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About Chateau Moorhen

I felt it was time to tell you a little bit about us and to give more explanation about our lovely home and grounds.

Nice wrinkly squidgy shot of us
(Photo credit: the one who took the Septic Tank Saturday photos!)

We've been living here at Chateau Moorhen in NE Brittany since October 2004. Having moved house and country quite a number of times in my life this is now the second longest I've ever stayed put in one house. We are - me, the one who writes this here blog and takes most of the photos, and my long suffering husband (referred to in this blog as 'my OH'). Yes I know that sentence was grammatically incorrect but I'm sorry, it just worked better that way and it's my blog - so my rules! Later edit: I thought the poor guy needed a better name. He's now called Keith or K. Actually that is his real name!

I've been crazy about gardening since I first moved into a houseshare in London in the late 80s complete with a mostly tarmac back yard. Nowadays I'm just happy to own my own home so I don't have to keep leaving my plant collections behind when I move from one rental property to another! My OH loves gardening too but tends to get lumbered with the heavy jobs (heehee) and gets rather excited if I let him sow a row of radish seeds. No really, it just sort of works out that I do the fiddly stuff like sowing and weeding and deciding what goes where, and he does the heavy stuff like digging great big holes for me to plant things in, digging the veg patch, and turning the compost. I think I'm onto a winner! Oh, no hang on, I also do the harvesting and preserving and it's also my job to clean out the chicken and duck sheds. I guess that about evens things out then.

We are both mad keen bird watchers and love nature and wild flowers and wildlife and butterflies and bees and all that sort of thing. I like to (try to) take photos of them all too, and so I decided to start this blog to share some of the photos with anyone who is interested in looking at them. 

As to why Chateau Moorhen? Because we have resident moorhens who live here and have little fluffy pom-pom babies and we love them and can't stop watching their antics :-)   

Home sweet home

I hope the following map/plan is self explanatory, because it's the best you are going to get with my (lack of) computer design skills! What's obviously not the house but the bluey grey roof on the right is the metal hangar we lovingly call the barn with the chicken and duck sheds next to it. Just in front of the barn on the right boundary is the veg patch, looking rather bare but there must have been something growing in it as there are leaves on the trees. The little long triangular shape across the lane is our orchard. I think this satellite view was c. 2007.

Here are some views looking out of the only 2nd floor window which looks out over the back of the garden! These were taken with a point and shoot camera; I have since moved on to other cameras.

Looking towards the lake.
20th April 2012
(By the way, I've discovered the Landscape setting on my camera turns everything lime green)

Looking towards the barn and the duck and chook sheds.
20th April 2012

The veg patch 20th April 2012. Not a lot happening yet!

April 10th 2013, looking out of 1st floor bathroom window over the orchard at the apple blossom.
Spring is not quite as advanced this year!

Hopefully with the plan it will give you a better idea now when I'm talking about parts of my garden so you can visualise it better. If you are a nosy parker like me, and you like to see photos of other people's gardens, I hope you enjoy what you see. :-)

Some years later....
30 March 2016. The above was written about four years ago and since then there has been one major change in both our lives. In Sept 2014 I was diagnosed with rectal cancer and I have done my best to keep my blog going throughout my treatment, which involved chemoradiation, major surgery to remove my rectum and anus (and give me a colostomy) and then 5 months of chemotherapy. Although I was declared cancer free in Oct 2015 I am not 'better' by a long shot, so posts are more sporadic from me these days because of this. I'm currently battling Post Chemo Depression which doesn't help when I 'can't be bothered' to blog and I am still suffering from Chemo Induced Peripheral Neuropathy which makes typing very difficult, amongst a whole host of other things! The neuropathy is very gradually improving and I will get there in the end ... although there will be a new there and a new me. My OH aka Keith has been my rock and has made this ordeal much easier for me, by being my medical secretary, my nurse/carer and my friend in need throughout.

All posts relating to cancer/health are labelled 'cancer' and 'bad health' and can be found by clicking on the relevant word/s under the Labels section on the right sidebar. The first post explaining the background was entltled 'It's been a shitty summer' and you can read it by clicking here.  


  1. That is one serious piece of terrain......................

    And the veggie patch looks like it has a somewhat better "terroir" than mine which is heavy and clay and godawful................ ;-)


  2. It looks nice and dark because it is wet, but the downside is my soil does not hold any moisture whatsoever. The ideal is somewhere between yours, and mine!

  3. Wow a gorgeous property and a lovely blog.
    Steve aka Sooty

  4. Hey Mandy! Just off to bed and shutting down the computer I noticed that the tab with your blog was still open, so here I was, browsing a little again! My curiosity about how your OH en you live is completely satisfied (for the moment). Now I can indeed follow you when you talk about different parts of your "domain"! Thanks, Mandy and good night! PS did a blog contribution as well today;-)

    1. Oh good, my work is done! I'm glad it all makes sense to you. I haven't looked at this page for a long time and my garden looks a bit tidy in these photos. :-) Thanks for noticing the About page tab. I always look for one of them when I stumble across an interesting blog as I like to know more about the person and place I am reading about.
      Good morning and I will look at your blog a bit later today, Jan!