Wednesday, 15 May 2013
On my walk a few weks ago, I came across a field filled with these beautiful flowers.
Do you know what they are and why they are so important in the ecosystem?
They are fritillaries, a bulb which only grows in grassy flood meadows that are free from pollution and fertilisers.
A patch of these means your land is in good condition, and everything is as nature intended. If they disappear something is wrong.
Quite often these flowers are disappearing from nature as intensive farming techniques and excess use of chemicals is becoming the norm. They are considered an endangered species nowdays.
We are quite lucky to have fields with literally hundreds of them. A testiment to the farming techniques which have been practiced here since the beginning of settlement ( going back a few thousand years on this particular spot!).
Sunday, 5 May 2013
The quince tree is flowering at present, and the flowers are really pretty. Similar to apple blossom when fully open, but the buds are a tight swirl. It is a very attractive tree to have in the garden.
I have white, lilac, and purple lilacs blooming in the garden. Quite a heady sensation to walk between the orchard and the boundary hedge. You are sandwiched between apple trees in full bloom, and lilacs, with bees busily buzzing back and forth between the two.
Tomatoes, zucchinis, capsicum, aubergines and corn were all planted today. The potatoes, beans, carrots, garlic and onions went in last week. Once I have decided exactly where to place the asparagus beds they will go in also. Already have 5 plants (all a few years old so ready to plant now and most importantly we can pick next years growth with no waiting!) so need to get moving on that this week. Thank goodness I have many willing and able helping hands to get things done this year!
Sunday, 28 April 2013
Thank you for the emails and kind thoughts. It is appreciated. I am slowly getting well. Sophie and I can walk in to the village now without needing a nap on our return. A big step forward!
Above is detail of the old door on one of the outbuildings. It has clearly gone through a few different phases as it has been added to and changed over the years.
Even though it is time to replace it, I find it hard to do so. It has such character and charm in its ramshackle state.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
The orchard smells heavenly at present and looks like something out of a fairy tale.
Petals float on the breeze and bees and butterflies are flittering around by the dozen. We have beautiful sunshine and a light warm breeze ruffling the fresh new grass.
The breeze is swirling petals through the air. I told my neighbour it was the snow of spring.
Actually felt up to a slow walk today. We walked down to the river, la Dive, and then back up to the house. Not very far normally, but exhausting for me at present. Still a long way to go before I am well again. It was bliss to be outside in the fresh air and spring sunshine though.
Of course Sophie had to walk part way with us. She posed beautifully in the orchard for a few photos.
Friday, 12 April 2013
I think they really represent spring. Bright and sunny and fresh, all very welcome after a long winter.
Thursday, 28 March 2013
I have spent most of the time absent from here in Australia. Not really a holiday, more attending to family matters. There were some nice moments though, in amongst it all.
Spent some time with my bestest bud and her two gorgeous kidlets. Also managed to see the extended family and the latest addition. He is too cute for words! Mind you, I think all our nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews and godchildren are gorgeous..... you can say I am biaised, I will not argue with you.
Then managed to spend some time with friends as well. Wonderful to catch up even if not much time available.
We are really very lucky to have such wonderful family and friends. This last trip made me extremely aware of each person as an individual and as part of the group in an entirely different way. I was so proud of our nieces and nephews who are growing up and starting families of their own. To hear them talk about their plans and aspirations was great. Seeing the little ones running around and seeming to change minute by minute was special too.
One of the highlights was introducing my cousins girls to my brothers kidlets. They hit it off immediately and played for hours. A friend was there with her two kidlets, and all six played as if they had known each other all their lives. Fabulous to see, and to know another generation will hopefully grow up and be friends too.
It was quite hard to tear myself away and come back to France.
But, home I am now, and getting stuck in to all the jobs that have been awaiting my return, as well as spending quality time with my furbabies.
The loungeroom is pretty much finished. Will repaint walls in summer, but for now no work needed there. The office needs plasterboard on all walls, but will also have to wait till summer. Not a huge stress as I love the look of the original plaster walls and exposed stone. Rustic and charming. The entry is nearly done. Still a bit more wallpaper to remove (I do a few hours at a time, and clear about 50cm each time.... really hard to strip off) and then the walls to paint in summer.
However, there is power throughout the whole of the downstairs!!!!
A huge step and one that is greatly appreciated by all. No more power cords stretching through the house, and being careful what is turned on so as not to overload the circuit. Having a light in the loo is also quite enjoyable...lol.
Hopefully in next few weeks we will have power upstairs too and I can finish unpacking and settling in.
The terrain is under development into garden and potager. Our lovely neighbour Jean has helped me to scarify and turn the soil and we are ready to spread horse manure now. After that I can start planting my vegetables, and setting out the garden area and flower beds. A lot of hard work still to go, but it will be worth it in the end.
Thursday, 7 February 2013
At the risk of jinxing myself, we have not had a lot of snow this winter.
It has either been too cold and icy, or too wet and rainy.
This has not stopped the snowdrops from blooming, even though there is no snow to push their way through.
It was far too cold to go for a walk this morning, so Sophie and I contented ourselves with a wander over the terrain, checking out the ground and discussing how long before I can start planting. She is a lovely little companion. We have nice walks together and she knows when to comment, and when to keep her thoughts to herself..... as only a cat can do.