our garden…

The main garden is dominated by the large chestnut tree. It’s shadow moves across the garden in the summer and provides welcome shade for us when we start wilting in the afternoon heat. The disadvantages are that quite a lot of the garden is too shady for many plants and also too dry because the rain hardly penetrates the canopy. The garden is surrounded by a stone wall on two sides and is about 5 feet high. It protects us from a freezing wind in the winter and retains plenty of warmth in the summer. The house, adjacent barn and the old cottage stretch the width of the garden on a third side and face almost due south. The big barn at the bottom provides privacy and shelter and a cool wall for climbers.The ground is calcareous and very stony. You cannot plant anything without digging out a barrowful of stones.
To the rear of the house is another walled area which is dominated by the back wall of the old farmworkers cottages – still in the process of being cleared away. There is a lot of stone lying around and several tons of it have been shifted by hand and by machine to clear space for two small but productive vegetable gardens.
We also possess an area outside the main house and garden which we call ‘the green’. It’s just grass at the moment but we have planted a wild cherry, and also a tulip tree in memory of Roger’s mum and dad.
Planning the garden has been lots of fun and although the development is slow through
lack of funds, it’s beginning to take shape. We still have lots of projects in mind, mostly inspired by our visits to gardens around France and especially in Provence. We love the Mediterranean feel we are achieving in our own corner of France. We most of all want to introduce an ornamental pond and some running water into the main garden. We’ll have a central square pool fed by a water spout by the side wall and flowing down a runnel to the pool. It will probably be fed from our underground water tank which we will bring back into use by directing all the rainwater from the barn into it and installing a pump.