Rock on

magic-wheelbarrow.JPGSix o’clock and the bulldozer has finally stopped for the day. My goodness these people work hard. We have had the most number of work people at the house at any one time: Two pool people building the margins around the pool, two bulldozer men, three roofers, plus Nicolas the gardener. Quite a crowd. And when we came back with Deb and John and kids courtesy of a serendipitous encounter at Valence train station, there was no room for the cars.

Nicolas was in charge of the motorized wheelbarrow – very useful for collecting all those stones down on the lower terraces and delivering them up to the top at the new wall. Impossible to go cross country as the bulldozer man was wielding both machines to make the pool garden. And by the end of the day (well, it gets dark at six so I’m calling it the end) it is an amazingly broad flat space. We have a flat garden. That’s quite a luxury in this hilly area. He has about another day of work to get the levels sorted, and put the tree stumps out of sight. And tidy.

Meanwhile David and I were let off stone duty and went instead to work on the top vegetable garden. It has been decidedly neglected since the summer. So we had a good session of digging out the worst of the weeds. It was lovely work in the sun and in company. We had to stop at noon to head down to the train. And naturally I was distracted all afternoon and didn’t get back to it. Lots of small interruptions by the lovely roofers who needed places to put the extra tiles, electricity sockets and such. They must be the only roofing firm who work to classical music.

And while I was dangling early this morning (mooching about the courtyard ready to intercept the endless stream of workmen) I potted up four pots of lily bulbs and buried them in the middle section of the vegetable garden. They are forming the centrepiece of one of the little cubes in the four quarters of the garden. Does that make sense? I am going to train up beans and sweet peas and maybe cucumbers in the middle of each little plot. And lilies or other flowers round the edge of this cube. Naturally I’d love to plant cleomes but will kill myself with the thorns trying to harvest the beans.

Nicolas fired the chestnut heap this morning. Quite a conflagration. I detected a hint of accelerant in the roaring flames that leapt almost to the electricity pole. But now it’s nothing more than ashes and clear land and we have our view back.

Must take pictures tomorrow to mark the progress. Alas however I must head down to Valence again to buy bathroom fixtures and fittings. Not a favourite activity believe me.