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Seeking advice on appointing a garden

 
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Fahf



Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Ardeche, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:10 pm    Post subject: Seeking advice on appointing a garden Reply with quote

Hello all, I have been lurking for some time and learned a lot so thank you already for your help.
We have a farmhouse in the Ardeche, in France that we are ever so slowly renovating with a view to letting out. As the house takes shape it is time to turn our attention to the garden. It is a good size, about 25m deep and 18m wide ringed with a tall hedge of about 2.5m. It is sloped to one side with a fish pond at the bottom that is be safely fenced. By the house there will be a patio of about 18m2 (6 x 3). Between the two elements is currently a large open space. I would like your advice on what amenities could or should be included. Cost is obviously a factor as is maintenance. My first thought is that it would be nice to have a campfire (I would like one for personal use at least) as well as as an area for pétanque, which has the additional bonus of reducing the amount of mowing that needs to be done.
The main market for rentals will be families so an open area to kick a football or frisbee. Any other amenities that you can think that should be included in the layout of the garden? Many thanks for your help!
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to LMH, Fahf.

A garden can be whatever you want it to be, really, so I've no idea how to advise on that, except to say that if it's a farmhouse garden I think it really needs to blend in with its surroundings as much as possible rather than being some kind of over-amenaged, over- complicated playground! It's that which will produce its charm. (But then I'm biased, and partisan Laughing).

Oh, and you'll need to check out with your mairie what the local regs are about fires as you may well find that all types of fire, including fire pits and campfires, are banned for much of the summer because of fire risk.
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Fahf



Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Ardeche, France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks French Cricket, good tip about checking with the mairie, I think we'll be ok as we are in the northern tip of the Ardeche rather than the more fire-prone south but we must be 100% certain.
And I also agree about not making the garden an overly charged playground. I just don't know how to balance having the amenities that will attract customers with a desire to leave things as simple as possible. In many ways it is the peace and simplicity of the area that will attract the adults while having something to keep the kids occupied will also be appealing.
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PW in Polemi



Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 1756
Location: A village in Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could separate the various areas of the garden (you've already got a pond and are planning a petanque area and a BBQ area) with screening bushes - just make sure they don't need constant trimming to keep in shape, and as your market is families, avoid plants with thorns - parents can get upset when little Johnny runs into thorns that narrowly miss scratching his eyes out Shocked . Buddleia davidii (butterfly bush) are good quick growers with lovely flowers that attract butterflies (hence the name) and are happy with a haircut at the end of summer - or wait till early spring after the frosts are over. There are many other plants that look good, smell good and are not too needy as regards water and maintenance - try lavender, rosemary, and see what your neighbours have that grows well in your area or ask your friendly garden centre.

If you are living nearby and can maintain it easily, how about a small herb garden near the patio for those of your guests who are keen on cooking?

Oh, by the way, welcome, Fahf. Laughing
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Fleur



Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 413
Location: S.W. France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pond and families worry me. Does this come under the same safety rules as,swimming pools?
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Fahf



Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Ardeche, France

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question Fleur, I honestly don't know.

Right now the plan is to have it securely fenced off with a locked gate. I need to confirm if that is sufficient.

It's not deep at about 60cm but that is more than enough water for something tragic to happen.

If any one has any information on this I would be grateful.
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ianthy



Joined: 12 Mar 2006
Posts: 520
Location: Bologna, Italy

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would start with the cost/time of maintaining the garden and work back. If you are not full time so rely on a local chap to do the pool and garden. Like other LMH's have mentioned, our garden blends in to the local environment and is low maintenance = 8 hours a week includes pool and garden.
A local friend created a very pretty but labour intensive garden with lots of beds, flowering plants, lawns and hedges that needs up with 40 hours of gardening a week! Expensive and not to be recommended especially when the local commune ban the watering of gardens during the height of summer.
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Circé



Joined: 13 Aug 2010
Posts: 369

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fleur wrote:
Pond and families worry me. Does this come under the same safety rules as,swimming pools?


In France a garden pond is not a swimming pool and does not therefore fall within the requirements of the pool safety law.

Children are allowed to drown in the sea and in ponds, rivers & lakes but NOT in your gite pools.

As to 'natural swimming ponds/pools'....the law hasn't yet made up it's mind.
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KathyG



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3224
Location: Le Faou, Brittany

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Circé"]
Fleur wrote:

In France a garden pond is not a swimming pool and does not therefore fall within the requirements of the pool safety law.

Children are allowed to drown in the sea and in ponds, rivers & lakes but NOT in your gite pools.



Yep, crazy isn't it! Shocked
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