Sunday 03 March – Not so much of a ‘leap’ forward

Sunday 03 March – Not so much of a ‘leap’ forward

Last week’s blog said that 2024 has begun in a similar manner as 2023 did – wet and, at times, blustery.  As February gave way to March, the UK Met Office published data that showed February 2024 had been the wettest month on record.  I haven’t seen anything official from the French equivalents but, certainly in this area, I would be surprised if we weren’t up there with the wetter of years.

The years have been similar in other ways too.  On my blog of 5 March 2023 I said that we had received a flurry of snow during the week and this was true of last week too – although nothing settled this time.

Thankfully, the ratio of wet to dry days is improving, slightly and from a very low base.

It did mean that I could make a small amount more progress outside than I have in previous weeks.  I continued cutting one of the hedges – this time the lonicera hedge alongside what we still refer to as the orchard although there is only a single apple tree remaining.

This hedge is also one of those which are most visible as you enter the drive so we try to keep on top of it but, as the others, I wasn’t able to cut it at the end of summer last year as we focussed on the back garden.

Because of the bramble, weeds and willows growing to the side of the drive, I wasn’t able to access some of that hedge easily.  I had started to clear this scruffy area a couple of weeks ago and, as it now prevented me cutting the hedge, I spent a little more time clearing that space.

I am probably about half way through completing the clearance but it has highlighted I need to do something about rain water management as the ground is especially sodden.  We don’t know if this is just because of the amount of rain we have endured recently, or if there is still a small spring in the area.  We understand that, many years ago, one of the 3 communal lavoirs which were in Saint Cadou, was very close to that area.  For there to have been a lavoir (a public source of fresh water often used for washing before modern plumbing was installed in the village) there would have been a spring.

We don’t know when the lavoir was moved from our driveway, or why.  Whether the spring was diverted, or simply dried out, we wonder if the amount of rain we have had now means that the spring may have returned!

The other space I returned to for its annual clear, is the bank opposite the end of our drive.  While not actually our own land, some years ago we reached an agreement with the farmer who owns it that means we can maintain a small area immediately adjacent to us.

Four or five years ago we planted some small rhododendron plants that were gifted to us by a neighbour as they had self-set in their garden.  Each spring I clear the strip so these small plants receive some light and warmth at the start of the growing season before they are lost under the bracken and bramble for the rest of the year.

Pleasingly, the nine I remember having survived into last spring were all still alive this spring and most had put on some growth.  I’m hoping that rate of growth will accelerate as they become more established and will start to control the weeds around them themselves!

Today was almost a spring day and we went on one of our Sunday strolls with the dogs.  Today we headed onto the Crozon peninsula and followed a 14 km circuit beginning at Tal ar Groas.  Some of the route was the same as a walk we did almost a year ago to the day (which I also wrote about my 5 March 2023 blog) and passed by the Rozan lime kiln, but today we walked in the opposite direction.

Tal ar Groas is another of those towns that we have driven through but bever stopped in.  While there may not be a huge amount to attract visitors there is a very attractive chapel dedicated to Saint Laurent as well as the remains of its predecessor.

Much of today’s walk was on the cliff tops around the Plage de l’Aber.  It took in some great views of Morgat, the very sheltered and private beaches including Plage du Poul and the Bay of Douarnenez.

I feel we are building up some momentum now with our projects (although still no news from our roofers for Hayloft!) so I should continue to make progress next week if that wet / dry ratio continues to improve …