The nights are fresh, the days are hot. Bird song and the tap-tap-tap of a woodpecker mingle with the distant hum of a lawnmower and juvenile butterflies navigate between the years first wild-flowers. Spring has arrived in Burgundy.
Spring has come early in the Cote D’Or in 2014. The pinot noir and chardonnay vines that surround The Hungry Cyclist Lodge are already in bud and the gardens and orchard here at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge are also pushing forth.
It has always been a passion of mine to have a garden and settled here in Burgundy, I am now lucky enough to look after two acres of gardens and orchards and some of my happiest hours here in Burgundy have been spent outdoors.
Operational as a water-mill from the 17th century through to World War 2, the gardens and orchards here would once have been plentiful. Set in a gentle valley the top-soil here is fertile and with hundreds of years of mill-pond dredging and milling byproducts added to the garden the ‘terroir’ here is good.
However, having been left abandoned since the 1980’s when the property was last used as the village campsite, my mission has been to slowly return the gardens back to their former glory and a more truthful representation of what a Burgundian garden would have been.
The ‘terroir’ here in Burgundy is unique. Cold wet winters and hot dry summers. A clay topsoil sitting above a broken limestone shelf. These are conditions in which pinot noir and chardonnay vines prosper to produce enchanting wines, and taking this approach to the garden I have done my best to source plants that prosper in this landscape as well as providing what I hope will be a ready supply of aromatics , vegetables, fruit and cut flower for guest to enjoy when they stay.
Taking a quick walk with my camera this week, below are few springtime shots from the garden at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge.