It’s unbelieveable the difference made to our garden in less than a week. Pete took up gardening when he retired from teaching and when I suggested that he might like to come over and do our garden it was a pleasant surprise when he agreed and the results far exceeded my expectations.
His wife, Penny, speaks French and was looking forward to a chance to meet and converse with French people again so I arranged for her to meet various friends while Pete got to grips with the weeds and planted a new hedge in front of the vegetable garden.
The plants (mainly hypericum) arrived a week before our guests so I kept them in a bucket of water. They looked a bit sorry for themselves but we’re hoping they will take.
We had already tried to weed it and replant the aubretia more evenly but Pete did it properly!
Then there was the very overgrown patch near the shed. I’ve never known what to do with it as the thyme died off and then the forget-me-nots went a bit wild and mixed in with the weeds. It became a dumping ground for the wndow boxes when they were finished and looked very untidy.
Pete cleaned it all and planted some buddleia and syringa, so now it is transformed:
and you may also notice the absence of weeds between the tiles.
Then there was this unkempt patch which was full of ancient raspberry canes. I had salvaged the best and transplanted them along the fence but couldn’t dig up the remaining roots which were even spreading along the top of the bank.
Pete worked his magic and in no time it was clean and tidy.
He has also removed the ivy that was choking the sage and discovered some thyme that had been struggling underneath another plant.
Now we have to think what to put in the newly found space.
In less than no time Pete had weeded it and dug a neat edge ready for us to plant some annuals in the Spring.
He trimmed the forsythia and other bushes, mended the lawn mower and cut the grass and all of this was done and dusted in three days.
That meant that we had the rest of the week to show them round our little corner of France.
The Ardennes region is noted for hills and trees and these were resplendent in their Autumn colours. We ventured into Belgium and visited the Abbey of Maredsous, famous for its beer and cheese and also delicious wholemeal bread.
Dinant was almost as crowded as it is during the Summer but we admired the scenery along the Meuse and popped in to see friends near Givet (and to use their loo!).
We rounded off the week with a meal at the local restaurant last night and then, sadly, waved goodbye to our guests this morning.
We all hope they will come back again soon – for a proper holiday as CC and I are now inspired to keep the garden up to standard.