Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Spring in Normandy  ((Part 2)

Here for another all-too-brief visit, we thought the weather might be friendlier to garden-quelling activities. And for the last couple of days, so it has been. The sun has shone, the wind has blown, and once again all round the house the grass has been mown. Then we attempted the orchard, which has not been cut for many months, and has taken full advantage of the sun and rain to run wild. It's no longer an apology for a garden - it's a field. I like meadows, if they are someone else's.
As soon as my intrepid husband started to creep along the edges of this wilderness, the mower broke. It is, after all, twenty years old and has had a tough life.Over the years he has kept it going with hours of maintenance and lengths of wire, but this time it was beyond his abilities and the tools at hand, so he removed the mower deck and into town we went to visit a man with a 'Motoculture' business - everything to do with garden machinery. He is someone we have come to know quite well, having ordered from him many a mower part. Little did I imagine, in my ignorance, that I would have to learn the French for such things as belts, pulleys and blades.
He looked at the deck, smiled, and said he could  fix it. We discussed our problem. He said he would need to look at our land. So we drove him to our place, and he looked, and smiled, and said, 'You can't cut this with your mower.' He told us he could bring a bigger machine on Thursday evening. 
Today he came with the machine and parked it half under cover among our outbuildings, trees and junk. We watch the weather anxiously. The forecasting website says it won't rain, and he said the same. I felt a few drops just now. Will we get our jungle down before we go home?

Here's the problem:

And here, I hope, is the solution:

Not all is horticultural gloom, however. While we have been away the second wave of lime-haters has burst into glorious bloom. Here are just a few.