Posted by: kathandroger | April 18, 2015

Well and truly sprung.

There is still a big pile of logs besides both our woodburning stoves, but they have not been needed for several weeks now. Spring is here! From the blossom in the orchard to the croaking of the frogs in the little lake at the bottom of our property, to the swooping of the swallows, and all this enveloped on some really warm days. The cuckoo has been calling loudly, but in France the bird of spring is really the Hoopoe. Rare in the UK, he also has a very distinctive call, a sort of “hoop hoop”. I was a bit put off when I heard a repeated “hoop hoop hoop hoop” yesterday, but there he was on the top of a neighbouring tree, singing his head off, a lovely unique bird with a unmissable profile and colouring. The first orchids are here, the blues and yellows of the bankside flowers are wonderful, and a local farmer has made a cut of grass for silage.IMG_2994

But all this means the vegetable garden needs urgent attention. I have been a bit tardy with the digging this year and the remnants of last year’s roots all needed to be lifted before I could start. I don’t do any proper digging and turning over, just loosening the soil and then it can be worked with the rotavator- a great big heavy beast which makes light work of mixing in the compost I place on top, and leaves a lovely seedbed. We had almost too many vegetables last year, so planting may have to be rethought.IMG_2996

The sparrows in the “kiosk” on the top of the hill have been defeated-I hope! I love all the little birds, but their calling cards all over the table inside was a bit unsporting, and liable to drop into one’s glass of nice white wine. Friend Tim had suggested erecting a parasol in the table, and following instructions all seems well. The birds can still nest in the roof, but we are now protected. What do you do if a bird poops on your head?-don’t take her out again!!!IMG_2998


  1. That Tim is full of great ideas!
    And oh the frogs…..little did we know when we bought a house a few steps from a small pond how noisy they could be. Good job SuperU sell ear plugs!

  2. We had almost too many vegetables last year, so planting may have to be rethought.“….
    grow more luxury veg….
    you need twice the amount of things like Black Tuscan kale to be able to harvest a decent meal…
    same goes for Purple, or White, sprouting brocolli….
    another, very useful, ground filler is beans for drying….
    we can let you have some Nun’s Belly-button to try…
    and you can get a dwarf variety of Borlotti…
    I could go on…
    yes, I know… I usually do!!

    And thank you Jean….
    behind every problem there is a solution…
    preferably beer or whisky….
    but a glass of rosé can work wonders, too!

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