Sunday 21 February – Laurel and Hard-dig!

Firstly, I should probably apologise for the title! I tried to find something which summarised what we have been doing over the last week which was amusing and pithy although I suspect has ended up being more painful although, in its defence, accurate!

In my recent blogs you will have seen that we have been focussing on the garden and doing what we can at this time of year to prepare for the new growth season. Last week I mentioned that there was a lot of work which was needed in the front garden of Granary that I hadn’t, up to that point, managed to start.

At the end of Granary garden there is a small area of laurel, rhododendron, camellia and a bay tree which has been allowed to grow unchecked for a number of years. On the outer edge of this is what evidently used to be a laurel hedge but one that has not been cut for a considerable amount of time. As all of the plants grew taller there was no light at the base so the plants were very tall but had no vegetation except on the extremities which were getting further and further from their roots.

In time all of the shrubs will need to be cut hard back to allow them to re-grow in a tamer manner. Initially, I thought that it would be worthwhile cutting them all this year so they can grow this spring but David has persuaded me to do the cutting in 2 stages so as not to make the Granary too exposed and I think he’s right.

As such, I have only cut the laurels which were on the boundary and were once the hedge which will re-shoot in the next few weeks and make a better barrier in a few short months. Where there were gaps I transplanted some of the many self-set laurels which had germinated under the bay tree which will ensure that we have a continuous barrier to provide some privacy when I cut the remaining shrubs back – hopefully this time next year.

The other task which I have started (and would have completed had the weather been friendlier) is to widen the entrance space at the back of Kergudon. We have always wanted to be able to close the entrance and prevent some of the village dogs coming into our garden especially when we have guests with dogs of their own, and we have now bought the gates we will fit.

We have now bought gates which, intentionally, are wider than the existing access so I needed to widen the gap before we can install. The ‘wall’ at the rear of Kergudon is really more of a pile of earth with lots of slate and quartz rock in it as well as a tangle of bramble, nettle, sycamore and other roots of various thicknesses and depths!

The west side was more rock than soil and the east more root than anything, although made a little easier as a sizeable old tree had evidently died many years before and the trunk had rotted away making a large empty hole in the wall – much easier to dig!

We have kept the stone for a number of other future projects and the soil for levelling part of the garden later in the year and I will hopefully finish the digging to widen the gap tomorrow, only then need to dig a 75 centimetre deep hole for each post before we can put the gates up in the next couple of weeks!

During the week we had to visit the villager of Lampaul-Guimiliau which is very near to one of our local towns, Landivisiau. While not the reason to be there, we had seen a new restaurant with excellent reviews on TripAdvisor so we thought it was worth visiting – all in the name of research of course! It is certainly one to recommend.

The chef of the restaurant, Hotellerie des Enclos, is evidently very passionate about his food and the presentation is fabulous. We had a 3 course lunch which was excellent value and we will definitely add to one of our driving routes as an ideal lunch stop.

We hope the weather may improve soon so we can have a proper day out so we can continue with our New Year resolution and our garden work isn’t so damp next week.