Monday, April 6, 2009

Progress...or not.

Well. Things are moving slowly on the gardening front. For the past two weekends, Dawg and I have been going to gardening stores to buy soil test kit - but apparently that's not a priority here in France (at least not in this part of France). I found only one kit and that tested for pH and nothing else. Of course, after doing all my research, I have it in my head to have the most comprehensive testing kit possible, so that little box was duly rejected. But as that's all I've been able to find, it might have to do.

Another issue has been finding a compost bin. Either the stores don't have them, or they're these huge black plastic monstrosities. I would like a wooden one, purely for aesethetic reasons, though Dawg thinks it might not be practicable (I don't know why it wouldn't be though - and I don't think he knows either. I think it's because his dad, who is a fantastic gardener doesn't have a wooden one.) If there are any readers out there who have an opinion, I'd love to hear about it.

Next, we're looking to have our garden leveled. As I mentioned before, we've got really deep tractor tracks in our yard from when the roofer was there. The problem is - who will do it? People in these parts have a really mysterious attitude towards work. As we've learned from restoring the house, even if you have a big, expensive project, workers will hem and haw like we've asked them to do something illegal. Everytime we've asked neighbors who might be good for leveling our yard, they get all shifty and evasive.

For example, recently a women from the neighboring village dropped by our house to see how works were progressing. We know her fairly well, as we used to stay in her chambres d'hotes, when the house was entirely uninhabitable and we needed to stay nearby. Her husband would be the perfect guy to work straighten out our yard, and we know he has the right machinery. But when we asked her about it, she looked like a cornered rat and said, uncomfortably, that we'd have to ask him. Well, okay. But why the nervousness? Why can't she men tion a potential job to him? I have a feeling that finding someone is going to take awhile, which depresses me a bit. Our kid will start running through the yard, then get stuck in (what is for him at 20-months) a deep hole. It needs to be leveled.

But on the bright side, we looked out the window this weekend and saw a nice little surprise by the stone wall that we share with our neighbor.

We planted these years ago, when the yard was literally still strewn with chicken wire and broken glass. Dawg's sister, not knowing the true state of our house and yard, bought us daffodil bulbs to plant. Even though everything was a mess, we thought - what the hell - and planted them in the hard, winter ground. And to our surprise, they bloomed the following spring. I guess they've bloomed every year since, though we've been too preoccupied with the house and the baby to notice.

Anyway, it makes for a pleasant change to see something other than weeds and tire tracks in our yard. Can't wait until the whole thing is filled with flowers!


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  2. France! I'm in Bermuda. My property, about 15 years ago, needed some fixing up and some landscaping. And 15 years later - it still needs fixing up and landscaping. But, it's getting better. Good luck with your garden.

  3. Thanks Prospero! I hope we get as beautiful flowers in our garden as you have in yours!