Sunday, 31 May 2009

That was the month that was

May has been an interesting month - we spent the first half of the month in London, the second half of the month in Preuilly, and I spent most of the time not being sure where I was...

27 minutes after scheduled departure
time and we are still cleaning
The middle of the month was the biggie, no doubt: actually moving here after 3 years of visiting (It was 3 years ago last Friday - the 29th - that we first saw the house). It was disheartening loading a truck with all our stuff and then discovering we own more than a truckload, but I found it interesting going back to London via the National (non-toll) routes in a Hire Van to pick up the balance.

A new route to the supermarché
Since we have been resident here we have discovered one or two new evening walks, met people we were introduced to through this blog, Susan drove up the main street, we had "Apéro-dînatoire" for the first time, taken 571 photos (to add to the 53 I took before we left London and the 158 I took in London when I drove back). been to a new hardware store, shifted boxes (and then shifted them back again) and - oh yeah - we bought a garden.

Typically, we jumped in at the deep end and have bought 3/4 of an acre (or 2,900 sq metres) of beautifully tended vegetable plot and orchard. 35 fruit trees, including cherries, peaches, apples, pears, various nuts, nectarine, plums and an apricot tree. Quite how we will deal with 7 trees worth of peaches and 6 of cherries we have yet to discover, but it should reduce our fruit bill at the market!

Looking towards Preuilly from our new garden, yesterday.
We haven't yet signed the deeds, but we have agreed a price and the previous owner is anxious not to be maintaining the garden for any longer, so within two weeks we hope to be planting our melons.

So far so good then. Next step is actually starting work proper on restoring the house rather than nest building, and speaking French to each other whenever we are in public.

Simon

10 comments:

ladybird said...

Congratulations on acquiring your new garden. Is it within walking distance of your house?

btw: I case you need any gardening tools, we might be able to help you out! Martine

Carolyn said...

I'm excited for you. What's already in your new plot sounds fantastic and I know you'll be adding a lot to it.
Please keep us posted--no detail too small for the gardening-obsessed.

Susan said...

Martine: it's 600m from the house, so yes, I will be trundling down there with my tools in a wheelbarrow, and if there's time when you visit we can go down and see it. We do need a few tools eg decent trowels, some hoes of various styles, a digging fork and probably some other things I haven't even thought about yet. Because our London garden was all in pots, our tools are minimal and small. Now we need serious stuff, plus the motorised things like a mower, tiller, strimmer and pump.

Carolyn: I'm excited too, but boy! it's going to be a lot of work!! Neither of us have done any serious fruit and vege growing, so we are going to need lots of advice too. I'm going to have to plant at least 3/4 of the vege plot to a green manure this year, as there is no way we can plant it all up. I'm thinking some legume like field peas might be the go.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Susan and Simon, having a garden is a lot of work, and there are up days and down days, but it is so satisfying when you see things growing and you actually have a harvest. Early June is not too late to get a good start in Touraine.

Abbeysmum said...

Congratulations S & S..I am sure the seed collecting will now begin in ernest, there are lots of varieties, old and new of many fruits and vegies to choose from.
I am sure it will be a matter of trial and error to find out what you like best and what does well in you neck of the woods.
Will you try a Bee Hive sometime...with the abundance of plants in your orchard it would work out well for the bees and yiour honey supply.

Susan said...

Ken: yes, I think we can get beans, melons and zucchini at least. It's just that we will have no hope of filling the whole potager this year with stuff for harvest, plus dealing with all the fruit will be interesting.

Abbeysmum: I would quite like a beehive, but I think that's a little way down the track. Perhaps I can find someone else with hives they want to place.

wcs said...

And some of your surplus fruit could be shared with friends. Ahem. In exchange, say, for some peony bulbs...

:)))

Simon said...

Walt: we will put you on the list to take our surplus apples, yeah??

wcs said...

Uh, yeah, right. Nice try! ;)

Ken Broadhurst said...

Surplus apples? Ça existe ? Who would ever throw or give an apple away?