Posted by: kathandroger | May 27, 2016

Slinging muck and contrary flowers.

Do we all put off jobs we don’t want to do? Our long perimeter wall has needed repair for a year or two, but I have only now really got down to it. Like many skills, it is a long learning process to expertise, and I have not arrived at expertise. In France, the masons sling cement onto walls rather than troweling it on as we do in the UK. They also use lime mortar rather than Portland cement, and seem to be able to fling the stuff through the air and always reach the intended target. Not me. After looking, for once U tube was no help, but after failing to make the much stick with the trowel, in a mild tantrum I started to throw the stuff as hard as I could at the poor old wall. Disaster. Muck everywhere except on the wall; lots on the floor, more on my shoes and clothes and a liberal amount in my hair. Bugger. Not to be defeated, the mortar mix was altered, the wall well wetted with the garden sprayer, and some success was obtained at last. The wall is certainly a lot thicker than it was, but how do those clever chaps get it on so smoothly? I guess the only important thing is to cover the crumbling tuffeau stone and that has been done.IMG_3392Only about another 100 metres of wall to do!

Mother Nature never ceased to amaze. We have always loved sweet peas, but have found them difficult to grow here. Last year they reached about 6 inches tall and then gave up. I cut them off in the autumn and dismissed growing them again. So what happens? The supposedly frost tender plants last all through the winter and are now happily climbing up out trellis and are in flower, as well as the lovely honeywort which self seeded.IMG_3397The latter are supposed to be attractive to bees, hence the name, and I reckon that is better than spiderwort. What a pretty little chap he (or she) is!IMG_3384 (2)And just to show that the little flowers are able to grow anywhere, this pretty Herb Robert thought our outside drain was the perfect spot.IMG_3393We have all been cussing the lousy weather, but the plants love it!


  1. Did you search in French in that makes a big difference to the results.

    • Susan, I knew of your expertise in many areas, but was unaware that you were also a bricolseuse! The site was a great help, and it is all in the flick of the wrist. I shall restart when the bloody rain stops. Bisous.

  2. We have honeywort. I didn’t know until just now that that’s its name, but it is lovely!
    The wall looks good. Nick is building up to tackling one of ours, with trepidation.

  3. Jean, get Nick to look at the site for slinging muck-susan put me onto it and it is a great help.

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