Barbarians at the gates

courtyard toysI do love our builders. Which is a good thing as Bebere knocked over the entrance wall with his mini digger today.

They will put it all back into place tomorrow.

They had been slaving away in the heat and dust today raking and landscaping the gravel over the weedproof fabric.

I had to nip up to town to get more fabric – the whole area is 110 metres square so it’s a huge expanse of work.

etienne 2Here is Etienne showing off his raking toy. Old technology and the new.  The toys are parked at rakish angles when everyone downed tools for lunch.

Tis a very important and serious part of the day when you start at 8am and toil, toil, toil.

We only have the mini digger for two days hire, so Bebere thought he’d do a few bits of rock moving and taking down the redundant bbq that lives in the east garden at the very end of the day. Hence the oops, I’ve taken out the entrance rocks.

Etienne looked on sagely and said ‘we really are barbarians, sorry about that.’ knocked over wall

I raced about helping Bernard with his handyman jobs – putting up office blinds, fixing a new shelf in the bread oven, moving doors – we have three spare ones right now from recent renovation projects; and then the big prize.

New compost bins. The ones he built seven years ago are falling apart. So I had ideas about what I wanted to start again.

The main thing was not to have the compost come into contact with the wooden structure as I don’t want to have to rebuild it again.

compost binsAnd the other wish was to have the bins moved into a more discreet postion; right now they are in front of the herb garden and you stare at the contents when you walk down the main vegetable garden steps and on towards the pool.

The perfect spot is further away in the corner of the house and in front of the bread oven.  For years it has been home to a broken huge water container – one metre cube, and caged in some incredibly heavy reinforced metal which I couldn’t budge.

But with one big heave, Bernard had it on the move and out of the area. A quick clean and removal of all the hidden horrors and I could get out the pallets I have been storing for a year and hoping I could get something built. iris in barn garden

I’m two pallets short. I need to finish the doors. But here is the start of the structure.

And on the far left Bernard made me a little overhanging ledge so I can store some tools underneath. Hooks and everything. What a lark.

Actually it looks like a sheep pen right now. But hopefully tomorrow we will get the lining sorted. We have a leftover sheet of roofing metal that has been lurking down behind the stables since we bought the farm. So it’s great to recycle and put scraps to good use.

artur drapingManu can get the job of shifting all the compost out of the old bins into the new ones as punishment for not turning up for work today.

Here’s someone who is working hard at looking very fetching, draped on a rock.

He had a busy day chasing me about the garden this morning. I’m very good exercise for him as he races to catch up with me as I range about.

I had to pick asparagus first thing, then go and put down tarps on the pool decking as I wanted to weed above the pool and I don’t fancy getting any mess on the areas I had already cleared and cleaned.

Alack, I barely made a dent on the weeding. Too much else happening everywhere but there.  And by the time I thought I could get going, it really was too warm to wield a fork and yank out brambles. I sowed seeds in the potting shed instead.

Tomorrow perhaps. beach courtyard

I finished the day planting the stipa gigantea which came out of the courtyard into the end of the lilac bed in the east garden.  And sowing grass seeds over the east garden area that was churned up, again, by the bulldozer.

And I did sneak another stipa into the row of four in the courtyard.  I wonder if the builders will notice. They will be obliged to add two more large stones into the low wall when they finish off