Posted by: kathandroger | April 2, 2011


The french use the same word for mowing the lawn as they do for clipping the dog’s hair…tondre. And today we did both. The weather has been beautiful – 25 degrees in the shade – not bad for the 2nd April. It was definitely weather to get the potager into shape ready for planting and tidy up by cutting the edges and mowing the grass. Roger kicked off by playing with his favourite toy…

I dug up the last of our leeks and Jerusalem artichokes, leaving just the garlic and broad beans we planted in november…which are starting to flourish…

Sadly I can’t say the same for the peas. We must have some very fat mice around here, having eaten almost an entire box of peas! I’ve resorted to planting them out in the greenhouse in toilet roll tubes as suggested by gardening friends. I’ll go straight for this method next year I think – sorry mice!

We were all set to sow all our seeds and plant our potatoes, but then our gardening consultant arrived. Lucien lives down the road and pops by from time to time to keep the anglais on the straight and narrow. What on earth were we thinking? Potatoes are to be planted in the 15th April, according to our little french friend. Here is Lucien giving Roger a hand with the edging…

We decided to heed his advice, so contented ourselves with a few rows of beans, a row of radishes, a few lettuces and our red onions. But come the 15th we shall be ready!

As it has been unseasonably warm of late, Boudie was suffering with her thick winter coat on. It was time to ‘tondre la chienne’! She is amazingly well-behaved given that we make her stand on a table, attached to a branch of the tree, for about an hour and 20 minutes, with her tail firmly between her legs for the entire time. Here she is at the start of proceedings, part way through and finally the finished, significantly smaller, dog…

I still can’t quite get used to her new cut – she looks half the size! Once released from her table she raced around like a mad thing all afternoon, so I reckon she appreciated her fur being 8 cm shorter all round!


  1. Given yesterday’s heat, I can quite see why Boudie was happy afterwards… in fact, there seems to be a distinct smile present in the last picture!?

    Roger’s 740 looks much lighter than our Bêtsys [Bête C S]… I have difficulty keeping the nose up! Difference perhaps between the petrol and diesel versions… and we’ve got a battery and starter motor on ours.

    Your soil is very nice compared with ours, too. Dark and rock free!! Ours is currently full of cricket ball size flints [and bigger]…. so no shortage of wall building material then! We think that the farmer, who cultivated the field after the laiterie business finished, ploughed into what was the hangar yard. The second bed I am working on is much less stony and not so compacted… there lies hope.

    • Bonjour Tim, Sorry we couldn’t stop onour bikes on Monday, but youknowwhat the French are like with cycling; we stop forpunctures only, and then only some of them stop! Interestingto hear about your machine. I am delighted with ours, but it did take some getting used to, and even now in confined spaces it needs gentle care. The land does look good now, but when we started it was an old pasture with loads of oldroofing tiles everywhere-and we are still digging more up, so I know how you feel.Do give us a call and come and see and collect some sticks whenever you want. We can even show you some photos of our old 2cv van! All the Best, Roger. Read our blog at

  2. boudie is beautiful.

    • Merci Marinette, mais ce moment elle aboye tous le temps,parce que il y a des rats dansle cour!Tu peux venir monternousnous n’importe quand, mais il est trsmechant! Bises, Roger. Read our blog at

  3. Bizzare nousnous ne ressemble pas du tout à ses maîtres !

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