Feeling responsible for the wellbeing of every twig and leaf on an estate covered with trees and woodland can be very stressful. Our city folk hesitance to fell trees, cut down bushes, or even clear simple undergrowth remains a source of amusement to the neighbouring farmers. But we’ve come a long way in the past years. We’ve gone from being seriously out of our depth in forestry and landscaping to discussing thinning, salvage cuts, and lines of sight. While we do listen to experts, it’s important to us to learn by discovery. We simply started by cleaning the thicket closest to the château and every season we move a little more outward, drawing an ever-increasing open circle around the buildings.
We knew from the outset that we wanted to recreate the cedar park and put Lescure’s majestic cedars in the spotlight they deserve. For several winters in a row we’ve been clearing the area around these giants, trimming and felling away to provide them with more sunlight and to make the stark beauty of their large trunks visible again. The first results are starting to show. As you leave Lescure’s entranceway you come into view with its ‘cathedrals’ rising up above the fields. Just last week, knowing we’d only have a couple of dry days of weather, we toiled in the park, fighting off the cold next to a large fire. Rewarding work, but brutal, involving noisy machinery. And then, as predicted, the light changed and a flurry of downy flakes kept coming for hours. We stopped working of course, but we stayed outside, unable to keep our eyes off the transformation of the landscape. Snow fell on the trees, clung to every branch and draped the cedar canope in a soft white blanket. Healing silence for both the woods and ourselves.