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May is the month of the jour férié in France with public holidays almost weekly, but it is also the month that gardens really start to bloom. After the spring warmth and rains but before the scorching heat of summer the three favourite French plants are in bloom - irises, roses and peonies. It is also the best time for the many garden openings and plant fairs across the country. So for inspiration here are some gorgeous gardens we are marketing at the moment:

In Lot et Garonne, an elegant Italianate garden with a magnificent iris walk.

Click here to read more:

Stunning views across the Dropt valley on one side and a sensational chateau on the other, this is an exceptional property in and exceptional setting

If something more discrete is to your liking - how about a hidden courtyard garden in Hérault?  - 

Read more about it here:


A favourite of mine, because it blends so seamlessly and naturally into the magnificent surrounding scenery is this prairie style garden in the Lot

Read more about it here:


Finally - a garden for the romantic in Tarn et Garonne. This atmospheric garden has even featured in a book on romantic French gardens recently. 


Read more about it here:


As for me - on Monday, which is a holiday in honour of la victoire de 1945, I will be at our local annual plant fair in Monsegur, Gironde. Read more about it and other things relating to gardens in France in our sister blog here: Diary of a Jardin Paysan

Have a great gardening weekend - Sue



Is the political uncertainty all getting a bit too much? Fed up with the number of elections, referendums and the general turmoil? Want to escape the masses.......? Well you could always move to La France Profonde and become as close to self sufficient as you can.

One thing France has a lot of is land - vast tracts of unspoilt countryside and a climate which varies greatly from north to south and east to west. Rural land is also incredible value compared to the heavily populated UK and farming and small scale food production have a much higher status here. So what better place to live if you want to own a smallholding. Here are three options we are currently marketing:


A luxurious 5 bedroom house with swimming pool and up to 4 hectares of land available (half a hectare is included in the guide price of 475000€), this property has a cattle or equestrian barn, chicken house, glass house and is walking distance from a very popular village with shops and services in Lot et Garonne. You have the choice - a very comfortable good life, a luxurious permanent or holiday home or something between the two.

The current owner kept cattle, chickens and had a potager, see the photo of her beloved Bazas cow and calf below. See more about this house and its potential  here


If you want to supplement your income with a gite to rent out then have a look at this house with gite, two swimming pools and enough land for a big vegetable patch and chickens and bees. You will find it hidden in the heart of the Lot department.

At 390000€ it has two paddocks, stabling for a donkey and the owners also keep doves. There is even a small patch of woodland so you can harvest your own heating fuel for when all the lights go out. Read more about this house here


Finally, in truly rural Indre, approximatley 270 kilometres south of Paris we have this great not-so-little property on the market at 139000€. The house has three bedrooms and a lovely open barn attached to one side which the owners use as a summer kitchen for those lovely long, warm summer evenings.

With just under a hectare of land it has established fruit trees, outbuildings and enough land for a big vegetable garden. Grow your own and sell the surplus at the local market - or swap with neighbours and friends. Read more about it here


All of the properties are for sale privately by the owners. You would pay us no estate agency commission if you bought one of them. If you would like to know more about any of them - or anything else we are marketing, please contact us and we will put you in direct contact with the property owner.



Ed Llewellyn, the British Ambassador to France posted a video on Twitter this afternoon. We have re-tweeted it, but for all clients who are not members of the Twtterati (the majority of us I suspect) you can catch up with him and his Twitter account here:

or here

Ed Llewellyn Twitter

Greenacres has started the busy spring season with a television marketing campaign. The company has invested heavily in updating and improving its web site over the last year and we now offer all of our subscribers a continuous advert on Greenacres and ImmoFrance as part of their advertising package with us. The company uses a network of websites targeting a wide range of nationalities and is becoming increasingly effective at attracting buyers from France, the UK and much further afield. 



Advertise your property with French Properties Direct and we will include a Greenacres advert in your chosen subscription package.

In a small, and very old, corner of South West France Advent, Christmas and the Epiphany are celebrated in a festival of the crèche – the manger and stable which provided the setting for the birth of Christ.

In and around the Girondine village of Castelmoron D’Albert many householders display creches in the windows of their houses and the village churches house further examples which are sourced from around the world. This year there are creches from assorted regions of France as well as from Russia, China, Peru, Greenland, Kenya, Cuba, Burkina Faso and many other countries.

A creche from Mexico


The tradition is now 17 years old and is organised by a committee of just 12 people. The creches are made using a huge variety of materials and are all sizes – the smallest is the size of a duck’s egg, while the biggest is life size. They are fashioned from clay, wood, stone, dried grass, plastic (there is a Playmobile crèche), eggs, corn-on-the-cob (yes, really), paper, fabric, knitting, soft toys……and they are displayed in windows, doorways, the corners of gardens and purpose build display cases throughout the village.



Six eggs in an egg box

The exhibition started on December 18th and runs until tomorrow - January 1st, with the churches also open to diplay the creches on Epiphany Sunday - January 8th.


A Basque country creche

We have a house for sale in the heart of the village - it is the one with the corn-on-the-cob creche in the front window and over the Christmas period it has been trending as our most viewed property on Rightmove. It is a beautifully restored, double fronted stone house with (and this is very rare) a walled courtyard garden with a swimming pool. The property has so much outside space because it was once the place where the village's wine barrels were made. 


Our Christmas No. 1 on RIghtmove - conveniently in the beautiful 'village of creches' called Castelmoron D'Albret

Castelmoron house for sale



 Happy New Year to everyone and may your 2017 be filled with good health and happiness




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