April at Peyrenègre

The warm weather has come to the Lot-et-Garonne in South West France and we are enjoying sunny days and mild nights.

Raised Beds Gardening

We’ve been extending our raised beds this year and decided to put them in the polytunnel too. We have created 3 more in the main garden and I am sure that this will make our garden work much easier this year

I love the raised beds because:

1. Weeds can’t get a hold easily
2. The soil doesn’t get compacted so doesn’t need heavy working each spring – no digging or rotavating!.
3. The soil becomes very rich as you add compost
4. The soil drains well
5. The garden always looks tidy (well I am a Virgo so I like tidy spaces)
6. The soil warms quickly
7. Easier to control pests
8. Easier to manage

Seeds

We are also trying much more seed sowing this year – with the fall back that if we don’t succeed the markets will be full of young plants for sale. I’ve sown tomatoes and lettuce in trays and parsnips straight into the raised beds and I’ll be sowing flower seeds this week to enjoy throughout the summer. We have also sown our usual broad beans to follow on from those we started in October and the first row of French runner beans which we will sow in succession giving us young fresh beans for salads and for accompanying main meals.

Blossom

Spring came bursting through last week and everywhere the blossom is bringing spring colour to the landscape. The plum orchards are magnificent with white blossom against the yellow of the dandelions and cowslips growing between the trees. Working in the potager the other day I couldn’t think what was making buzzing sound I could hear until I looked up through the blossom of the apricot where a host of bees were busy about their business. The peony is in full bloom and the heady perfume of the wisteria fills the air.

Heated pool

The swimming season is a long one now at Peyrenègre from April until October.With the pool temperature between 26 and 28° the pool is being used every day already. We love hearing the children enjoying themselves.

Spring hair cut

Not us but Sally our Fox terrier. We have Manuel, the toiletteur, who comes to the house to give her the full beauty treatment. So she is transformed from scruffy teddy bear into pedigree Fox terrier and without her winter coat ready for her favourite pastime – sunbathing in the garden.

4 thoughts on “April at Peyrenègre

  1. Enid

    Thanks for the comments – we are learning all the time but I love it!

  2. PigletinFrance

    Thank you for stopping by my blog today, I’m glad you did, now I can see how true gardening is done! Your polytunnels and raised beds look terrific, and so much more pratical than trying to grow stuff in pots. Oh the joys of having a real garden as opposed to a city courtyard!

  3. Val Grey

    Raised beds look great Enid – you have made me seriously consider changes in our garden.

  4. Catharine Higginson

    Love the raised beds – I’m a big fan. Yours look terrific! If you are growing from seed, I had huge success a couple of years back (no veg plot since then ) with seeds even tomato from The organic Gardening company. Virtually everything germinated and the plants were the healthiest and most productive I’ve ever had!

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