Garden at Gite-Milvain

Overview of the garden

The garden at the Gite is about 2000 square metres in area, having originally been rough pasture. The previous owners planted a mixed hedgerow along the roadside with a number of invasive plants, for good measure. Presently, it is reasonably level and possible to walk along mown access paths between wilder areas. However, it may not be passable for wheelchair users and there are numerous mole holes and tussocks underfoot, as well as a few ground nests for bumblebees and other insects.

There are a number of attractive flowers throughout the season and there are several shady spots, welcome in the hot days of summer. Our intention is to increase the number and distribution of flowering plants and climbers and maybe add seating areas and pathways. Of course, that aim may take a couple of years! There are numerous existing photos displayed on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

More garden photos

We have collected a few photos from Spring, Summer and Autumn over the last couple of years – not a compendium but just to illustrate what you might expect to see when you visit.

There are common and “blue” bumblebees, mason bees, sometimes hornets and ground-nesting wasps, various butterflies, dragonflies and damsel flies, among others. We regularly see a buzzard overhead, plus several species of smaller birds of prey along local roadsides. We have a visiting stray cat who seems to have adopted us. We sometimes see a deer in the fields behind us and we have one or more local owls (“hibou” and “chouette”).

We are experimenting with concepts of “insect-friendly gardening”. A combination of short grass access pathways and long grass “wild” areas is intended to optimise habitats for a wider variety of birds, small mammals and insects. We are already seeing new species (small skipper butterflies, crickets and wall lizards) and the paths are inviting and make for a relaxing stroll. It#s prettier and less work, too.
Fire salamander taken at night in rain

Roadside views

A few sights which may be unusual for an ex-pat

For an ex-pat, some of the things we notice among roadside views seem unusual, fascinating and charming. We collected a few images (when we could) mainly because we liked them. Of course, we understand these may be commonplace to Europeans in general. However, for us, we only moved to France recently (Milvain) and everything is new and exciting and mysterious.

We recently passed through the village of Precey, in Manche Department. What we saw in a roadside jardiniere was jaw-dropping. There were huge, dazzlingly-coloured mouldings as well as wooden carvings that would grace any garden.

Le Petit Champlain 1
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