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Help us with our large garden, a haven for wildlife, near Sauges, rural France

  • Favourited 41 times
  • Last activity: 12 Sep 2023

Availability

  2024 

 Min stay requested: No minimum

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Details

  • Description

    Description

    Two Gentlemen sharing! We are David and Edward and we have been turning 5 acres of rural French countryside into a garden! After ten years in the making the garden opened in the summer 2017 to help raise money for cancer charities. All the hard graft is done in house, or should that be on the land, and as it tends to be just one of us doing it, it is a full time passion! The property is a second home so we are not there all the year, so when we do arrive it is all hands on deck!
    The garden is a haven to wildlife with resident kingfishers on the lake, what appears to be a tribe of hares and various other birds.
    Unfortunately we also get visited by the occasional deer, families of wild boar and ragodan!
    Whilst isolated, we have no immediate neighbours, we have been embraced and welcomed into the community!
    At the end of a hard day in the garden there is noting nicer than a glass of wine to be enjoyed either over looking the lake, or form the viewing point furthest from the house. Whilst not native French speakers we are no longer laughed at behind our backs and are able to even share a joke or two in French!
    Increasingly the garden supplies most of the food eaten in the summer months and enough to fill up freezers to help feed us thru the winter.
    Help is needed with either hedge cutting, weeding flower beds and harvesting of fruit at the right time. We have a collection of good machinery to help with various jobs including telescopic hedge cutter, brush cutter and sit on lawn mower. Unfortunately a lot of time is spent on knees with weeding being a priority. Whilst not a "bio" garden I try to use as few chemicals as possible. Heavy mulching of flower beds tends to help suppress a lot weeds but nature has a way of advancing fast when you have your back turned!
    As with all older properties, the foundations of the building are around 13thc general house maintenance is on going, so any painting and decorating skills are always welcome!
    We have a cat who was found abandoned by his mother when he was roughly 3.5 weeks old. He is now almost 3 and whilst friendly enough the feral streak from his mother is never far below the surface, despite this he will happily sleep on the bed at night, just don't leave your toes out as they can be a tempting mid-night feast!
    Unfortunately the village shop has now closed so the nearest place for provisions is around 5km away where there is a very good bakers and better shopping is 12km in Sable sur Sarthe.
    We are very much "in the countryside" so having your own transport whilst not essential would help, otherwise I am happy to drive to places as needed. Sable sur Sarthe our nearest large town has a TGV service to Paris and is also only 20mins or so to Le Mans where there are better connections onwards.
    The area is dominated by agriculture and forestry with gentle rolling hills, tho these seem like mountains when I go for my runs!
    Nearby is the village of Sainte Suzanne voted one of the prettiest villages in France and once seen it can be easily understood why! Similarly there are number of small villages classed as Petite Cite de Caractere all of which are lovely to visit.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    A keen interest in gardening and understanding of plants would help visitors.... sharing our hair brain ideas on design and planting will be shared!
    Keen bird watchers will enjoy the access to the lake.

  • Help

    Help

    The garden is a constant surprise of need! From grass cutting (there is a sit on lawnmower) to hedge cutting, deadheading and cutting back and developing areas that need improving! Most of the plants have been grown from seed so a small nursery of plants needs attention, mainly watering.
    Being happy outside in all weathers is a must.... an afternoon siesta often helps to break the day too!
    On going clearing of a wooded area around the lake and creation of some sculptures/artwork is also planned! Someone with green fingers and a good sense of humour is a must!

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

    This host offers a language exchange
    As part of our integration into local life I have offered English lessons. These have mainly been to help with BAC exam preparation and have been a great way to give back to the community, I never charge as I get a lot out of it myself as it also helps to improve my French!

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Shared facilities i.e. bathroom and toilet, kitchen and common areas.
    Private bedroom.
    All cooking is vegetarian and can be vegan if required.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The property would suit someone with own transport! There is no public transport locally tho the local town of Sable sur Sarthe has a TGV train station, I am happy to collect. We do have a couple of bikes so it is possible to escape!
    The area is mostly agricultural land with pleasant walks and hidden villages to discover, have a number of the countries most pretty villages.... Petite Cite de Character! Sauges, which is less than 4km away has a limestone gorge where rock climbing is possible.
    If it is night life you are looking for.... pass us by!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We were lucky enough to host a Workaway this year who was giving on-line German lessons. Most of the time the Internet was sufficiently strong enough but as yet we have not got fibre optic! Maybe next year?

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have a large parking area by the house which is ideal for a campervan s it is a concrete base.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 327693948528

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