We all piled in. That about summarizes my morning. And what community fun it was. The hedge in the village has been planted. I think there are 36 small trees and shrubs in. I forgot to properly count them when we finished. But it was a great exercise in compulsory fun.
Jean Daniel and I were due to attack at 9am today, but we both realised that this was going to be too hard on our own. The ground was rock solid. So we called in the favours. The commune’s handyman just happens to be the dread M. Brun the bulldozer owner’s brother. So he tootled over with a mini digger and the mayor was not far behind.
We struck lucky in that the Paris Nice cycle race was going to come through St Michel in a few days time and beautifying the village was very much on the agenda. So every wish was our command.
The trenches were dug for the plants, we all hauled out rocks and roots, trees were planted and then best of all, we mulched.
There is a sawmill in our tiny village and the owner is famous for holding on to his stockÂ and not handing anything out for free. Perhaps I’m being unjust, but I have been ogling his piles of woodchips and mulch for years. And knew he would never offer them up without charging an arm a leg and demanding your first born child in exchange. So when suddenly he appeared with a whole truck load of gorgeous brown mulch I knew the mayor had used his force of personality to get him to cough it up.
He did dump it right in the middle of the road and roar off without helping us spread it over the plants. But that was fine – I leapt in just to get that close to so much treasure.
I was debating whether to beg for the leftover and just couldn’t resist. When would I ever get the chance for freebie mulch again? So in the time it took for the mayor to concede that I could take the excess of his hands, I had the boot open, the always ready tarpaulin spread out and was poised to shovel the lot in.
And to my shame I must admit that once it was done and everyone had gone off to a celebratory lunch, I crept back and took some more. I was just watering all the hedging plants, honest guv. And saw it lying around on the road and cluttering up the place.
It now is sitting around my own hedging plants at the top of our property (not in a foot thick mulch as the village has, but great nonetheless) and also as a path edging the top of my lovely vegetable garden. It looks a treat. And was well worth all the work in the village to win the booty.