LIVING FRANCE ARTICLE ON LE MOULINET GARDEN - November 2017 issue
Every month Living France do an article on gardens you can visit as part of the opengardens.eu scheme ... and the November issue has a lovely article on Le Moulinet - many thanks to all involved.
WE PLOUGH THE FIELDS AND SCATTER .....
Wonderful autumn days in this lovely valley. Last of the tomatoes harvested from the polytunnel ... a few raspberries left but strawberries finished. Some apples still to be picked in the orchard ... they are eating well and kale used in stir fry tonight ..... but the summer abundance definitely at an end.
BACK FROM SHANGHAI !
After whirlwind trip to Shanghai to visit younger sister (Mei Mei in mandarin) am back to continue getting garden ready for winter slumber - we don't aim to have lots going on in winter here - usually pre-occupied with keeping warm in front of the fire and planning next year's garden with bulb, tree, shrub & seed orders - helped along with a glass of wine.
Latest bulb order has just arrived so will be sorting through that - lots of tulips for the pots next spring but they won't be planted until later in November. Love trying to work out what will look good together - current favourites include Uncle Tom - a really good red.
Picture is malus hupehensis ... they are quite beautiful - but about the only crab apples we have his year due to frost at end of April ...
RECENT VINTAGE ENAMEL KITCHEN FINDS
Have found these lovely vintage french kitchen pieces at various vide-greniers recently ... the lovely enamel casserole pot was bought at a plant fair yesterday - the lady was selling it as a plant holder - she told me that she remembers her grandmother cooking her vegetables in it and was happy it was going to a new home ..... so hoping to find someone out there who would love to buy it and continue its history ...... contact us via email if you are interested .....
ISITORS TO LE MOULINET
One of the great things of opening the brocante this year has been the visitors we have met ..... this dear couple are from nearby Putanges and he worked at Haras de Fresnay le Buffard when Marcel Boussac owned the stud ...... a legend in thoroughbred racing ..... so exciting to meet them .... he says he still has clothing belonging to MB - including pyjamas ! Am due to visit to see what he has ......
VIDE GRENIER .....
Headed off to this vide-grenier this morning and found a few lovely things for the brocante .... it's good fun wandering down the stalls trying to spot unusual items - mind you most stalls have children's clothes and toys and I do wonder how any children's wear retailer trades around here ... you can pick up everything you would ever need .....
I found this lovely turtle flower vase - presumably for a table centre - the glass is completely waterproof so nothing spills down into the body of the turtle ..... can't decide whether to put this in the brocante or to keep for myself ... really like it
AUGUST GOING OUT WITH SOME HEAT !
Wonderful weather for the August Bank Holiday weekend - the walled garden is looking great with the nicotiana and buddleia - photo doesn't show the cloud of butterflies that are on the flowers .... just amazing.
Looking forward to September - one of the best months of the year for me - just love the fresh mornings (and it would be great if we had some rain !). Start to make plans for how the garden will look next year - time to get the bulb order in followed by seeds and any other plants.
A couple of plant fairs to look forward to in September near Caen ..... catch up with other plantaholics !
SWALLOWS LEAVING ?
Unfortunately my photography is unable to convey the amazing aerobatic show that the swallows put on this morning ..... there must have been about 50 of them swooping around the house ..... just a little worried this means they are getting ready to go south again .... it did feel like an autumn morning this morning - cool and mist over the valley.
HOUSE CLEARANCE - FRENCH STYLE
We ventured forth to our first house clearance sale to see about getting stock for the Brocante - the newspaper advertisement said that the sale was at 2.30pm and viewing from 2.00pm. We arrived at 2.00pm - the front door was open and people milling about but no sign of anyone in charge - we walked around the house which had four floors from basement to attic.
The sad thing was that it was just as if the owner had walked out and left everything - cupboards full of stuff - it was rather odd to be wandering around someone's life like this.
We went outside to wait, the auctioneer arrived and we asked for a list of the lots (we thought it would take most of the afternoon to sell everything in the house) but no list as they sold by the room or even by the floor !
Around 30 of us crowded into the sitting room and the auctioneer sold off a few lots of the best things - a pewter collection, musical instruments, etc. And then he sold off the entire room - the deal is that you have to clear the room as soon as possible - that day preferably - but certainly by the next day ! The photo is taken the next day with one of the dealers clearing out his purchases.
When you consider that the sideboard was packed full of china, glass & cutlery it would not be a quick process. They then continued on through the house selling room by room.
Having arrived in our car thinking we might pick up a few small pieces, we were in no position to bid on whole rooms ! So the next time we want to go to a house clearance sale we will know to take a van and a few friends to help !
Long time francophile (32 years) living between our lovely house in Normandy and work in London. Now I finally have the time to devote more energy to Le Moulinet.