French Garden Love

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Alfonz cleaning out the corner

When I was just a little girl growing up in Duncan British Columbia Canada, my mom showed me how to dig a whole with a little shovel and lovingly place my first marigold in to it. From there she taught me how to take care of our family garden. Our family memories in the garden have a close place in my heart and eventually turned into a love for gardening when I bought my own house, and now I share this love with my children.

France has a beautiful long season for blooms. The soil in the southern regions of France are rich with nutrients and know for its good water sources, making an ideal location for gardens. There is much for us to learn, we can hardly wait for our plants to grow and buds to show.

An added feature of our house is a well, making our garden more affordable, with the price of water high in France.

While Alfonz spent his day doing the heavy digging, I went to play in the garden and created our first French herb garden out of an old wine bucket I found in the yard. Rosemary, parsley, sage, basil, green onions, and two cherry tomato plants, make up the greenery, which will eventually grow together into an overflowing lush green arrangement.

The tomato and basil won’t see next year, but the rest will keep coming back year after year. We just pulled out a 20-year old rosemary bush that became invasive. I am sure it was the last owners pride and joy. Sorry, that’s the way it goes. Our clothes smell beautiful after pulling it out. It had two feet long roots and was a bugger to hank out.

Yesterday we pulled out 5 trees from the front yard, a dozen flowers for transplanting to the back and side yards and anything dead or unwanted without a spot to call home, went to the dump pile. After hours of sweat and muscle aches, we make room for our eventual swimming pool.

Alfonz took two full loads in a trailer to the garbage dump.

We still need to break up the concrete pad that was under the shed, start digging the 6 x 4 meter hole for the new concrete pad to be laid on that the pool goes on top of and make a few more runs to the ‘decheterie’ (the dump).

The swimming pool guy came by to give us an estimate on the pool and work, but instead we chatted about flowers and plants. He helped me prune the transplanted shrubs to make sure they live past morning. He also suggested we prune our rose right back before we more it over the weekend out of the pools way. If the quote comes back to us too high, it will be a shame; he would make a good friend.

Things are starting to come together for us with renovation plans in the works, items being purchased for the two new bathrooms. I spend my time IKEA catalogue page flipping, deciding what decor will be best suited for the apartment rental. I love this part.

Like the plants freshly out of hibernation, Capestang is starting to liven up too. New faces are around town, campers pitch their tents across at the campsite and the market vendors are out in droves to accommodate more traffic. Spring has sprung.

As we sit in the sun, 26 degrees today, sip coffee and tap away on our computers, Alfonz says, ‘This reminds me of my childhood in Törökbálint!’

A teenager rides his moped past our house doing a wheelie, and the campers chat and laugh as they have drinks together over dinner.

Our life is as if we went back in a time machine, 50 years, to a place where things are slower, food is better, and life is just a wee bit sweeter.

Alfonz says, ‘I feel like I spent the whole day at the beach and finally sat down to have a beer. Feels like our life is a vacation!’ There it is. The reason we moved to France.

Viva la France!

That’s Hamori!


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