Garden part I

One of the things we loved as soon as we saw the house was the garden. I thought I better do some posts about it as it has started featuring heavily in my life again the last few days with some gorgeous spring like weather!

It was pretty bare when we viewed the house as it was the end of winter. By the time we got back to France in May it looked like a jungle and scared the life out of us! Here are some photos of what we had to work and deal with!

The figs outside the back door!

The greenhouse all set up and ready to go (not – but at least the bones are there!).

Looking back up at the house from the greenhouse door:

Stood on the terrace (next to the house in the first photo) looking back down the garden (yes we do have our own windmill!!):

Panning left:

And left again (our land ends where the tree line is):

Some massive ancient yukkas at the front:

Wow that makes me exhausted just looking at that!

First Frost!

I was very excited last week to have the first proper frost of the year (not so excited the night before when there was a little frost which nearly wiped out the entire seasons basil crop!). I managed to get some pictures of the lovely view driving down our lane when I took Louis to school – you can see the village in the distance, we are about a kilometre out of town.

Coming back towards our house the sun was coming up at the side of our barn, the frost didn’t last long at all once the sun was up as our days are still fairly nice and warm. Spot the pesky mole hill!

And a couple in the garden:

In this one you can see the 2m x 2m concrete base and gate that are already there waiting for my hen house and run at the back of the garden! The house is about 10m behind me when I took this to give you some perspective.

The weather has warmed up a bit again – thankfully as we aren’t quite ready for the -1 degree nights yet, it was a bit nippy! Our wood heater is working well though so our kitchen / living is warm and cosy as is the boys room above.

Amazing Autumn!

I love autumn, the colours of the trees, the feeling of the long, hot summer coming to an end, the darkening of the evenings, getting ready for winter, the smell of woodsmoke in the air in the evenings. The seasons were one of the things I missed most when living back in Australia – especially when we were in Queensland!

Having our wood delivered by our lovely neighbour and lighting the fire for the first time was a joy as it has been so long!

The boys were fabulous and as it was Wednesday afternoon, which they have off, they stacked all of it!

With our garden full of hazelnut and walnut trees there has been lots of nut harvesting over the last month or so. We were waiting impatiently for the hazelnuts to be ready, checking them every few days (the trees had so many of them on there!), then from one check to the next they had all disappeared! We think the squirrels must have been onto it quicker than us! We got a bowl full and that is it!

The walnut trees are a different story, they have been coming down for weeks now and we collect them up every couple of days and lay them flat in the sun for a few days to dry out, there are kilos and kilos of them! This was our first bag, which were thought was a lot – what did we know, this was barely a tip of an iceberg!

This was another days harvest, the 3 different containers have the nuts from the three trees. I’ve gone and bought a proper collecting basket now to help deal with them all!

I ended up finishing collecting with a little helper who just wanted his mummy who had been out collecting nuts for far to long for his liking!


The lanes around are full of chestnut trees and my MIL (mother in law) has been collecting them when she takes the baby for a walk. We haven’t done anything with them yet but we are looking at recipes on line and working out what to do!

We also have had bounty from the neighbours garden, amazing apples and excitingly some quinces. I’ve never seen or used a quince before but love the quince paste that is so popular in Australia to eat with cheese. It is also known as Membrillo in Spain where it is very famous. We decided to try our hand at making it – we had a change of direction as we were going to do jam and had already added a few of the apples so we have ended up with quince and apple paste but it is still delicious (although a little sweeter than the original). I’m going to pack it up in little squares and use it and gift in in the coming months (apparently it keeps at least 3 months with some people saying it is fine for up to 12 months).

I’ve spotted some rouge rhubarb growing in what will be the veggie patch so I’m waiting for that to be ready.

Am completely loving autumn and all the amazing produce that comes with it!