Sunday 14 February – Bonne-Valentin

Happy Valentine’s Day.  We hope you have had a relaxing and romantic day and have been spoilt / are spoiling your loved one.

While not as a result of our specific Valentine’s marketing, which we probably did a little later than ideal, we have had a lovely Belgian couple and their pure while bulldog in Priory where they have been enjoying their Valentine’s Day.  They leave us tomorrow after their 2 nights.

During the week we have been occupied with much the same activities as last week – as much the escaping the weather as the gardening!  To say that it has been wet and blustery doesn’t really do it justice and it was only on Wednesday that I managed to even get out into the garden!

I started where I left off last week on the rear boundary.  David had done some work early last year to hack back some of the undergrowth and reconstruct the wall which had collapsed and, throughout the course of the year, we will continue to do that and work our way all along the back wall.  My focus however, was more on the vegetation on top of the wall where I had been planting hollies last week.

Bonne-Valentin 2 - Holiday Homes & Cottages France

Bonne-Valentin 3 - Holiday Homes & Cottages France








On top of the wall was a combination of self-set sycamores at various ages and sizes (as there are all around the garden), shabby elder tress and a lovely old box tree which had sadly been blown over many years ago but was still alive.  As all of these trees had been allowed to grow naturally there was a lot of deadwood in the branches, there were too many self-set sycamores and the box was at increasing risk of collapsing completely.


Bonne-Valentin 4 - Holiday Homes & Cottages France


Our idea is to have a more controlled and healthier hedge around the boundary which means I have had to cut out a lot of the unwanted and unhealthy plants before replanting some cuttings which we took last year.  When I had completed an area at the back of the garden I shifted my attention to the front where there is a significant amount of work to do especially in front of Granary.

I started with the plants outside Stable including a huge fuchsia bush and the 2 variegated holly trees which we knew needed to be tamed.  Having had the window put into Stable last year the view was obstructed by the hollies which also blocked out some light – the principal reason we had the window added.  The hollies had grown so much they overwhelmed the small bed that had been created and were chocking an azalea bush underneath them.  They have now had a pretty good haircut that will give them better shape in the future.

Bonne-Valentin 5 - Holiday Homes & Cottages France


Peaceful gardens in rural location luxury accommodation in Brittany

The weather prevented me making any progress in front of Granary but I cut out a lot of old and deadwood on the opposite side of our main entrance which now looks a lot tidier.  I know that David believes I have a desire to make Kergudon gardens desert themed which is absolutely not the case but we do want to get back on top of things as, in these conditions, plants grow quickly.  I think l have a couple of weeks left to do this year’s serious pruning so the plants can regrow and most of them will do so very quickly and be far better for it.

Peaceful gardens in rural location luxury accommodation in Brittany

Sadly the weather has also exposed a couple of issues that we have with the roof.  I mentioned last week that we had seen some tiles slip and come loose which, at the time, had not led to any leaking.  However, during the very wet and windy days we had last week we do now have some water ingress in the gîtes.  Thankfully we found it quickly and have met a local roofer who has come to assess the issue and he believes he has found the cause of the problem which seems to be breakages in the concrete flashing in a couple of areas of the roof which weren’t done properly.  Once rectified it shouldn’t take long for the damp to dry and will then need a new coat of paint or two – all part of the ongoing work we expected with these old buildings …

Previously I have mentioned that David and I had a made a resolution to visit more of the region although we have not been very successful at this (possibly as successful as other people’s resolutions to give various things up …?!) and have only made 1 day trip out.  However, on Friday we did eat in a new crêperie that opened in the neighbouring village of Commana just before Christmas.

It is always good to have a new venue open which we can recommend to our guests but we prefer to only recommend those we have visited and can speak with some confidence.  The Commana crêperie (Crêperie des Monts d’Arrée) is definitely worth a visit (as our guests did for lunch yesterday), good food in filling portions and all at excellent value.  We have so many more restaurants to visit as well before the season starts – should be fun research!

Finally, I mentioned last week that David was training his first French client.  This week he had good news as well from the Federation Bureau Sportif de Quimper who have approved his application for a Carte Professionelle which means, when it arrives, he will be able to teach classes and train in French gyms.  He has big plans for some summer group activity that I will tell you about in future blogs.

More of the same next week – weather permitting …