weekly photo challenge: reward


Over at la petite maison bijoux, caroline has been blogging about our recent work in the garden. Busy, busy!


Originally posted on la petite maison bijoux:

I’m certainly not casting any clouts just yet, but we have had some dry sunny days over the past couple of weeks, so we’ve taken the opportunity to start work in the garden. There’s a lot to do at this time of year, some of which should probably have been done last autumn, but never mind.

We’ve been clearing beds, weeding and mulching, cutting back the remains of last year’s perennials (I like to leave them over the winter to provide some structure), hacking down brambles, and even sowing some broad bean seeds in the propagator.

It can be hard going at this time of year, but the rewards are tremendous. Beautiful flowers and soft fruit in the summer, then delicious fruit and vegetables well into the autumn.

I’ll just remind myself of that as I rub my aching back.

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February Calendar 2015


chitting potatoes "Belle de Fontenay"

chitting potatoes “Belle de Fontenay”

Its been a month of contrasts with heavy snow at times interspersed with warm sunny days, though at the moment its overcast and drizzling.

The good news is that the seed potatoes are now bought and chitting. “Belle de Fontenay” earlies an old french variety, and “Sarpo Mira” main crop. The latter are a new variety of blight resistant potatoes from Hungary

The next job will be sowing our broad beans “The Sutton” into old toilet rolls as shown in the videos by the 10 Minute Gardener.

Our daffodils and crocus plants are beginning to show through as is the wild garlic. In the orchard area new buds are showing on all our fruit bushes leading to thoughts of crumble to come! The strawberry bed obviously is in need of a bit of attention in the coming weeks.



Walk: Domeyrat – Lavaudieu



This is a walk we have done parts of before and looking at the map we could see we could link a couple of these paths and make a round trip between the two villages both situated on the Senouire river. It was a perfect day for a walk, sunny, a light breeze and 15c.

The views over to the snow covered Puy de Sancy was spectacular.


lugeac and the puys

A feature were the various spring flowers, snowdrops, celandines and hellebores.

More pictures from the walk.


Moving out of winter



Yesterday we made our first major efforts in the garden since the autumn. The snow had – mostly – melted and so we took the opportunity to clear and tidy some of the annuals and to weed and mulch all the fruit trees and bushes, though we ran out of mulch before the end of the afternoon. A trip to Gamm Vert is required to stock up.

A welcome sight at this time of the year were the many spring bulbs showing through the soil.

Next job? Winter wash all the fruit trees and bushes.



Inspirational snails!


Originally posted on la petite maison bijoux:

snail shell snail shell

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources. Take snails, for instance. They are a real nuisance in the garden, and if I’m being honest, they’re a bit slimy and yucky. Their shells, though, are another story altogether. Beautiful curling spiral structures, with delicate hints of colour. Who could help but be inspired?

There is a wealth of symbolism associated with spirals, and representations of the shape date back to the Neolithic period. They are particularly prevalent in Celtic art, but are common to many cultures across the world. Spiral labyrinths were used in worship by the medieval christian church, the best-known example probably being the great labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral.

Suggested meanings include the journey from outer consciousness to the inner soul and enlightenment, and the cycle of life, death and rebirth.

This spiral, carved in stone, can be found in the precinct of the abbey at La…

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Old orchard at Vourlhat


A favourite walk is to follow the long distance footpath (GRP) “Robe de bure et cotte de mailles”(A homespun dress and a coat of mail) which passes by our house and then climbs out of the Senouire valley from Vals le Chastel and up onto the “prairie” landscape of the high plateau above. We then leave the path and circle down back to the valley floor,taking us past the village of Vourlhat and its old orchard and ancient well. This winter was an ideal time to photograph the orchard as the bare branches gave a stark structural character to the trees especially suited to a black and white treatment.