Counting Down The Days
Only a few more days to go until our first chambre d’hôte guests of the season arrive. It’s funny how you think there is plenty of time to get all the work done and then we always end up rushing around like lunatics to get things finished !
The new gravel for the parking and the courtyard was delivered last week, on the first day it had rained for a week. Because the delivery lorry can’t get through our gates, they just left the two (huge) one ton sacks blocking the road outside the front of the house and there was no other option but a shovel and a wheel barrow. All day in the pouring rain, we shifted gravel and raked it out on the two areas – I never knew I had so many muscles to ache.
The pool was filled last week and the heating turned on yesterday and already it’s warm enough to swim (24/25C). We changed the colour of the pool this year and I am very pleased with the result. It was a nervous decision to change from blue to yellow but, thank goodness, it looks wonderful – a pale turquoise – calm and relaxing. The poolside furniture is in place and it’s all beginning to take shape.
The garden is nearly ready, I have planted up all the pots and troughs – we have a new colour scheme this year, having moved away from the bright pinks and pale purples and have chosen a very sophisticated deep red geranium mixed in with the lovely white solanum and a few trailing daisies in yellow and a burnt orange.
The last two days of rain have been very useful. I managed to get all the vegetables planted in the newly extended vegetable garden just before the rain arrived and they have now bedded in nicely. We have planted a lovely selection of heirloom tomatoes in a variety of colours which are great for salads and garnishing dishes. A different variety of new potatoes this year – instead of Ratte we have planted Belle de Fontenay for our potato salads. The red and yellow pepper plants are in, plus the courgettes and haricot beans, so all I need to do now is sow the roquette and the winter parsnips.
Gary is away in London this weekend, it’s his grandson Oliver’s first birthday and, despite having so much to do, there are some occasions that can’t be missed! I have pressed on with repainting windows and doors and the table on the terrace is now a wonderful Provençal blue, which is complimented very nicely by the lemon trees.
I am spring cleaning the chambre d’hôte guests bedrooms and making up the beds, adding a few new additions to the rooms such as cushions and ornaments and bedside lights – we like to add new decorative items every year.
Gary just needs to finish building the new barbecue which we have added to the courtyard outside the cuisine ete. We had so much fun last season playing boules and drinking rose with our guests before dinner, that we decided to hold weekly barbecue and boules evenings. Needless to say, building the barbecue wasn’t quite as easy as we first thought, but it’s taking shape and now all we need are some wonderful warm south of France evenings.
Mas d’Augustine, a former silk farm built in the latter part of the 18th Century, retains many of its original features and has been restored with respect for the original architecture. For information about a visit with Jane and Gary at Mas d’Augustine in the village outside Uzes, La Bruguière, check out the website: masdaugustine.com