Monday, 9 August 2010

Horse Manure etc!

At the barbecue to which I went on the night after Nigel returned to the UK, I met a delightful English couple. During the course of conversation, and talking about the garden, I mentioned that I needed a lot more compost and commented about the price of it.  I have been buying it by the (small) bagful at building centres. I was told that there were some stables near them where I could  possibly get manure; they used to go there on a regular basis, before they  started generating their own rabbit compost. A few days later, I received a phone call and I was offered their help,  by way of a driver, car and trailer; how could I turn down a wonderful offer like that? I have the car, but no tow hitch or trailer, so I would have had to have collected it in bags.

On Sunday morning at 09h30, we were on our way to the stables with our large cubic metre builder’s bag, (courtesy of David), in the back of the trailer. We thought it would be easier for offloading when we returned to our house. I was so overwhelmed by the size of the manure pile, and the filling of the bag, that I forgot all about the camera! I did remember it just before we unloaded it.

My friend partly hidden under the plum tree after tipping the bag out of the trailer.

After moving the manure from the builder’s bag to the two large compost bins, I had one bin full right to the top and the other about 6 inches from the top. As such all for free, what a pleasure. Next year this will have turned into ideal compost for the garden.
I also have a third, and larger, bin which is slowly filling up with all the 'rubbish' from the garden.

On our return to my friends, I was shown around and I was astounded at the work they had done to their house; just the two of them and it was so professional. They had not only done roofing, but had laid magnificent wooden flooring, amongst a number of other jobs. Nevertheless, what really took my eye was the floor they are now laying in their entertainment area outside. There were originally just two walls with recesses in the wall where the chicken used to nest. There are now two more low balustrades, the materials bought some years ago from a building being demolished in the UK.

Also there is now a full roof over the whole area. To return to the floor though, they had dug up a Charentaise pebble floor from a room which is now their utility room.
They are now re-laying it in the entertainment area. It looks wonderful already, and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product. Congratulations to you both, I am impressed and I am so glad I met you.

Note one of the recesses in the wall at the back where the chicken used to nest! I hope to take some more photos when the floor is finally finished.

Lastly, but most importantly, thank you so much for your help in the acquisition of the valuable garden compost. Not only for the thought, but the car, trailer and your time involved.

44 comments:

  1. What a lovely thing for them to do! Restores your faith in human nature doesn't it :-)

    Love how the floor is looking...can't wait to see the pics of it finished!

    C x

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  2. What a marvelous way to make new friends, over a pile of sh..., oops I meant manure. And how lush your garden will be next year. As though it's not doing great now.
    I love that tile floor.

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  3. Wow - it's nice to meet such generous people ...

    I love the floor they're laying - that's no small task - it's so interesting to me to see how they're doing it and am looking forward to pics when it's finished.

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  4. OK, thats it, pack up your life and give it to me!

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  5. Your friends are doing an astonishing job on their floor! I never even think about how to get something moved because I have 3 sons with pickup trucks, and my Suburban has a hitch. I don't know what I'd do if I had to actually plan how to move something! (Having a tribe of very large sons makes the jobs even easier, of course.)

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  6. Gaelyn as you say a great way to make friends over a pile of sh..... The floor is going to look wonderful.... watch this space for the end result. Diane

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  7. Carol as you say it really restores your faith in human nature. That floor is going to look great. Diane

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  8. Graham I am so lucky to have met such generous people. I will keep you posted on the floor. Diane

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  9. Tabitha, you have little chance of that happening, life is just too good:-) Diane

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  10. Marjie that floor is going to look fantastic but it is really hard work and time consuming. Perhaps I should borrow your boys occasionally! Diane

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  11. How very nice of them! The kindness of others' never ceases to astound and inspire me.

    What an incredible job your friends have done renovating their home. You can already tell how fabulous their entertainment area will be. =)

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  12. Great compost, new friends and a chance to share that fabulous floor with us Diane, thanks to you and them.

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  13. Ree you are right, there certainly are some kind people around and I have been very lucky in meeting many of them since we have been in France. Both French and English. It is a different world here. Diane

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  14. Hi Lindy, Yes that floor is going to be wonderful when it is finished. Hopefully the garden will appreciate my friends kindness next year and we will reap the benefits. Diane

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  15. Hi Diane,
    First contact with English people here in France ?
    The good ones are all in love of France. :-)
    See you

    Sébastien

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  16. To have good friends you must be a good friend, so that says a lot about who you are Diane! The floor is amazing. Your friends are true craftsmen. I can't wait to see what it looks like when it is finished!

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  17. What clever folks and how nice of them to help you. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  18. Wow! I LOVE that floor - there is nothing like being able to restore and reuse things, it's so satisfying. As for horse manure - I have loads of the stuff, as well as chicken and pig manure if you fancy a change!!

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  19. That has to be the funniest name for a post I have ever seen Diane!! :)

    WHat a fantastic entertainment area that is going to be. I love those floors.

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  20. Sébastien you are so right. All my friends here so far have been French, so it is good to meet an English couple who are as much in love with France as I am. Diane

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  21. Thanks Linda I hope you are right. I try to be good a good friend to people who are good to me. I am so looking forward to seeing that finished floor. Diane

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  22. Mary It was really good of them to give me so much help. I hope I can repay them some time. Have a good day. Diane

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  23. Roz that floor is going to look fantastic. If I had a tow hitch and a trailer you would be sure to have a visitor :-) you are not that far from us really. Diane

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  24. Joan I thought about using Gaelyn's word but gave it second thoughts as a title:-)

    Yep, that floor is going to be something else. Diane

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  25. Diane, thanks for the regular visits to my blog. My appologies if I don't always get a chance to make a visit and comment back to you, but time doesn't always allow.

    I love that floor. I wish I could do something like that in my new entertainment area.

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  26. That floor looks superb, a real labour of love.

    Good stuff horse manure, get it to rot down nicely mind, otherwise it can burn.

    You can sometimes find topsoil for sale in France. It's generally referred to as 'terre vegetale'

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  27. You are lucky to get friends like this Diane and for people to offer something and then actually do it is remarkable, well here anyway that is :)

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  28. Firefly, not a problem, your photos bring back so many memories for me:) Yes that floor is lovely. Diane

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  29. Rob as you say that floor is a labour of love but the end result is going to be worth it. Diane

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  30. Philip, I am so grateful to my new friends. It really restores your faith in mankind. Diane

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  31. My gosh! Diane, what great new friends they are! Their generosity is amazing and I'm sure you are a good friend also in return! The flooring looks very nice!

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  32. Pam I am very lucky to have met them. Yes the floor looks wonerful. Diane

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  33. Wow, nice presentation! Have anice day!

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  34. For community work hours, that the high school required where my son attended, he worked at a county park that had a garden and compost area. On Saturdays he would add the recomended green and brown cuttings to the bins and then try to mix it all up. They also had a liquid fertilizer that they got from the worm display - a bit smelly, but it was suppose to be full of nutrients. Do the contents of your compost bins have to be mixred up, or does it take care of itself?

    That floor that your friends are putting in is a little beyond the weekend crafter and DIY guys. That is really a work of art and engineering it seem to me.

    Have a lovely week,

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  35. Thanks Lani for your comments. You have a good day also. Diane

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  36. Mya I probably should mix up the contents of my compost bin but..... I do sprinkle in a mixture every few layers which says "50% organic compost maker" I just hope it all works:-)

    That paving is extra special, but the friend who is doing it is by trade a goldsmith, not an engineer!! I guess if you want something badly enough....

    I have to say since living here, I have learnt to do things which I never in my wildest dreams I thought was possible. Diane

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  37. Hello Diane!
    Well you are really busy!
    The best manure one can get is indeed horse manure!
    Your garden will explode next spring!
    What a beautiful floor your friends are busy with! It will look great and it will be a wonderful area to spend time!
    About the butterflies, if you want a chance to get them in focus, use the speed feature on your camera! Works well for me! :)
    Have a great day!
    Noushka

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  38. Noushka, if only I knew how to use the speed feature on my camera, presuming this cheap camera has one.... :( This has been a chaotic few days I will update further as soon as I get a chance.

    Yes that floor is going to look magnificent when it is finished. Diane

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  39. LOL!! It would not have been very polite but very to the point. :)

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  40. Good for you to have such good new friends! I had a big open field at my old farm and there was a polo stable across the road. They mowed my hay and I got their old manure every spring.. it was a perfect relationship and how the garden loved it... don't forget manure tea!!!

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  41. longpastremembered, that sounds like a really good relationship to me. Talking about manure tea, perhaps I should rake up all the rabbit droppings and chuck them in some water. Seeing how much is around it makes me realise what my garden would be looking like now if I had not have fenced it!!!! Diane

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  42. The floor looks lovely! Is it ready now?

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  43. JM so far as I understand, what you can see here is finished, but there were two more squares to go at the end. I will take a trip over there before I leave and take some more photos. Diane

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