The trees are coming in!!!
Let me explain- the big house behind Maison Priest was owned by an English lady who has decided to sell and had been unable to visit as often as she would like recently.
Her property backs right up to our little courtyard, which is bordered on one side by what used to be her barn but has now had the roof removed to make a courtyard (keep up) which involved someone sawing through the barn’s supporting cross beam (no comment).
Over the last three years we have watched, from our terrace, the progress of this courtyard from needing a bit of weeding, to numerous little saplings taking root and finally establishing themsleves as serious trees-Right-May 2013
This is the South of France, we get lots of sun and lots of rain (mainly at night- very civilised) and everything grows at least three times faster than in UK; so now these rogue trees have gone from peeping attractively but slightly worryingly over her wall- above right- to hanging over our courtyard wall and looming alarmingly and spreading their branches almost as far over as our terrace. Bearing in mind that this is a roof terrace on a three storey house you can do the maths as to how high the trees actually got from zilch to majestic in just 36 months!-below left-September 2013 (spot the difference)
We knew that if they continued at this rate they would block the light from our morning sun trap corner, and worse, bits of our mutual wall were dropping off into our picturesque pissoir (regular readers will know that our other neighbours told us that when the house behind was the village cinema , our courtyard was used as the pissoir because it had the ancient gulley to the river running through it- hahaha!!!)
So we reluctantly had to email our neighbour and ask her if she knew how bad things were. She didn’t, of course, as she had not visited her house for some time and had to arrange for the trees to be exterminated ASAP. Please note, I would not normally advocate tree extermination, but if they had been allowed to expand further, the roots would have succeeded in achieving what several centuries of intermittent benign neglect has not- i.e. bringing down our house.
So- another Handy Hint for all you prospective and actual French house owners- Green Stuff grows super fast over here and unless you can be here full time or frequently the Triffids will take over!