Thursday, 26 August 2010

New gates at last

At the beginning of June, I mentioned that our old entrance gates were falling apart and that we hoped to have new ones in mid July see HERE .

Well things did not go quite as planned, but just before Nigel returned to the UK at the end of July, our artisan ébéniste (craftsman cabinet maker), suddenly arrived to measure up the area and discuss exactly what we wanted. We thought another two weeks and the gates would be in. I should know better than to expect things to arrive on time, but I finally received a phone call last week saying work would commence on Monday 23 August and it did!!. The frames are made of local oak, and the panels are made from locally grown sequoia. There is a sequoia forest that was planted 40 years ago nearby and they are just starting to cut the trees now.  Because of the weight of the timber, only the frames  were made  in his workshop and the rest of the work was done on site.



Work finished for the day, with the gates incomplete, but I was assured that all would be completed the next day - Tuesday. I received a phone call at 17h00 on that day saying "sorry he had not made it" but it would be finished on Wednesday morning instead! Temperamental artists maybe! Here is the almost completed result, which I am very pleased with. The workmanship is excellent. There was a problem with the fitting of one handle, which is to be sorted out today!! All I have to do now is paint them!!


Meanwhile, I took on the task of getting the laurel hedge back into shape.  I should have taken a photo first but I only thought about that when it was too late!  Enough to say it was about one and a half foot higher that it is in this finished photograph.  I might add this is only part of it, this is probably a third of the length of the full hedge.
You can see how brown our grass is, due to lack of rain.  I use just enough water the keep the flowers and the vegetable garden alive.

50 comments:

  1. I love wood and this is a beauty Diane. True artisans have no sense of time so it is great that you eventually got it. :)

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  2. Joan the finish is just superb, a true artisan finish. I have not posted close ups, but you can see how stylish it is when you see it close to. Diane

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  3. I do admire all the work that you complete without your husband around for help and support. At least you do not have time to get bored and now you have those great looking gates to paint!

    Boundary fencing and gates is something we still have to tackle here as part of our renovations.

    By the way I thought of you when I posted the sunset photo:)

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  4. That gate is just beautiful!! I love wood in all it's forms and you can tell that this has been made with love and care...what a lovely sight to greet you when you make your way home :-)

    C x

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  5. Wow Diane ... those new gates look great ... are you really going to paint over the wood, what about a varnish?

    I'd love to have that kind of wood available close by but it must be imported from SA and can be expensive ...

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  6. Lindy it is a case of I have to just get on and do it without Nigel around. Not a lot of choice at the moment while he is still working.
    That sunset was very special. Diane

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  7. Carol the guy who made them is a real artisan and close up the finish is exceptional. I am very pleased with the end result.. Diane

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  8. Graham just typed this and half went missing!!! The wood is beautiful and the colour of the sequoia is lovely but varnish will never stand up to the sun on it all day. The front gets the sun in the morning when it is cooler, the back gets it from mid day onwards, on days like today when it is almost 40C it has to have something good to protect it. The paint we have is very special and very expensive, but we used it on the shutters in 2006 and they still look like new. They say 10 years so we hope they are right

    At least the gates will match the shutters. As with the shutters I will paint black hinges, and if I really get energetic I will paint all the screw heads black as well!

    I would love to leave them but ..... even the guy who made them is happy for me to paint them:) Diane

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  9. Your finished fence promises to be beautiful. I love the privacy a laurel hedge provides. I know it's a lot of work to keep it looking good, but it is worth it. We use it as a barrier at the back of our property. It is so dense no one can get through that way. I hope you are having a great day. When do you return to England? Blessings...Mary

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  10. Nice job on the gate. It does seem a shame to paint over that beautiful wood, but I can understand the need to preserve it without constant maintenance. Looks like a nice back yard.

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  11. The gate is super. I didn't know that Sequoia existed in France outside of the arboretums. Are you really going to paint that beautiful wood or will you just stain it?

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  12. Gates look great. Big job to paint though. I would inevitably get drips, which is why we went for wrought iron gates. We can see through them but the view on the other side is lovely, and when I do get round to painting them I should manage to do so drip free! We are just as dry here as well, but glad of the sunshine which has been on and off all summer.

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  13. Our grass looked like yours until mid last week. We've had solid rain since Saturday, probably in excess of 6", and the world here is all squishy green.

    I have a garden gate similar to yours that's solid oak, built 80+ years ago. It is just wonderful. Glad you were able to find someone to make yours for you.

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  14. Mary the laurel is a wonderful hedge and apart from occasionally tidying it up I only cut it properly once a year. I return to the UK mid-October. Have a good day. Diane

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  15. Gaelyn you are right, it is a shame to cover the wood, but preservation when it is in full sun is more important, The last gates (only 5 years old!) which we had put in were hopeless in a cheap wood, which is why we have gone to the expense of having good gates this time. Diane

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  16. Dedene afraid we are going to paint it sad though it is. As I said above, varnish will never stand up to the sun on it all day, Stain is not enough protection. The front gets the sun in the morning when it is cooler, the back gets it from mid day onwards, on days like today when it is almost 40C it has to have something good to protect it. The paint we have is very special and very expensive, but we used it on the shutters in 2006 and they still look like new. They say 10 years so we hope they are right, Diane

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  17. Vera we could not have wrought iron here. We are in the centre of the hamlet. We are fully hedged on three sides and the other is fenced and gated. I like my privacy too much! Diane

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  18. It looks wonderful, Diane! It looks good and sturdy so I can see why only the frames were made in his workshop. You did a great job on the hedge! Way to go!

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  19. Pam I am very happy with the gates. The hedge always looks so good after it has been cut! Diane

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  20. Marjie I wish we could get some rain maybe not 6 inches but.....

    I don't think our gate posts would have held up solid oak gates! If our gates last for 80 years I will never be around to find out:) As long as they last my life time I will be happy. Diane

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  21. Those are really beautiful gates, and definitely worth all the wait.

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  22. I have large 5' circles or larger in my yard that look like that. My yard looks like from the movie 'Signs' with Mel Gibson. Beautiful wood on the fence. It looks good.

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  23. Jan they were definitely worth the wait. They are beautifully made. Diane

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  24. Becca I really want rain on the garden, but now I need it to hold on until I have painted the gates! Why is one never satisfied!! Hope the patch is working:) Diane

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  25. What a beautiful gate! It was worth the wait I am sure.

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  26. I have been seeing your beautiful pictures of the garden, harvest... without a comment but I have to leave a message this evening; the gate is just gorgeous. In California, staining it would be enough but with the rain where you are, painting it makes more sense.

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  27. Looks like you have doors on both sides of the gate, double and single. That is really nice.
    Was your yard well developed when you moved in, or did you do most of the planting. Your hedge is lushcious.

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  28. Lindy there is no argument about the wait being worthwhile. Diane

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  29. Nadege thanks for backing me up on painting the gate. Stain or varnish will not protect it enough sad as it may seem. Diane

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  30. Mya the hedge was there but only about 3/4 of a metre (2'9") high,it is now a full 2 metres (6'6") so we are very private. There were a number of trees and shrubs dotted around but I have put in the few flower beds and the vegetable garden. We also planted all the lawn as when the septic tank was put in, the whole area was covered in rocks and clay dug out of the massive hole. See the photos at the bottom of the post http://lifeincharente.blogspot.com/2010/02/easter-2006.html
    Diane

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  31. Beautiful gates I love the wood finish can I ask why do you want to paint them with such beautiful textures from the wood finish ?

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  32. Philip we also love the gates but as I have said above neither varnish or stain will never stand up to the sun on it all day, plus the heave rain and storms we get here. The front gets the sun in the morning when it is cooler, the back gets it from mid day onwards, on days like today when it is almost 40C it has to have something good to protect it. The paint we have is very special and very expensive, but we used it on the shutters in 2006 and they still look like new. They say 10 years so we hope they are right.

    I agree that it is sad to cover that lovely wood but there is little option, they need full protection. Diane

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  33. The new gate looks great!

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  34. Re your comment about me bottling tomatoes, I just cut the bad bits off and quarter the rest, simmer in their own juice until very soft and then put it all through a sieve. Then I boil it again until it's reduced a bit and pour into hot, sterilised jars. It's simple, but time-consuming!

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  35. Thanks Pam I am very please with the result. Diane

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  36. Thanks Jan I will give it a try. Time is not the problem, but all the 'things' I have read on the web say they do not keep. I will give it a go tomorrow. Diane

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  37. I was going to comment on the varnish, how good the gates look, quality craftsmanship, etc that is until I read all the comments and realised everything had already been said.
    I felt I'd been at a party listening to everybody's conversations.
    Anyway - great job - I wish that bloke was in Melbourne to replace my gates and the back fence.
    Leon

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  38. The gates are gorgeous! Sequoia is such a pretty wood. You must be thrilled with how well they turned out!

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  39. Leon the craftsmanship is excellent. I had a friend (retired carpenter) for an aperitif last night and he was very impressed. There are not many people around as qualified any more. I have seen his work in his workshop and it is very special. Diane

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  40. Faith I am thrilled and very pleased.Diane

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  41. Beautiful shades and textures on your new gate.

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  42. JM the wood really is lovely, but because of the weather, sadly I will have to paint them for protection. I saw what happened to the last gates:-( Diane

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  43. Quel joli portail et bien peint il durera longtemps!
    Vos récoltes sont sompteuses! Vous avez beaucoup travaillé et maintenant vous avez de beaux légumes et fruits!
    Les chats de vos voisins sont magnifiques , on ne peut pas résister au charme de leurs yeux!

    Bon dimanche à vous!

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  44. Superb, Diane!
    Lovely job! You must feel a lot better and safe now!!
    Have a great Sunday!!

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  45. lejardindelucie. Merci de vos commentaires. Bonne journée. Diane

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  46. Noushka, safety does not come into it as I feel safe here anyway. I do though like my privacy! Have a good week. Diane

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  47. Great looking gate! Enjoy painting it and your work on it is done!

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  48. Not sure that I will enjoy painting, it has been so hot here but it has to be done! Diane

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  49. I just came here to see how it looked like in 2010 :D
    Cruise Pictures

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  50. Sailor, pretty impressive gates, hopefully these will last a lot longer that the last ones! Diane

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