We seem to have some uninvited, though not necessarily unwelcome, guests taking up residence in the outside wall of La Petite Maison.
We noticed a couple of bees buzzing around the house yesterday, and on closer inspection they were busily flying in and out of these little holes in the south-facing end wall. I assume that the holes must have been drilled to fix something to the wall in the past, but they are now clearly very attractive to these bees.
We think that they are red mason bees, but we’re happy to be corrected if anyone knows better! In any case, they are obviously solitary bees, which are not aggressive, and do not swarm, so they are very welcome to make their homes in our wall. Hopefully they will repay us by pollinating our flowers, fruit and vegetables throughout the spring and summer.
The weather is set fair at the moment and we are having a lovely period of cool nights and warm sunny days. The sky is strangely clear of vapour trails these past two days – french air traffic controllers strike!
Lots of work is getting done in the garden and the views from the road above the house are shimmering in this early springtime heat.
It’s going to be one of those spring Auvergne weeks weatherwise, with daytime temperatures ranging between 16C – 19C but below freezing at night.
In the garden lots of spring flowers both cultivated and wild are now at their best, the first to appear were the crocuses, but these are now over, with the violets and primroses taking the main stage. All these early flowers are much appreciated by the many bee species we have in and visiting the garden.
The narcissus and cowslips are now also out along with some grape hyacinth, though the daffodils need another few days to open.
Elsewhere in the garden the flowering currant and forsythia are just coming into flower and the wild garlic and bluebells are putting on lots of growth. Even the humble daisy is welcome at this time of the year.
I’d read about “dead hedges” and thought they would be a good way of putting some sort of – cheap – barrier up on the bank between us and the forest on the east side of the garden. It hasn’t happened yet but wild boar and deer could easily wander in one night and eat through the garden!
It would also be a way of disposing of the large amount of “brash” (foliage, small branches etc) we seem to generate. You just need to select some thickish branches to form the stakes for either side of the hedge, then infill to form the hedge.
Its going OK at the moment and looking just like the photos I saw online, which is always heartening. We will extend as we generate more brash and coppice and “lay” some of the smaller trees on the bank to help form the barrier.
looking along the top of the hedge, stakes at either side.
dead hedge with forest behind
You can more information about dead hedges at the following links.
Picked and ate the last of the kale over the weekend. It’s been providing us with tasty tender leaves all winter. It’s sad to see it go but the bed needs clearing and prepping for the shallots to go in this week or next.