With much of the house in a state where walls have been stripped back to their bare stones, it is fortunate that there will be plenty to keep us occupied in the garden. After the initial euphoria of discovering that the orchid plants are in bloom, we realise that there is much to be done to bring the garden back to a state of cared-ness.
When I post a picture of a denuded salon sejour on Facebook, Maddy comments that it is no wonder we are spending so much time in the garden. Over the succeeding week the garden becomes our source of fresh air and exercise, our recreation, and briefly on the penultimate day of our stay, a place to relax in the hammock with my current read. Nick manages two fishing trips and brings home the fishy ‘bacon’. Apart from our daily bread, fresh produce and eggs from a neighbour, we eat our way into our own stores.
We do spend Saturday evening with our neighbours. I need the afternoon in the kitchen to cook up two curries and dall; this meal being laced with naan, poppadums, pickles and chutneys to provide an Indian supper which we then carry over the road and eat chez Poulet.
On the day before we leave it is a public holiday for the Feast of the Ascension. We celebrate this with Francois and Anne when they BBQ for visiting family. Fourteen of us sit out in perfect breezy, sunny conditions overlooking their beautiful garden and enjoy a feast of our own.
Anne and I have been swapping plants during our short stay at the house and when we leave for the ferry on Friday morning our car is loaded with pots containing plants destined for both my and Maddy’s gardens in Dorset. This is the last consignment of plants which have been waiting in the wings, to cross the Channel. Henceforth the pot management regime in France should be less onerous. Sorting out the gravel garden at The Old Workshop is another project…..