03 May 2013

Pas encore beau

We were forewarned: it won't be pretty at first. But it must be done. Our long-planned garden work started yesterday. The contractor sent us two guys to start cutting back sections of the cherry laurel hedge, cutting back and re-shaping the big bay-leaf bush (Laurus nobilis, called a laurier sauce in French and bay laurel in English), and reducing the height of the row of hazelnut trees in our back yard.

Here are four pictures, with captions. You can see how foggy it was yesterday morning, and how green everything is now because of all the rain we've been having. The afternoon was bright and sunny.

Here's Walt consulting with the gardening contractor, who has found a nice edible mushroom growing near the tall bay-leaf bush.

By mid-morning, the job was under way and the fog got even thicker.

Another before shot...

...and here's what we ended up with. Our view of the vineyard is improved.

We are really hoping that the bay-leaf bush will sprout a lot of new leaves this summer. We depend on those leaves to flavor all the sauces and broths we make in the kitchen. This is just an example of the work, which will continue today.


  1. Fresh bay leaves give such an amazing aroma.
    Until arriving in France, all I ever used were the dried ones. There is no comparison.

  2. Talking about bay-laurel bushes, the one you brought me two or three years ago is not dead and survived so far. It has three or four leaves that I can't pick up for cooking lest it would kill it.

  3. Ken, you can freeze a bunch of those felled leaves...
    they keep very well that way.
    And worry knot that it won't grow back...
    laurels just grow on forever.

    We have two little-uns here...
    one we bought...
    hates where it is and puts out two to three leaves a year...
    [I'll move it this year to where it can get going]...
    the other was the stump and some root of our one from Leeds...
    after a couple of false starts... due to the weather over the last few years...
    it has now got going and has two strong shoots coming from the bottom.
    So we are in the same state at the moment as chm... we haven't even got any left in the freezer!

  4. Doing some reading, I just learned that our laurel hedge isn't a true laurel at all. It's a Prunus, or cherry tree/shrub. That's why it's called a laurier cerise, or cherry laurel a.k.a. English laurel.

    We saved hundreds or even thousands of bay leaves yesterday. I have hung the branches leaves-down in the dark, cool garage to let them dry for use later this year and next, as needed.

  5. Not only they grow back, but we find baby laurels all over the garden. Save a bunch from the pruning, if you can and by the end of summer you should have some fresh ones.
    I want to do a radical pruning of our laurel, but Paul always puts a stop to any radical pruning of anything and the gardener always heeds Paul, not me.

  6. We have a large laurel hedge which we like as it is. Strange everyone else seems to get young plants except for us and we need some more!. That weather looks foul, our is not much better!! Have a good day. Diane

  7. Your hedge is just amAzing. I love your yard!

  8. The yard looks beautiful and bigger. We used to dry our laurel leaves too. The branches will grow back quickly.

  9. Pas encore beau à Dijon non plus. Hier il est tombé 5cm de gros grêlons et des trombes d'eau.

  10. I imagine the workers liked the foggy weather since it was prob ably a lot cooler.

  11. Bonjour Olivier, au journal télévisé hier on a parlé du mauvais temps qu'il a fait dans votre région. Bon courage.

    Starman, heat has not yet been an issue here in the middle of France (except the kind that the boiler and radiators produce) this spring. See Olivier's comment about hail and torrents of rain.


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