Sunday 11th February – Jungle Clearance

This week has seen a lot of winter-into-spring weather with periods of heavy hail storms under very dark storm clouds interspersed with some bright and warm sunshine.

Last week’s blog said that the weather forecast should allow me to progress renovation of the tropical flower bed on our main driveway but, unsurprisingly, the forecast changed frequently and was not entirely accurate all of the time …

Living on the western end of Brittany we rarely get any snow to speak of but, on Monday, I was unable to work outside as we had a light dusting which settled and lasted the very cold weather would have led to numb extremities!

Snow stopped play

I was able however to progress the (say it quietly) the white plastic lambris in the garage having bought some more appropriate (longer) nails to secure it.  It was still a relatively slow task to progress but, thankfully, much quicker than before and I was able to complete one garage bay and start a second.  Having finished it doesn’t look too bad and, when I eventually get around to cladding the interior walls, it will look great.

White Plastic Lambris AAARRRGGGHHH

The remainder of the week was spent on the renovation of the jungle bed.  The plants that I had cleared already proved to be the easiest to shift.  From last week’s pictures you can see that there were still a large number of well-established shrubs that we needed to remove, including a hypericum which was starting to take over the whole bed, but also self-set ash and sycamore trees.

Tropical Bed Cleared

Tropical Bed In process of change








Clearing these proved tough but, when done, has given us a blank canvas for when we get around to replanting.  Removing the old wall at the front was relatively simple, or at least taking out the rocks and stone that formed it was – even the massive concrete lintel that has oddly been used; it took rather longer to remove as many of the weeds and their roots that had established themselves among the rock but, again, when done, I could start the rebuild.

Lintel Removed


Tropical Bed Demolished 2

Tropical Bed Demolished








Having decided to expand the bed a little and build the new wall slightly further into the drive meant that we need a lot more slate, which was no problem as there is so much literally just lying around, and soil.  The soil was more of an issue and my initial plan was to dig out a slope that we want to lose and use the earth in the bed.  However, as this would make what has already become a big job even larger we went on the scrounge!

Refilling the Tropical Bed

Thankfully we found that one of our near neighbours has just had a parking space created which has left a mountain of wonderfully rich and fertile top soil that they were happy for us to help ourselves to.  It is amazing how much is needed to fill a comparatively small space!  It seems that the majority of the last 2 days have been spent loading and unloading our trailer with this earth (other than watching the 6 Nations!)

We love how the new bed is taking shape and, hopefully, we will be able to finish in the coming week.

New Tropical Bed Wall







Finally, a quick mention for an article that we saw on the Telegraph Travel website entitled ‘France’s 20 most beautiful villages’.  Two of these villages are in Brittany and one, Locronan, is close to us and somewhere we visit often as it really is a very pretty, well preserved, village.  Kergudon makes a great base to explore this, and many other villages of this wonderful part of France.