A passion for Trognes

Les Trognes... book cover

On Monday night we went over to La Rabiniere at Betz-le-Chateau to a book talk organised by the “Champs des Livres” association. The author was a man passionate about “Les trognes” which is the main title of his book. The passionate man was Dominique Mansion who founded and runs the Maison Botanique at Boursay in … Continue reading


One man went to mow…


…went to mow a meadow! At the moment in my case, it is one man and his cat to follow on. We have around two hectares to mow…. that’s around five acres in English money… and the grass needs to be removed to lower the fertility and allow the weaker species to grow more successfully … Continue reading

2010 & 11… Almost caught up!

Two images of Cohu Blue catkins

As mentioned at the end of the last post we started off the willow plantation. I purchased and collected the willows from Yorkshire Willow… they came as 10″ cuttings… well, lengths…  of one year old stem with about six to ten buds. The idea is to plant each length of willow stem where it is … Continue reading

A Bit of Fencing…. 2009

Fence showing straining wires

We had a break from the felling routine in 2009 and did some planting [as before] and some fencing. The fencing was needed to define the boundary between our property and the neighbouring field… the original fence was very ‘tired’ and in places… completely missing [having, in our absence, been driven straight through by a … Continue reading

Five old Saules… part four of the saga – 2008

Now finished

The routine continued… but this year we had my wife with us, so Stuart and I were able to crack on much quicker, leaving Pauline to cook and clean up after us! Well, not really, the third pair of hands actually meant that some of the more difficult tasks  were “three head, six hand” jobs. … Continue reading

Five old Saules… part the third. 2007 and the heat is on!!

The heat is on

By this point Stuart and I had got into a routine. Cut the ‘trees’ off the top of the old pollard, deal with the usable timber, plant trees, cut rods and refill the cattle splash. Why ‘trees’… mainly because that is what they were… pollarding usually takes place between ten and twenty five years after … Continue reading

Five old Saules… the second part. 2006.

The first willow to be attacked... as it was left in 2005

2006 saw us ‘armed’ with a chainsaw. That meant that we were able to tidy up the wreckage of the first attempt and finish the tree off properly. The cut timber was then processed and we took some of it up to the hangar [dutch bar/open barn] to dry out for use as firewood. The … Continue reading

The Original Five Old Saules

These are the original five willows that formed part of the boundary of the bief. The five old pollards The rotted out stumps of some of the rest remain… a hazard as one walks the bank. As you can see, these were in desperate need of conservation. Already, branches had rotted and fallen, trunks split … Continue reading

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