Sunday 09 September – Syca-no-more

Looking back at last week, it has been one when we have been occupied with the routine matters of maintenance and running the business.  I can’t recall a time, other than perhaps today, when we haven’t been doing something, but there are no major projects completed.

Coming to the end of the summer season, with children already back at school, we are delighted that we continue to be busy and have welcomed a number of couples to Kergudon with all bar one of our gîtes occupied this week.

David’s cooking has remained exceptionally popular all summer and again last week with 2 suppers prepared in the week and another tonight – he will be applying for his Michelin star soon!

Of the 3 tasks I listed in last week’s blog for this week, I spent more time on the weeding and gardening than any other.  This included continuing to cut hedges.  I know, I said last week that I had completed this biannual task, but perhaps I should have put the caveat that I meant all of the visible hedges.

Before people question what an invisible hedge is, I meant those that are more hidden away.  Those behind Grange are a challenge to cut due to accessibility and thorns, both of the holly and hawthorn hedge but also the brambles from next door!  The first I will try and improve when  I knock down the old man-shed, the latter I will need to access our neighbour’s field to hack away at the very overgrown weeds.

West Wall

Sadly, those brambles didn’t have any blackberries on but we took the dogs for a walk today to harvest some.  Sadly, in our usual spot the brambles had suffered hugely from the drought and the fruit was dry and shrivelled.  However, when we walked home, we found the plumpest and ripest fruit on brambles behind Stable.

In our first year a similar thing happened when we found the best blackberries on the brambles behind Granary.  Unfortunately those brambles that were in an unkempt part of the garden which are no longer there as we removed them as we try to improve the grounds.  While the brambles behind Stable also have great fruit – they are also brambles which will eventually be removed as we improve that corner of Kergudon.

I didn’t make as much progress on the gate wall that I’d like.  It took the best part of 2 days to create enough space before I started to build the wall.  This involved removing a very old and very rotten tree stump on the lane side.  This came out of the old talus very easily but has left a very large gap.  This will help my finish the new wall attractively but will mean we need a lot of soil as well.  Our neighbour has kindly offered to give us another trailer-load of top soil as she did when we created the jungle bed.

North gate pre-east wall build

The other major task was to cut down the sycamore which was growing out of the top of the talus.  Sycamores grow like weeds and, as most, this wasn’t a ‘planned’ tree but a self-set which had grown multiple trunks which you will see in last week’s, and previous, photos – and sadly will continue to shoot forever!  Harder to tackle was the huge root ball which had grown around the slate and rock and would not have given me enough space for the new wall to be built.

Sycamore gone

Having cleared the space there was a little delay in starting to lay the rock.  I had identified 2 huge quartz blocks to be the bottom corners of the wall but I couldn’t move them on my own.  With Dave’s back on the mend, but not quite at full strength I didn’t want to risk a delay to recovery so waited until his training partner came yesterday afternoon to assist us move them.  Now in place they will provide a firm base for the remainder of the wall that I will, definitely, begin next week when we have collected the soil.

North gate pre-east wall

Next week!

À bientôt.