Sights, smells and sounds
We've been here for three Springs now - four, if we count the year when we first visited when we were house-hunting. But we cannot remember so much blossom on the trees and shrubs ... last year it was pretty prolific, but this year everything is smothered with blossom:
As the soil has warmed up, and there has been plenty of moisture, we are continuing to plant perennials, particularly climbers - so, more honeysuckle to intertwine with the wisteria and the roses on the new 'walkway' and also trying some climbing hydrangeas on the north-side of the barn, to clamber up with the Virginia creeper that has appeared all over the far end of the barns in the last year:
And our obsession with 'constructing' things around the garden continues - slightly worryingly, it has to be said - so we have renovated the old entrance door to the barns and made a bench within the door alcove so with a table and a few chairs there is a space of sitting out in the morning to catch the east-side and the morning sun:
The construction of garden gates continues - we have now made gates for the raised bed/herb garden area. The plan is that visitors will be so exhausted with negotiating the multiple gates around the garden that they will have to have nearby seating to flop on to, while pondering whether this 'gated community' is benign or otherwise. Only time will tell ...
'Aaahh!', I hear you cry ... '... and what of nature?'. Well, we can certainly depend on the amphibians to make an appearance at this time of year - so, our digging and weeding around the garden disturbs baby toads, and we carefully return them to their hideaways under rocks and damp vegetation:
But the self-proclaimed 'stars' are the frogs in the pond - who once the warmth starts up in late March and April start their rehearsals for the opera, each little (and not so little ) green Pavarotti blasting away, with the overall volume being quite extraordinary. They are almost impossible to photograph, leaping off the banks into the water as soon as they sense any approach .... so, one can only record their noise. On a few early mornings we have 'caught' a big heron in the pond, no doubt taking a 'frog breakfast' .... and away he flaps as soon as we appear - so far he does not seem to have dented the choir's output:
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Simon lives at Nichoir, Le Bruel, with his wife Noella. They moved here in May 2013, with their Newfoundland dog, Oska, and their cat, Snufkin. Together they have set out on an adventure to create what they hope will be home from home for family and a rather special Chambres D'Hotes for guests.
Simon & Noella Mauger, 'Nichoir', Le Bruel, 81340 Lacapelle Pinet, TARN, France