La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Natural Garden Fences & Devides

Our house is set in a 3000 sqm garden, surrounded by woodland mainly. Needless to say that come autumn we have leaves galore to rake. 
Now, we are not the sort of people that would love living with a regimented, pristine and super tidy garden. 
We like using what nature gives us for free and things that don' t look out of place in this setting.
These are just a few of the examples what is possible.

In the pictures above you can see how we made cilinders from wire mesh, which we can fill with leaves or other garden clippings. It is not that it will compost very quickly, but it will compact together nicely and break down over a longer period of time and it can be filled up again in the next year.
We have several of these babies dotted around the property and they make a great winter home for hibernating hedgehogs, little field mice, shrews and even toads or frogs.
Above you can see our wall of branches and twigs. There  were some spruce trees standing there, getting too big for their boots, which we cut down, but left a height of 150/200 cm trunks. In between the trunks we stacked loads of branches and twigs from clearing the woodland.
Another lovely home for wildlife.

Now in the picture that follows you can notice a project that is still very much a work in progress. 

We made 3 terraces next to the house, where there was just a slope before. Bert erected the retaining walls with plywood (not my ideal) and I used the stems of young trees that needed thinning and slotted them in place behind the uprights that Bert placed in front of the walls.
On these terraces I can now start planting shrubs and flowers and even vegetables. 
Once finished it will look great, don't you think ?

Thank you for reading.
Patricia xxx...x


  1. Neat! I love your ideas, you are just full of them :)

  2. I am full of something, that's a certainty ;-) Hehehe, I can't take credit for the ideas, we've probably seen something similar, somewhere and stored it in our brains to use as and when appropriate. But I like to share whatever ideas seem great !


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