When we were in the process of buying La Biochère, we knew that one or two big trees and shrubs would have to be taken out or reduced….

Edward cut down the cherry laurel at the corner of the house during the week before we officially moved in!

The cotoneaster, spreading across the side garden took longer, over several days and weeks to clear…

The bay tree at the corner of the big barn was a bit of a challenge, especially when Edward’s chainsaw broke and he had to cut through the trunks by hand….


The forsythia, situated behind one of the stone seats on the main lawn was no exception – an ugly, sprawling shrub, overgrown with brambles, ivy and holly, it blocked our view across the orchard to the fields and woods beyond….

We cut it down within the first week of our moving in but the stump remained in place until just this week, some 17 months later!

Lovely spring sunshine has encouraged us to do more work outside – Edward has finished the terrace fencing and archways…

And I’ve been tidying up the areas around the stone benches, around the lime tree.  Three are now done – slates down for walking on and little borders either side containing ox-eye daisies, fox-tail lilies and a sprinkling of wild flower seeds for some summer colour….

The fourth bench, with it’s ugly stump, was letting the side down….

After breaking the handle on my best fork 🙁 it was time to bring in our newly purchased pick axe…


And bit by bit, it finally came out – hoorah!!

It was hard work, but I don’t think either of us expected to get it out in one day!  I spent the rest of the evening clearing the ground of weeds and remaining ivy and edging the natural circle that had been made from when the forsythia grew there….

The fun bit is planning the planting scheme!  Now the terrace is becoming more organised and we are preparing to plant new beds in front of the fencing and climbers over the arches, my box balls seemed a little surplus to requirements.  I’ve had them for years, adorning the doorways of our old house in England before we brought them with us to France.  Now I think they have the perfect spot – a little formal area in front of the stone seat, overlooking the orchard and fields beyond….

More broken slates will provide the ‘hard landscaping’ in a square between the balls and around the seat.  For now, the rest of the bed will be planted with annuals to give some colour and interest and these will hopefully follow the natural curve down the bank….  I guess this is the next big job on the horizon, but I’m happy with how this has turned out ♥