This post's title sums up the last couple of weeks since I last wrote my blog. And what an exhausting time it's been!
You may recall that we had had the last of the mountain of earth (from the numerous diggings of the pool-hole) removed and the ground levelled. It meant that by the end of the third week of September, we were in a position to prepare the ground around the pool terracing for grass.
I think it would be a good idea at this point, to remind you what the ground around the pool looked like at one stage. This was back in May and although I don't have photos to prove it, take my word that time didn't improve it!
Our friends, Ron and Barbara (who were our neighbours in the UK - and very keen, not to mention, most adept, gardeners) arrived on the afternoon of 22 September and the very next day got stuck into helping us. To be fair, it was Ron and Danny who got down to the hard graft while Barbara and I mooched round garden centres and nurseries choosing plants for what will be the flower borders adjoining the terracing!
To prove my point, here are Ron and Danny, hard at it.....
By way of explanation (and to try to give you some idea of the sheer scale of the job) the whole area which was to be seeded for grass measured 450 square metres. Before seeding, the ground had to be rotivated, raked, flattened then raked over again. In some areas, weeds had grown and had subsequently been sprayed with a weed killer. But those weeds, albeit by now very dead, had to be raked out!
Eventually, after a few days of that, the ground at the far end of the pool was pronounced ready for seeding. So, on 27 September, Ron and Danny got busy, sowing seeds....
I don't want you to think that we worked our guests so hard all the time. As well as all the work Ron did in the garden (I should mention that he also pulled out some very stubborn roots for me!), we made sure there was plenty of time to relax and enjoy our French wines and patisserie. And, they enjoyed our swing seat too!
Ron and Barbara's week's holiday went by so quickly and before we knew it, Danny and I were left to finish the rest of the grass seeding and prepare the flower beds for planting. There will be flower beds to three sides of the pool but the largest is the area beside the "pool house". These next photos show the result of another couple of days of hard work; moving top soil, raking it over and fixing a membrane, which will hopefully keep the weeds at bay.
The weather has changed since then and we are having a week of heavy rain and wind. Unfortunately, this means I shall have to wait to get the plants in but on the plus side, it has done wonders for the grass seeds. A couple of days ago, eight days after sowing the seeds, we realised the area that Ron and Danny seeded, was now starting to look green! It's not so easy to see in the picture on the left but the grass really had begun to grow - I know this will sound crazy but it felt quite magical!!
And, this is what it looks like today!
So there you have it! It's been a lot of very hard work but it's worth it when the results are so easy to see.
Of course, you can't have all work and no play and with my friend, Anne, about to return to the UK for the winter, she and I took the opportunity to spend last Friday afternoon together looking round the Parc Oriental de Maulévrier. It is a beautiful Oriental park, only about 40 minutes from where we live. We were lucky with the weather as it was still warm and sunny and it was nice to enjoy a work-free afternoon! Here is a collage of some of the photos I took that day..
I suspect we'll be taking next year's visitors there for a look and if you want more information about the park, click here.
Well that's about it for this update. I'm aware that the animals have not featured in this post but suffice to say the dogs thoroughly enjoyed Ron and Barbara's visit as they were very spoilt! So, to finish up, here is a photo of the dogs just about to be given one of their new treats...Danny knows someone who makes home-made dog treats and we brought back a boxful when we came back from England last month. As you can tell, the dogs know exactly where they're kept!
Until, next time then, à bientôt!