishing you all a wonderful May.

Had to start with a picture of Emmie and the one iris flower. We also have just the one bluebell in Bluebell Copse.

Had to start with a picture of Emmie and the one iris flower. We also have just the one bluebell in Bluebell Copse.

The hornbeam hedge begins to open and the lacy screen begins to grow. One last layer to go on the wall!

The hornbeam hedge begins to open and the lacy screen begins to grow. One last layer to go on the wall!

The new cement mixer in Farrari red. A wall builders essential piece of kit!

The new cement mixer in Farrari red. A wall builders essential piece of kit!

Emmie at Tessa's Cowslip Corner. The cowslips have been abundant and so beautiful this year, they have lasted a long time too.

Emmie at Tessa's Cowslip Corner. The cowslips have been abundant and so beautiful this year, they have lasted a long time too.

A beautiful misty morning last week. An early, very early morning walk with Emmie.

A beautiful misty morning last week. An early, very early morning walk with Emmie.

Le Medieval (Puy L'Eveque), we will be going there again, very soon I hope!

Le Medieval (Puy L'Eveque), we will be going there again, very soon I hope!

Is it obvious I have been doing the "Places to Eat" newsletter? Still a bit food focused! This was my starter at Le Medieval (Puy l'Eveque) it just looks beautiful and it tasted fabulous too.

Is it obvious I have been doing the "Places to Eat" newsletter? Still a bit food focused! This was my starter at Le Medieval (Puy l'Eveque) it just looks beautiful and it tasted fabulous too.

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