Rethinking our projects in the Loire

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I was very encouraged by all the sympathetic comments on the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago called War declared by next-door neighbours. Thank you for your support. I have to confess that I have been depressed ever since because it looked like we might have to give up our gîte project altogether. It’s hard enough to change our lifestyle completely – moving from the Palais Royal in the centre of Paris to a 400-year old house in the Loire Valley, where you can’t do anything without a car – without having to rethink our plans for the last two years, even though we really love the house and the area.

View of the Loire with a storm brewing

View of the Loire with a storm brewing

However, yesterday, we invited Mr and Mrs Previous Owners for tea and told them all about it. They agreed that we won’t get anywhere by approaching the neighbours – it could just make matters worse.

You can see the chicken coop on the left of the barn at the vegetable garden end

You can see the chicken coop on the left of the barn at the vegetable garden end

They suggested that we might be able to get the poultry house (or whatever you call it) taken down since it’s built up against the wall of our barn. But that would just leave us open to all sorts of retaliation, I would imagine, particularly with respect to our future guests.

The vegetable patch on the right of the barn

The vegetable patch on the right of the barn

But later, when we were talking about his new  vegetable patch, Mr Previous Owner asked Why don’t you use your vegetable patch for the gîte garden? I had suggested this to Jean Michel originally but he said it wasn’t a good idea because the ground is sloping and we forgot all about it.

The half-timbered tower and back of the bread oven taken from the vegetable patch

The half-timbered tower and back of the bread oven taken from the vegetable patch

We talked about it again later and it might well be the solution. The vegetable patch is on the other side of the barn, as you can see in the photo, which means that even though you can still hear the goose from time to time, there wouldn’t be the problem of the smell in summer. We’d put up a wall to make the gîte completely separate from the neighbours.

There would be a few steps up from the back door of the gîte to the garden, but I don’t think that’s a problem, do you?

The side of the barn with the vegetable patch on the left

The side of the barn with the vegetable patch on the left

It would mean that the little house could still be used to provide a two-car garage and we could even have a vegetable patch next to the poultry yard if we still want one.

Hydrangeas in summer

Hydrangeas in summer

It’s probably even a better solution than the original one of having the garden in front of the gîte, because guests would have the lovely view of our tower, bread oven and hydrangeas in the summer.

Today, my depression has lifted.

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15 Responses to Rethinking our projects in the Loire

  1. Susan Walter says:

    I think it is a brilliant solution — the current veggie garden has some charming features and much more character than the space by the neighbours. You will have to let your guests know that the veggie garden is next to the gite so they don’t think you are spying on them. Offer them fresh veg as a sweetener.

  2. Jane's cousins friend says:

    Great idea Rosemary, I’m so glad you have a solution.

  3. Jill says:

    Glad you are feeling better, Rosemary..hate to think you would give up on gite after all your hard work xx

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Thanks, Jill. Yes, it would have been hard to give up on the gîte. All our previous efforts felt so wasted.

  4. Francoise says:

    Oui cela peut être la solution ….car la discution avec ce voisin est peu envisageable ! hâte de voir sur place ! Et contente de voir que vous n’abandonnez pas votre projet ! BIZ

  5. Pamela says:

    It sounds like a win-win solution! It was a really good idea to seek advice from former owners. I’m sure option B will be lovely and the little tower and bread oven give such ambience and interest to the outlook too. So sorry to hear about all the problems you’ve had with your neighbours. Hope things improve when they see you’ve respected their concerns. Best wishes, Pamela

  6. brigitte says:

    the poo of hens is a good fertilizer for a kitchen garden

  7. Andrea says:

    So much drama! I hate having to deal with this kind of thing. It is depressing but at least you have a possible solution now.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      So do I. I felt so badly after taking the photo but in the long run, I don’t think it makes any difference thank goodness.

  8. Pingback: A Mock-Up of the Little House | Aussie in France

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