Tuesday, 12 May 2015

May warms up to 31c

Yes it was 31c here in the 11th May, now 31c is not very good for the new flowers that have just been planted out so we have been monitoring everything and it seems OK. For 2015 the cottage has received a facelift in the form of new lime based rendering and new stone around the main entrance door. In addition Maureen has been splashing out on new colour matched tubs for all her new plants. 
Les Deux Platanes with new powder blue flower tubs and of course the new rendering for 2015
The cottage lawn has responded to its spring feed with a nice deep green colour

Other parts of the cottage garden are starting to bloom

A variety of spring colours in the border
Maureen insisted I included this for the colour
We have however had other visitors to our own private garden, Poppy our 9 year old Labrador was not amused.
What is this jumping animal she wonders!
After 10 years of mixing my very inexpensive cement mixer is starting to feel the strain. The bearing on the main drum is very worn, so much that the gears often fail to meet and the drum stops turning. However I have come up with a temporary fix, using a base from my tower scaffold, a long bolt and a plastic wheel.

The low cost modification - engineers be impressed!
This wheel prevents the drum from moving and the gears engage all the time, so the old thing is working again.

So that's it for now.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

April or summer?

Our first guests of the year have left and enjoyed magnificent weather for April, they could easily have believed it was August and a warm one at that! They enjoyed the superb flower display at Chaumont Chateau with gardens awash with white flowers all out enjoying the sun. 

Yours truly also enjoying the Chateau gardens and believe me the hat is required as its 26c!
The chateau on a magnificent April day

This week Chaumont opens its international garden festival ( http://www.domaine-chaumont.fr/en_concours_index) an event that brings even more colour and interest to these gardens and the chateau.

The cottage garden is also developing nicely with many early spring plants in bloom and the beautiful plane trees coming into leaf. The lawns have been scarified and treated with feed and weed turning the grass to a lovely rich green for the beginning of the year.
Our first guests of 2015, Rod and Tina enjoying the evening sunshine in the cottage garden
This year we are trying a new system for our garden flowers - buying direct from a nursery in the UK and having the plants delivered via post to France. Brookside nursery is near our UK home and offers an excellent variety of plug and other plants all delivered via fast post to France. 
This lot should provide some colour in the cottage garden in 2015?

We ordered 'on line' and within three days of the promised delivery all 376 plants arrived safely in France and all fit and very healthy. We will certainly use this system again. Maureen has already replanted the small plug plants and all are growing well in our small temporary green house. In 2014 we entered the Rural Gite category of the areas garden competition and we were one of the finalists, in 2015 with our new flower supply maybe we will win? 

Just in case you think we live with constant great weather I have to tell you that  today, as we await the arrival of our new guests its raining and looks like its going to continue for a day or two!