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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The (Unknown) History of the Garden

The vine

The other day, near the strawberry patch, Christophe spotted something a bit peculiar: a vine, as in a grapevine.  We didn’t plant it and grapevines just don’t blow in with the wind.  It was planted there many years ago and most likely, was part of a vineyard.  This is the first vine we’ve seen, so it’s funny that is would finally decide to show itself in a garden that has been cultivated for over 10 years.

We don’t know the history of the all the land we own, but this is a clue to a parcel (or lot) we know little about.  Currently, it is part of vegetable garden, but at one point had a different proprietor than the rest of the garden.  The land is poorer and rockier than the rest, which indicates it was never cultivated previously as a garden.  We’ve seen a fair number of vineyards, some with tremendously rocky terrain, which adds to our speculation.  There is an old stone wall dividing the garden in two, which was once used as a property line.  Parcels of land where divided from generation to generation which explains why part of a garden was from one owner and part was from another.  The garden itself is made up of several parcels; property lines are never rectangular, but run along ridges, water sources, or forest edges.

We have met several old inhabitants of the village who shed light on some of the forgotten history.  Many attest to seeing a garden on the other side of the dividing wall, but none have ever spoken of a vineyard where the vine was found.  We’re going to leave the vine, not necessary for what it will produce, if anything, but for what it represents: history, with hopes that one day we will find someone who can explain it to us.

View of the garden with the stone dividing wall. Old inhabitants of the village recall a garden on the other side.  The vine is growing in front of the water can.  (The bushes are black and red currant bushes.)

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