Sunday 29 January – Would Yew Believe it?!

Last week was the first, of what I hope won’t be many weeks, when I didn’t write a blog for 2023.  Apologies.

You may recall some of the reasons why I don’t write a blog and last week it fell very much into the, I haven’t progressed enough to show any progress.  Which, when you consider the contents of the previous couple of blogs, and the fact that we are now only days away from February, means we have not made the most constructive of starts to the year!

The previous blogs said that progress on anything, but particularly our 2023 projects, was hampered because of the very wet weather we had been having.  Thankfully the rain stopped a couple of days after I wrote my last blog, only to be replaced with this …

Don’t get me wrong, I love the snow and it makes everything extremely pretty (mostly by hiding some of the weeds!) especially when we hadn’t been able to take down the external Christmas lights so we could take some great pictures for marketing Christmas at Kergudon for future years.

However, it continues to frustrate me in getting outside and starting what we need to start.  It did allow me to finish dismantling and packing away all of the internal Christmas decorations so that the games room was able to become a games room again, or it will when it no longer needs to be a laundry drying room!

Every year I try and be as efficient as I can with the boxing up of the decorations so that they don’t take over the whole store room but with us buying a few more each year it gets harder to contain them in the decoration corner!  While I have put the deer into summer storage (hibernation?) I have still not managed to take down the exterior lights.  At least we haven’t turned them on since Twelfth Night (except of course for the photos above!)

While I haven’t been able to progress any projects, I thought, so as I have something to blog about, I would tell you at least what I will be starting when the weather allows!

Some months ago, I said that we had invested in a number of things some that, hopefully, make a holiday in Kergudon more fun, others that make the buildings and garden more attractive.  One of those things were 6 conical yew trees that we wanted to place, in pairs, outside of some of the gites.

At present, our own home and Granary have some small bay and box plants that will be easily moved and Priory has 2 beautiful olive trees.  However, the olive gets a little lost against the slate walls so we don’t think has the impact we would like, and they don’t seem very happy there and grow fairly unevenly.

We found some beautiful trees with an online nursery in France which said that they would be delivered in 60 litre pots, and we ordered them in May 2022.  Having ordered the trees, we then ordered some lovely faux lead planters to plant them.  We could only find both the style and size that we needed with a UK based company who we have bought pots from before, so we had to rely on the kindness of a friend to take delivery and transport them to us.  The pots arrived with us last June.

However, thanks to the exceptionally dry summer of 2022, the trees did not.  The nursery were fairly good at keeping us informed and said that, because of the drought, they would not be dug out of the ground and potted for delivery until later in the year.  We were happy to wait.

Then in late October, the nursery said the trees were ready and gave us a date for delivery.  We were very excited and thought it would be a pretty quick process to pot them up and start to position them.  Er, no.

These are what was delivered.

Admittedly, they are beautiful, and about the same height as those we had ordered.  But, they are not in 60 litre pots and they are much wider at the base than those described when bought.  They are enormously heavy and far too large for the planters we had bought in anticipation!  We could have rejected them at the time but, having looked for so long before we bought these we knew that finding alternatives would be very difficult.

Because they are so large, we now need to seek assistance from a farmer neighbour who has a tractor that can lift them – once we find some suitably large pots to plant them into.

Also, we need to move the olive trees which are currently in front of Priory. We would have had to do this before anyway but we didn’t want to move them not knowing when the new yews would be delivered.  We have at least decided where we will move the olives too and have chosen to pot those too (probably in the same as whatever we find for the yews) and place them either side of the steps to the Granary garden.

To do this, I need to create a couple of bases for the, what will be newly potted, olive trees from the flower beds that are there.  We have decided to pave 2 squares there as we hope it will mean that it is easier to control the weeds and we can rotate the pots occasionally so the olives grown in a more uniform manner.  These were the paving slabs we bought a couple of weeks ago that caused the damage to the trailer base …!!

I can picture it all in my mind and it will be beautiful.  I just need the chance to get on and do it!!  Hopefully I will be able to next week …