This is a walk we have done parts of before and looking at the map we could see we could link a couple of these paths and make a round trip between the two villages both situated on the Senouire river. It was a perfect day for a walk, sunny, a light breeze and 15c.
The views over to the snow covered Puy de Sancy was spectacular.
lugeac and the puys
A feature were the various spring flowers, snowdrops, celandines and hellebores.
More pictures from the walk.
snow covered sancy
old bridge, lavaudieu
farmhouse, senouire valley
Yesterday we made our first major efforts in the garden since the autumn. The snow had – mostly – melted and so we took the opportunity to clear and tidy some of the annuals and to weed and mulch all the fruit trees and bushes, though we ran out of mulch before the end of the afternoon. A trip to Gamm Vert is required to stock up.
A welcome sight at this time of the year were the many spring bulbs showing through the soil.
Next job? Winter wash all the fruit trees and bushes.
A favourite walk is to follow the long distance footpath (GRP) “Robe de bure et cotte de mailles”(A homespun dress and a coat of mail) which passes by our house and then climbs out of the Senouire valley from Vals le Chastel and up onto the “prairie” landscape of the high plateau above. We then leave the path and circle down back to the valley floor,taking us past the village of Vourlhat and its old orchard and ancient well. This winter was an ideal time to photograph the orchard as the bare branches gave a stark structural character to the trees especially suited to a black and white treatment.
The only veg now left in the garden is our Kale, and even that is looking very sorry for itself.
We have tried bringing other veg through the winter but they have always involved a lot of work for very little reward. Step forward broad beans and purple sprouting broccoli! They just didn’t cope very well with the snow and extreme cold. Never mind, in a few weeks it will be time to plant out the shallots!
Its been a mild January this year, with the temperature only dipping below -4 on a couple of nights. We have had a couple of periods of snow so far, 3-4 cm each time so not too disruptive. Kale is the only veg left in the garden now as the rest shuts down for winter, though spring bulbs are beginning to appear around the garden.
old mill, Vals le Chastel
Returning from a walk on a frosty morning, we were intrigued to see the roof outline of the old mill, showing as a frost shadow in the field.
We have done our winter pruning of the fruit trees and bushes this morning, and given them all a spray with some organic winter wash. We always find pruning a bit stressful as we are not very confident that we are doing it correctly.
You can find good advice on pruning fruit trees at the RHS website and also the Ashridge Nursery website. Here’s a video from Ashridge on pruning a three-year old tree, which we have found very useful.
I’m always pleased with the turn into the new year. The days are lengthening and the weather is usually colder but dryer here. Its time to think with optimism of the gardening season to come.
Fennel seed heads
December has been a very wet month here, much worse than the last two, which were cold and dry. The garden has come to a close now with only kale left in for the winter and all the other beds empty and dug over, save for the two beds of perennial vegetables and herbs. Its been a good year for produce in the garden and we have been self-sufficient in veg for many weeks. Now we have a couple of months of planning for next year to look forward to.