Barry Watton's February Garden To Do List.

Christophe GUAY // Monday, 11 February 2019


By February I am more than sick of winter. The winter blues have thoroughly set in and yearning for warm, sunny days reaches maximum levels. But the signs are there: The tops of spring bulbs tease at what is to come by poking through. Daylight is creeping in the right direction and the nights noticeably start drawing out again. Average temperatures are on the increase too. It may be only a very small difference, but when you’re freezing brass monkeys in the garden every degree counts.

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Barry Watton Shares His Monthly Gardening Tips For November

Christophe GUAY // Thursday, 08 November 2018

Since moving into our new home in Voulême a month or so ago, things have now started coming together and I am ready for business. So it’s the perfect time to start the blog and let you know what my plans are for it.

Gardening in France

I am new to the Vienne department in France and whilst I feel that my horticultural experience and preferred selection of plants will be adapted to suit the conditions here, I still have much to learn about the soil, the weather and landscape vernacular here. I am expecting to have some planting failures as well as successes as I learn more, but I guess that is part and parcel of the fun of gardening.

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France's New Petrol Pump Labels

Christophe GUAY // Tuesday, 09 October 2018

Petrol pump labels are set to change in France and indeed across Europe as part of the European Union's bid to standardise the labeling system. Here's what you need to know.

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New 80 km/h Brought Into Force As Of 1st July 2018

Christophe GUAY // Monday, 02 July 2018

The government has introduced an 80km/h speed limit on countryside roads in France from July 1st 2018 as part of its of new measures to make the country's roads safer despite opposition to the move.

The reform, which sees the speed limit reduced from 90km/hto 80km/h on all two-lane highways or specifically "on all secondary roads without a central reservation",  until July 1st 2020 as a two-year trial. (See below graphic).


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Craft Ale Production In The Charente

Christophe GUAY // Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Poitou-Charentes or Nouvelle-Aquitaine region as we should now refer to it, is well known for its Cognac, pineau and fine wines. However, Craft Ales?? Maybe in the not too distant future a little known micro-brewery in the Charente countryside will proudly be known further afield. “CharentAles" started brewing 18 months ago once the old stone house and barn had been renovated.
The brewery founder, David Parfitt,

has attention to detail down to a tee. As a micro-biologist David knows the importance of utmost cleanliness and hygiene. The selection of the barley, malt and hops as well as the water quality (regularly sent back to the UK to be analysed ensuring the famous Burton-On-Trent ‘standard’) is taken very seriously to ensure the perfect end product.

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