A Letter From Burgundy

January 2, 2017

Happy New Year from Les Volets Verts

035Happy New Year Everyone! We enjoyed some snow before Christmas and some very heavy frosts over the Christmas and New Year holidays which made Morlet and the rest of Burgundy look like Winter wonderland.

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We have now enjoyed two seasons with guests at our own gite here in Morlet as well as managing a couple of other properties in Burgundy. We have welcomed many different people of many different nationalities and we have enjoyed some return visits to Les Volets Verts from guests who loved the peace and quiet and found there was also more to do here and in the surrounding area than they realised so returned to carry on exploring. We have just said good bye to some Paris guests who stayed here for a week over New Year with their young children to let them enjoy the countryside and fresh air after some recent pollution problems in Paris. The children loved the animals, particularly the donkey next door!

Our bees are settled down now in their top bar hive for the winter months and we are really looking forward to seeing them out and about in the garden in early Spring. We will have a second hive this Summer and hope to share some honey with our guests!

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August 29, 2012

La Rentrée

Filed under: Gardening and weather,Holidays,Uncategorized — Tags: — Lesley @ 22:31

It has been a great summer for us with family from Australia staying for July and August and new properties coming on board for rental next year but with ploughing of the fields and cutting of the hedges going on the work of the farmer reminds us that summer is drawing to a close. We are looking forward to blackberries in the hedgerows and of course the Vendenage which is going to be starting later than usual this year due to the unsettled weather. We are also aware that many vines in the Beaune area have been damaged by a mixture of hail and humidity so not a good time for the Burgundy wine growers. We have very few plums and cherries, no quince but the summer weather has suited our beetroot, beans, tomatoes and courgettes that have all done well. Pumpkins are doing well too – I don’t think they’re meant to be this big in August : Our lovely grand daughters (and their Parents) arrived about hay making time: We have had a lot of fun including being a Princess at Chateau Sully:

It has been a little embarrassing because as far as Emmeline, 31/2 years old, is concerned it has been the summer of “Aladdin” and when French friends and neighbours have asked what her name is and I have replied “Emmeline” she has contradicted me by saying “No it’s not I’m Princess Jasmine.”

Picnics, digging the potatoes up and picking the tomatoes in the garden as well as fishing for tiddlers have been popular too:

 

 

 

They left Burgundy for a few days to stay with friends in the South of France and evidently the tomatoes were not nearly as delicious as the tomatoes that Grandad grows so it’s good to know it’s not just wine that this region is famous for!

After a busy couple of months peace has now resumed but it’s great to know that we will see them again in September before they return to Sydney!

 

May 13, 2012

Traditions

Filed under: Events and markets,Gardening and weather — Lesley @ 09:21

May Day – La Fête du Muguet or La Fête du Travail is a public holiday in France and while trade unions and other organisations may choose this day to organise parades in towns and cities to campaign for workers’ rights other people, especially in rural France, will give bouquets of Lily of the Valley to loved ones and close friends. This tradition is believed to have been started by King Charles IX in 1561 when he sent each Royal Princess in France a stem of Muguet as good luck. Around the 1900’s men started giving the flowers as tokens of love or affection to their girlfriends. Today, bakers and florists will usually incorporate these flowers into their displays and individuals and organisations are given special dispensations to sell them without having to pay taxes or work within retail regulations!

 

Lily of the Valley

Another lovely tradition this month comes from Australia and New Zealand where each year on ANZAC Day families still make special biscuits which were sent overseas to serving soldiers during World War One. The biscuits (Google ANZAC biscuits) have excellent keeping properties hence being able to take weeks to reach their destination.

In our family we have our own little tradition. When a new grandchild is born we plant an acorn and watch the Oak tree grow. Not quite the same as some families do in the Mediterranean where they plant an olive tree on the birth of a child  but  “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow”  This is Sasha’s oak tree. She was born in Sydney in January of this year and will be in Burgundy to see her tree this summer.

Sasha's Oak tree after 4 months

Finally, thanks to the rain we have had lately other flowers doing exceptionally well are the wisteria and lilacs which seem to be everywhere at the moment. We have a young wisteria on the front of our house which is yet to flower and we wonder how long it will be until it has flowers like this one on the main road through Couches…..

Wisteria in Couches

 

March 28, 2012

A Letter From Burgundy

Filed under: Animals,Gardening and weather — Tags: , , , — Lesley @ 13:22

We’ve been talking about doing a blog over the winter months and now with the arrival of Spring comes our first blog. We have been living full time in Burgundy for nearly two years now and it really feels like home. We love the changing seasons and as we are in the middle of a farming community we are probably more aware of the seasons than most. This last weekend we were busy in the garden digging a wild life pond in the orchard where we plan to have a bee hive next year and preparing the vegetable patch for the early potatoes to go in. We were also helping to create a new flower border for a friend on Saturday – so by Sunday night we were a little stiff to say the least! The good weather is continuing into this week and despite a French lesson on Tuesday and a bit of work keeping us on the computers we still seem to be managing to spend a lot of time outside – making the most of the weather just in case it isn’t sunny again tomorrow!
The picture here is of one of our dogs, Scamp, who was 10 years old yesterday. He marked his birthday by having a disagreement with a dustcart. He was having a morning potter down a lane when a dustcart appeared (obviously using the lane as a cut through – there are no houses on this lane) he stood his ground and the lorry drove round him, up on the grass verge and down again. I was too far away to see whether the driver was amused or annoyed which was probably just as well as it could well have been the latter!