La Petite Touche The Story of Phase 1 concludes


February 2010

It's been a little while since the last news bulletin loaded to this site. Now that the major works are completed, things are moving a little more slowly.

However since the last report quite a bit has happened. The beam in Gite 1 (Le Petit Bosquet) has been given a new lease of life aesthetically by being clad with a new oak skin. During the Christmas period decoration of the salon commenced. A new satellite dish was also fitted allowing UK free satellite TV to be viewed for the first time.

Externally we've made a start on the semi-private garden areas for each of holiday cottages. This has included levelling the whole area, removing all the debris so it is ready for grass sowing as soon as the weather permits. A fence with gate has also been erected to divide the two garden areas, with a gate to allow fraternisation if appropriate.

The final piece of news is that we've taken an advert ( for Gite 2 (Le Vieil Atelier - the old workshop) so it is now "officially" available for rental in 2010.

March 2010

Those of you who keep up with things on the other side of the water will be aware of the storm called "Xynthia" that tracked across France at the end of February. Winds between 95 and 100mph were recorded. It was quite a dramatic night. LPT didn't come through completely unscathed. The outbuildings shed a few slates and the fence between the two Gite back gardens although not totally trashed did take quite a bit of "flak".

We reported completion of all the decorations and application of finishing touches to the second Gite, now named Le Viel Atelier (The Old Workshop).

The grass seed had been sown and was just beginning to show. Construction of the two front gardens and a large quantity of gravel made the courtyard look much more pleasing on the eye. The roses planted last year seemed mostly to have weathered the winter well and all appeared to be in bud. The weather had also started to improve (but still remained very cool) and the grass needed its first cut.

All was finally ready for the 2010 season. The next thing to concentrate on was getting the larger Gite, Le Petit Bosquet (which is another way of saying La Petite Touche - so a bit of a play on words, but in French this time) ready for occupation.

May 2010

Recent developments included more work on Le Petit Bosquet, now closer to completion. The salon was finally decorated and the results can be viewed on the relevant page. We think it looks pretty smart. Still a bit more to do but the end of the tunnel now seems to be in sight!

The grass seed that was sown in March, because of the unusually cool weather, stubbornly refused to turn into a lush sward, as we had hoped; not helped by a very dry April. More seed was applied, but it too proved difficult to nurture, mainly because of the weather. However as last reported, the roses had taken a step forward and were all in a late state of bud. Full blooms were eagerly awaited. The front gardens (about 2/3rds of an acre) were growing well and regular cutting needed to keep them looking trim. One new tree was planted in the fledgling orchard, an apple, which at the time seemed to have taken well to its new surroundings.

The completed Salon in Le Petit Bosquet

Le Petit Bosquet - the salon

October 2010

Well the Summer is now well and truly behind us and as the nights draw in we can take stock. This summer has been as dry as any we have so far seen. As a result and because of the soil characteristics of where we have been trying to grow grass, very little progress has been made. We had a lovely display of poppies but no lasting grass, except where we did not want it. The newly planted tree reported on in May did not survive the Summer. Still perhaps we'll get a kind winter!

On a more positive note we have all but finished Le Petit Bosquet, only the kitchen now remains to be decorated. And we have been very pleasantly surprised by the positive comments from all who have stayed in Le Vieil Atelier. They can be viewed on the page for Le Vieil Atelier.

Outside we had been moving plants. When we purchased the property there was a large thick laurel hedge in the front garden apparently planted to cover the back of the piggeries. Closer inspection revealed that it was actually a temporary planting point for about 200 plants. These have now been moved to the perimeter of the property, which is what we believe the previous owners intended for them. At the moment they look rather odd as they have very little in the way of side shoots, but we will give them time to establish before we take the tops out.


January 2011

The weather this Christmas was similar to that the year before - a beautiful crisp day - almost a shame to be enjoying Christmas lunch inside. The kitchen has been painted and finishing touches have been applied to Le Petit Bosquet.

Le Petit Bosquet - the kitchen

April 2011

It seems no time at all since writing in January about the replanting of the laurel bushes. Since then with very little rain they have not done well at all. But as they are supposed to be "indestructible" we will leave them in the hope that the roots haven't died, as have the leaves. Maybe they will recover if we get some decent rain.

Elsewhere we've laid a sun terrace in the garden area for guests staying in Le Vieil Atelier and completed the final works on Le Petit Bosquet. Both now are awaiting the arrival of guests.