January Calendar 2015


Its been a mild January this year, with the temperature only dipping below -4 on a couple of nights. We have had a couple of periods of snow so far, 3-4 cm each time so not too disruptive. Kale is the only veg left in the garden now as the rest shuts down for winter, though spring bulbs are beginning to appear around the garden.


Marche Silencieuse: Brioude 10/01/15

Today we attended the local “Marche Silencieuse” a march “en hommage aux victimes des attentats de ces derniers jours.”

20150110-110736These are being held all over France this weekend, and our local town had organised one for Saturday morning.
We hadn’t really known what to expect, especially how well supported this would be. Brioude is only a small town of around 6500 people, though it is a Sub Prefecture with a large rural hinterland. As can be seen in the photos, hundreds of people attended. Young people, families, the elderly all were represented here today. All political banners were banned, this was to be a silent display in homage to those who had died.


We marched – led by the mayor – from the Hotel de Ville through the town to the war memorial, where a minutes silence was observed .


As we turned away to return to the car, an elderly woman was leaning out of an apartment window with a hand written card “Je Suis Charlie”.

A new year and winter pruning

We have done our winter pruning of the fruit trees and bushes this morning, and given them all a spray with some organic winter wash. We always find pruning a bit stressful as we are not very confident that we are doing it correctly.

You can find good advice on pruning fruit trees at the RHS website and also the  Ashridge Nursery website. Here’s a video from Ashridge on pruning a three-year old tree, which we have found very useful.

I’m always pleased with the turn into the new year. The days are lengthening and the weather is usually colder but dryer here. Its time to think with optimism of the gardening season to come.

December Calendar


Fennel seed heads

December has been a very wet month here, much worse than the last two, which were cold and dry. The garden has come to a close now with only kale left in for the winter and all the other beds empty and dug over, save for the two beds of perennial vegetables and herbs. Its been a good year for produce in the garden and we have been self-sufficient in veg for many weeks. Now we have a couple of months of planning for next year to look forward to.



winter garden

winter garden