Men with rampant power tools are an unbeatable combination. At one point, a thin red line of three advanced across the lawn, strimmers strimming at full blast, decimating the weeds. Meanwhile (although he never did manage to activate his power saw) another swung from what I'd always known was a perilous branch of an ivy-throttled apple tree--and downed it. A special thanks to the someone else who dug up the roots of the large bush that once swamped the pergola. Now there's room for our small, newly painted round table, and bistro chairs. White linen and gins and tonics anyone?
Last Saturday morning wasn't all wanton destruction. Things got built too. One group dug us a large vegetable garden. Another constructed a small wall and used the rest of the large heap of rocks to construct a small walled garden. A long bed was dug against the west hedge. The garden path was completely cleared and sprayed clean. The former thicket of elder saplings is now a "thinnet."
Meanwhile, a friend and I bundled all the branches as they were cut so they could be trundled through the house to join the growing great wall of green garbage bags.
Fast forward to Monday morning and a bit of explanation. I'd read in the periodic newsletter that the mairie sends out that the Communauté des Communes will pick up dechets verts--green garbage. A couple of weeks ago, I dropped in at their office, the same place that organizes composters, and learned that a truck was scheduled to visit Léran on May 4.
So, Monday morning, off we went to the market in Mirepoix, leaving our gargantuan amount of green garbage in front of the house. We returned, some hours later, to find it still there. Gloom and despondency especially when I opened the letter that had arrived in that morning's post to read that the limit for pick-up was two cubic meters.
Minutes later, a giant truck turned down the impasse, its metal claws at the ready. Within 10 minutes, all our green garbage was gone.
I'm jumping ahead here. So let's flash back to Saturday, around 1:30 p.m when the jolly jardiniers sat down to lunch.