a secret garden

14 Oct

I woke up early this morning and was greeted by this.

sunrise in the hamlet

How could I go back to bed with that.

I put  the coffee machine on, bread in the toaster and had a wander outside.

sunrise 2

As the sun rose and the sky brightened, you could see it would be a glorious morning – perfect for a morning walk.  So after dropping Lilas off at school, Anne-Laure and I (where are you Mathilde!) set out on an old abandoned road, leading out of the village.  I love these morning walks.   With a dodgy back and all sorts of creaky things going on,  I’m meant to keep up a minimum of exercise.  Geez, I should be doing so much more, but I’ve never been sporty – so these  ‘promenades’ are my small contribution to keeping me on my feet.  We generally head out of the village without any idea of direction and just keep going as far as the route will take us.  Sometimes it’s 40 minutes, sometimes you get lost and the route back takes a bit extra.

la liviniere

harvest in Calamiac

Feet stumbling in the rocks, you see beautiful centuries-old dry stone walls, remnants of old barns, local folk walking their dogs, vineyard workers, brand new views of the village from afar and wave after wave of vineyards.  It is so good out here, I get completely addicted to it.  Every morning has its beauty and I suck it all in and try and store it in some part of my head for the rest of the day.  This time is a luxury and I am thankful to have it.

trees on the morning walk

vintage in the village

morning walk in la liv

cactus in La Liviniere

This particular morning Anne-Laure directed me along a road she knows well, with a special treat at the end of it.

This perfect, secret garden.  A wonderful surprise ‘au bout’of the long lane.

We stood admiring it from outside its fence and then realised that its ‘proprietaire’ was inside, also standing and staring – at us.

He insisted we come in and visit.

It was the most  beautiful vision of green – carefully tended boxes with row after row of salads, herbs, tomatoes, leeks, silver beet, gigantic-leafed plants to keep away the moles…  He was happy to have us here and share his private space.  The monsieur said he’d started growing his ‘potager’ around twenty years earlier and came everyday to work it.  I asked him if with all this amazing produce he cooked – and he laughed heartily (with a cigarette dangling off his lip) and replied no, that it was to keep him busy after retiring and that, as he lived alone, he gave most of his vegetables away.  We thanked him for his time and were handed a bunch of herbs.  He then followed us out, locking the gate behind him and said it was time for his cafe.  A great way to greet the morning.

18 Responses to “a secret garden”

  1. Kate Laurie at 12:29 am #

    What a find! Very jealous Miss Kat! xx

    • The vigneron's wife at 10:58 am #

      It was just lovely Kate. And such a friendly man. I’m sure you get these sorts of characters around where you are – an Aussie paradise you have! xo

  2. Barry at 12:57 am #


  3. Toni Wills at 7:07 am #

    a beautiful adventure…thanks for sharing lovely x

    • The vigneron's wife at 10:59 am #

      Thanks Toni. Yours looks great too! It must be great to be settling in there.
      Didn’t hear from the M’s?

  4. Mathilde at 11:36 pm #

    Ma chérie,
    I will come back I promise for more of our amazing morning walks. Just been visiting another stunning village close by : Caunes Minervois.
    Unbelievable, this magnifient “secret garden”, I will come back to try that new little path.

    • The vigneron's wife at 11:02 am #

      Super! Really don’t know how we missed this one (Benji didn’t even know it) – but very keen to go there again.
      And yes, must come and see Caunes.

  5. Les Woodhead at 5:09 pm #

    This just looks a fabulous place to be living.

    • The vigneron's wife at 11:03 am #

      Thanks for having a look Les.
      Yes, it is beautiful and I am appreciating it everyday.

  6. su Jordan at 5:49 pm #

    simply beautiful….

  7. Tony Mulvahil at 11:22 pm #

    sounds wonderful; maybe next time we’re in the Minervois I will look for the “potager”!

    • The vigneron's wife at 11:06 am #

      You sound like you know this place a bit already Tony?
      Yes you will see quite a few around here and they’re all beautiful.

      Thanks for having a look!

      • Tony Mulvahil at 8:09 pm #

        we are – spent a week in July visiting Carcassone to see the Haute Minervois, Herault and Aude. Beautiful villages, lovely people and, best of all, hot sunny weather. Maybe next time we’ll stop buy to pick up a dozen or so of Benjamin’s wines.

      • The vigneron's wife at 1:44 am #

        Yes you definitely should Tony!
        And I’m glad you got to experience the heat here, I love it.

  8. Neale at 9:07 am #

    Ah so lovely! What beautiful pictures. I too have a small house in the South – near to Faugeres. The Languedoc really is a most enchanting part of the world. So jealous you live there full time!!

    • The vigneron's wife at 1:46 am #

      Thanks for your message!
      And I can’t tell you how much I’ve loved drinking the wine Benji made in Faugeres…

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