We walk through the porch and turn widdershins, north, and into the shade, past the barn door where tomatoes have set themselves in the compost around the hydrangea, frazzled by the morning sun,
and the well with its old hand pump, water deep, four, five metres now from lack of rain, festooned in ivy and wild irises.
Left, along the north-facing wall, the old barn, window below and shutter on the hayloft above,
and what was once the main door, stuck fast now and patched at the bottom with tin and old planks.
Turning south, along the west-facing wall, the passionflower, transplanted from Bordeaux, mown down twice, a stem recovered (twice), rooted and replanted (twice). This stuff is indestructible.
Left again, along the south-facing wall, beneath the study window, like the Gobi Desert. Hollyhocks are hanging on, and the roses planted this year with two cutting of the old vine. Morning glories thrive, but bloom only in the morning.
Hibiscus grows everywhere here, great luxuriant bushes.
Another vine cutting, happy that the sun has moved around, and nasturtiums that will grow anywhere.
Even the sun-loving plumbago has bleached in the fierce sun this year. From delicate sky blue, they have turned almost white.
A sad cutting of honeysuckle brought from Bordeaux shot into life here and rambles everywhere. A small pot of sage bought on the market is a huge bush now.
Back into the porch where geraniums, basil, bay cuttings and hydrangeas sit in the shade and watch the evening sun bake the meadow grass.
Time to water it all now.