Opening Up To Our New Life – The Welshies Paradise

So we decided after starting to build a new ’courtyard’, that perhaps we needed to open up our garden, and enjoy it all. As I wrote before Montaigu was a difficult garden, with it’s high hedges and chemins.

The Prison Wall, as it became known

When we arrived at our new home, it was surrounded with a high wall separating the driveway and courtyard from the paddock. Initially it was great because it allowed us to keep the Welshies where we could see them, as we had no way of knowing how secure it was. It was also incredibly overgrown and unloved. All our garden tools were ’Lost In France’, along with other things like my beautiful blue plant pots, and it was impossible for us to get it under control. What with moving and setting up a new life it wasn’t high on our priority list. But then Wiglet was diagnosed, and I cried to RD that she never got to run in the paddock. Fast forward a year and she is still here, that good old strong energy called love has given us more time so…..

As we sat outside one evening enjoying our new courtyard and watching the sun set, I was looking at the awful wall and I suggested to RD how lovely it would be to be able to see right across the garden. Yes it meant the Welshies had free rein at night, but it is half an acre compared to an acre and there are not so many places to hide. I suggested that we would still have the feeling of a courtyard, but it would be lovely to use all of the garden, which we did not do in Montaigu. I also suggested that in the summer we would have to paint it along with the house, and how much time and money this would take. The seed was sown…..

The Old Damaged Wall

A few weeks later we attended mass for our late neighbour, who sadly died a few weeks after we arrived. I am not religious but we attended to support his wife and family who have been so welcoming to us. We mentioned to his son, who is also our neighbour, our plans. As I find the Irish do, the walls fate was sealed and within three weeks a tractor arrived to mow the paddock, and before we knew it the grass was short for probably the first time in four years, and, as should be the case, it was bailed for animal food.

No waste, the grass was bailed for food.

The next day our neighbour, who was a renowned builder in the area, arrived with his Manitou, next the digger arrived …

And hey presto the wall was gone, with the exception of a small part we wanted to keep.

It was amazing, it finally felt like our garden. We have plans: cherry trees will be planted. Our little metal bench, soon to be back from France, will be placed underneath, so we can contemplate whilst looking across the fabulous view of The Sperrin Mountains.

My old cheap mirrors, soon to be back from France, will be painted with outside paint and placed around the garden. A magnolia, honeysuckles, and Prayer plants have been planted up. We hope they will climb up the old gate, which we have left as part of this garden’s history, and because the sparrows, chaffinch’s and blue tits like to sit on it.

Old Gate To Right

As time has passed these last few years we are more in touch with nature than ever before, everything has a right to life, everything. So we plan to leave the edges to go wild, and have randomly thrown cottage garden flowers, and meadow flowers, and grass seed in abundance, it is tentatively showing itself.

But more than anything it has been the Welshies. Only this morning Wiglet was tracking something, and yesterday they told the cows in the neighbouring field how the paddock belonged to them. It makes me smile, every day. I didn’t realise how much they missed their space.

Wiglet has finally got to run in the paddock with Harley.

There is more to come….




  1. Looks so much better Mois, it will be lovely from the sound of your plans. When planting wild flower seeds you need to rake back the grass to bare soil and then add some ragged Robin seed. This will stop the grass from overtaking the wild flowers and killing them. Xx


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