The Story of My Life so Far - Part 2 - The Garden in RambouilletsteemCreated with Sketch.

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This is the story of my life so far: 67 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France

The story starts here

The Garden in Rambouillet

There were no TV and no radio in the house in Rambouillet. TV was quite new then and expensive. As for the radio, my father, Paul, could not stand people speaking on the radio and did not like any kind of popular music. In fact, my parents did not get a radio before all of us, their children, had left to live our own life.

So, there was no temptation to watch TV or to listen to the radio. Entertainment was reading and playing, mostly outside in the garden. As we were still very young, we were not reading much and mostly played in the garden.

The garden was huge. At least, that what it appeared to us kids. It was a rectangle of 20 m by 100 m, so an area of 2,000 m2 (a little less than an acre). From what I see on Google Maps, the garden is still there.
The garden was enclosed between three walls of 2.5 m and the street. There was a gate wide enough for a car on the street, but as my parents did not own a car, it was almost never opened.

On each side and on the back, there was an an alley one meter from the wall.

Between the three of us, my brothers Philippe and Bruno, and myself, we had divided the garden into several properties.

Just behind the house, there was a semicircular lawn with a line of yew trees further back. The lawn was "la pelouse de Papa" (Daddy's lawn) and the yew trees constituted what we called "la petite forêt" (the small forest).

Behind the small forest there was a square loan: "la pelouse de Maman" (Mummy's lawn), with a small wall further back between the two alleys on each sides. This is where we would have afternoon snacks when family was visiting on warm sunny week-ends.

Behind the small wall was the largest lawn. It was my lawn, "la pelouse de Vincent". There was two fruit trees on my lawn: one big cherry tree, that belonged to me, and one small mirabelle plum tree similar to this one:

Mirabelle Plum Tree

For some reason that I thought unfair, the mirabelle plum tree belonged to Bruno, not to me.

Further back, there was hazelnut bushes, then the last two lawns, separated by another alley: on the right "la pelouse de Philippe" (Philippe's lawn) and on the left "la pelouse de Bruno" (Bruno's lawn).
On each of these two lawns, there were 3 or 4 fruit trees. I don't remember exactly what kind of trees there were. What I remember is that there was a quince similar to this one:


In French, the quince is called "cognassier" and the quince fruit is called "coing". Every year, Marie, my mother, was making "pâte de coings", called in English quince cheese, that was delicious.

As you may have guessed, I have very good memories of the garden in Rambouillet.

Continue to Part 3

If you like this story, please consider to follow me @vcelier

Part 1

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Gardens can be so important in a kid's life. I loved being around gardens when I was young. A retired neighbor would let us kids watch him work. And when we asked for a carrot, he would carefully pull up a turnip, peel it slowly with his pocketknife, and offer us half of it. Those turnips were so good! I love them to this day. And I garden, too. I'm glad you have good memories of the gardens in your early life!

Thank you for your comments.

you're welcome

@vcelier I almost miss this again eh?

I have a mirabelle plum growing in the garden. It's 3 years old in June when does it start flowering? I got other plums in there, too but am worried that the mirabelle plum won't bear fruits since it's the only one in there.

I cannot really help you here. I am not really knowledgeable concerning fruit trees.
All I know if from Wikipedia:

The mirabelle reaches maturity and is harvested from July to mid-September (Northern Hemisphere).

The actual maturity depends on the variety.

@vcelier I see. I'm hoping it would bloom this year but maybe too early
thanks anyway

You had the real childhood without any Tv , mobile phones or computers, very similar like had I. It is really great to be close to nature.

That's a nice sized garden to be sure. I'd like to grow a quince tree myself someday. Also, are the Yew trees the same kind that are lethsl (except for the red berry) to ingest?

I'd like to grow a quince tree myself someday.

Good idea. Then you could make quince cheese and I would come to your place to eat some.

Also, are the Yew trees the same kind that are lethal (except for the red berry) to ingest?

Yes, absolutely.