Saturday, 31 May 2014


Well spring is finally fully here and my flowers are blooming beautifully.

I have pots with petunias billowing out and draping everywhere.  Lovely big purple and white, or raspberry and white blooms. 
My pansies have finally flowered too!  They did nothing last year and I was really disappointed.  This year they are a mass of flowers and so pretty.

The peonies are nearly finished, but have been magnificent!  My favourite flower.

One thing which has me really excited is the amount of elder flower this year.  Am looking forward to late summer and to making jelly and syrups.  I could not survive winter here without gelée du surreau.

I have heaps of borage plants in the garden.  The bees love them and that area is always alive with the sound of buzzing.  The plants themselves are quite attractive, and the flowers are a lovely blue.  Borage flowers taste a bit like cucumber, and make lovely decoration for cakes or in salad.  I was fascinated by this little white and blue spider who was happily living on the flowers.

One of the downsides of springtime is that all the small animals are out and about..... Sophie has been bringing me her spoils of hunting and displaying them in front of the arriere cuisine door.  Much as I love her, I wish she wouldn't kill the lerots.  They are super cute and completely harmless.  Mice and rats I have no problem with her killing.  She is, after all, a farm cat. 

Yesterday she was making her calling noises to alert me to the fact she had something for me... I could not find her at first, then eventually saw she was under the car.  Her behaviour was a bit peculiar, and I was wondering what was up..... till I saw she had caught a snake and was proudly bringing it to me.  Hmmm...  Thanks, but no thanks Sophie.  I called out to Wayne who came and quickly dispatched it whilst I distracted Sophie and told her what a big brave girl she was and thanked her for my "present". 

Oh well, at least the snakes here are nothing compared to what we grew up with in Australia........

No photos as did not think you would like to see a "spiflicated" snake..... you're welcome.

Monday, 5 May 2014


Long time between posts..... sorry about that.  There is this little thing called life, which keeps interfering with my leisure

This weekend was the annual Marché aux Fleurs et vide grenier in the village. 

Lots of interesting stuff to look at in the vide grenier (trash and treasure or white elephant sale), but nothing that grabbed my eye.  ...Actually, that is not true.  There was some gorgeous furniture - but Wayne would have had kittens if I had asked him to lug it all home... no transport as we had walked in to the village. Hmmm.  So I bit my tongue and did not even ask.  Yes, I know, you cannot believe that I showed such restraint.  Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour.

Actually, I did say how gorgeous the furniture was and he said, we shall think about it while we walked around.  Knowing full well it would be snapped up before we had completed one row.  I could have insisted, but let it go.

Aside from that, the marche aux fleurs was good.  Not fabulous, but I found everything that I wanted.  I have about 10 tomato  plants sitting under cover waiting for the Saints des Glace to pass.  This year it is the 11, 12, 13 May - depending which region and which one of the saints you are waiting for.  Basically it is the date that signals the end of frosts, and you can start planting out your more delicate and frost tender plants.  Of course, it is not an accurate science, more a rough guide, so you still need to check the meteo before planting.

One thing which was great was the cupcakes on sale by Bev and Paul from Chez Tante Mabel.  Absolutely gorgeous confections, which tasted as good as they looked!

I had a vanilla cupcake for lunch, and bought four to bring home and enjoy.  They are almost too pretty to eat, but I shall enjoy one with a cup of tea in a few minutes. Cannot wait.

Bev does incredible edible artworks.  I love going over to Fondemoulin for afternoon tea, and always hope she has her lemon drizzle cake on the menu.  Her decorated cakes are beautiful.  And of course, they are all delicious!

Paul is no slouch either.  He makes the hand made soaps they sell, and is a dab hand at carpentry.  I love checking out the doll houses and furniture that he has.  Simply gorgeous.  I want a doll house for myself, they are so lovely.

Anyway, enough about yummies.  On to work.  We have spent the past four days demolishing the rabbit hutches and pigeon house.  For something that looked so rotten and ramshackle, they certainly were a lot of work to tear down!  I could not believe how many nails had been used.  Seems that the person who built them, and then repaired them later, subscribed to the theory that if one nail was good - four nails were better!  Phew!

All is looking good and the fence posts for the chicken coop are up and the concrete is setting, ready for more work this weekend. 

My veg are nearly all planted.  The peas and beans are well and truely out of the ground, as are the potatoes.  We shall see how many kilos of potatoes we get this  Still eating last years crop, and think they will see us almost to the new crop.  Only a few bags of green beans in the freezer now, and one bag of leeks.  All the peas are long gone, along with the spinach, carrots and parsnips.  I have a bag or two of kale still on hand, and one drawer still has fruit.  A few jars of tomato purees and sauces still left, and a few jars of apple compote.  All in all, I think I managed to stock just enough to see us through winter and to the growing season.  I am quite pleased with it, so aim to reproduce the same quantities this year.

Our fruit trees have flowered and you can see tiny fruits.  We are hoping that we  don't get a bad frost or storm and lose all the cherries this year.  If all goes well we will finally get to taste them in a month or so.

One thing which is a bit annoying is my resident mole.  I think I actually have two in residence.  One at each end of the land.  Will check on them today and see if they have gone.  I poured used kitty litter down the burrows last night.  Last time that got rid of them tout de suite!

The flower beds are coming along fabulously.  Thanks in large part to lovely friends who keep giving me cuttings, bulbs and divisions from their gardens, and to my favourite nursery - Arbres et Abeilles.  I never seem to come home from gardening club empty handed......

OK, enough typing.  Time to have my cup of tea and cupcake, then get out in to the garden and make the most of this glorious sunny day.

A bientot!