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.

Monday, August 24, 2015

From Parking Lot to Cottage Garden


It is what it is. Newly built houses here in Ireland often look as if they have been dropped  down from a great height with built-in foliage remover into (or should that be onto ?) the landscape.
It was no different for the property we bought and moved into in April 2013. Surrounded by a flat gravely area that could park 15 busses or thereabouts. 
The driveway led straight towards the living area of the house.  I wasn't having any of that.  

That very summer we had a good part of the hardcore gravel dug out.  Hard as concrete it was and it went deep. How deep, we didn't find out. We stopped at about 50/60cm.

It was then filled in with many tractor loads of good soil.  That summer we didn't have plants in it, because by the time we finished autumn had already arrived.

By next spring we added a little seating area. Many plants were put in and a mixture of wildflower and cottage garden flower seeds sown. I cannot tell you how many plants, cuttings and seeds my mother has given me over the years that now adorn quite a few gardens in Ireland, Belgium and France.

And here we are now. Summer 2015. It hasn't been a great summer, but at last, the house looks like it starts to belong in its setting.

View from the house towards old driveway.


And again from a slightly different angle. Spring/summer 2014

And this year. A bit windswept but nothing can now spoil my view from the sitting room.
To reposition the driveway there was quite a bit of rock breaking to be done.

On the far right is now the driveway.

Nothing like an abundance of flowers to lift the spirit and feed the bees.

Hope you enjoyed the progress. Come again soon.
Patricia xxx...x

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