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If you are like me, you will be loving this fabulous hot and sunny weather that we have been kindly served so far this summer – even Wimbledon wasn’t too interrupted!  I was so sad that Andy Murray got knocked out, but what a great final between Federer and Djokovic – fantastic tennis to put me on the edge of my seat.

I count myself very lucky that I have a friend who lives in France in a beautiful little place between Bergerac and Marmande, and that for the past few years I have been invited to go out there to stay. I have just come back from my latest venture and my energy batteries are fully topped up! :)

Whilst there, we visited some lovely gardens – ‘Jardin de Beauchamp’ – and slowly wandered around enjoying the plants and the features. There was a really peaceful water lake with a Monet style bridge and water lilies to compliment. It was very calming and we had the garden to ourselves along with two of the gardeners clipping hedges and pruning; a benefit of going on holiday before the main holiday season kicks off.  I’ve attached a couple of photos – one of the Monet style lake and one of a pigeon tower ‘Pigeonnier’.

Apparently, house-hunters in France have a new ‘flight of fancy’ by buying and restoring pigeon towers, which can be the most elegant of all the farm buildings – often more appealing than the farmhouses to which they belong!

In the area where I was staying, they have the greatest number and variety of pigeon towers.  All have a distinct, different character. Some have been converted into gîtes and others function as garden stores or swimming pool changing rooms!  However, many still remain more or less derelict awaiting the imaginative touch of a creative owner. Maybe a project for my retirement? :)

After walking around these lovely gardens we sat in the sunshine with refreshing, chilled drinks. The gardens also had a great garden centre attached, which was brimming with exotic and colourful plants. Sadly my airline hand luggage wouldn’t allow me to bring anything back with me! Such a shame…

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