I LIVE in a field. Four fields actually, with my farmhouse centred with its tiled roof and its stone walls badly plastered as moss grows around its base and damp crawls up its walls.

I mention this often to explain my position in La France Profonde; to explain my life here, for everything radiates from this source.

Despite its Anglicised plantings, to make some order out of what once were ploughed working fields – it is a house that could only be French and this part of France, the Tarn et Garonne.

There are many, many prettier houses, their facades rough honey stone; their windows mullioned; their paths cobbled or brick paved, while mine are simply the rough pebbles from the bed of the Garonne.

At this time of the year, Las Molieres, is not a particularly pretty sight, for like a somewhat unattractive woman, she is immeasurably improved by fine raiment.

But the vines and creepers are still in die back preparing themselves for a sun with real heat, not this winter imitation.

And every year at this time I walk around, despairing at the weeds that have run rampant up the drive; testing if the ground is ready for cutting finally, but no, my feet still squelch in an almost boggy expanse after all the rains of winter.

Winter is far from over though and one can’t be lulled into thinking so, for that’s when it roars in with its sudden tempetes and plunging temperatures to kill off the gentler shoots of revival.

I read a lovely line the other day about this time of year: ‘The garden starts to remember itself. Just fragments at first.’

Oh, how true that is. Daffodils push through the hard edges of drive and pot; the Irises raise the green swords to protect their slender beauty as they grow taller and taller, eventually to be gently held back to pull shutters at night.

The bundles of sticks dotted as sentinels in the parc, sad memories of trees, are pushing and pulsing out buds; growing in strength daily. Even those hard pruned by Alistair, as harsh as any hairdresser cutting back the dead ends of neglect, fight towards the weak sun’s light.

Around the back there is the sad base, where the over ground swimming pool stood until it dramatically burst open as if cut, sending its chlorine waters through barn and into courtyard.

This season will be the first time the hedge planted for privacy around the deck will be properly high and thick.

Perhaps I will put a small table and chairs there along with the sun-beds as another little spot for guests to dream in. There is nothing to look at it though only more fields which are pretty enough in Sunflower season but grim afterwards.

Yet, lifting the eyes South, if lucky, one can see the elongated Pyrenees stretching along the horizon, and to the West the land rises out of woods on and on to the high road. Here deer, hearts thumping, flea from wood to wood, risking all in the open ground. Here too boars roam, reclusively shy and wary of the chasseurs, their only predator.

To the East more fields and woods with the odd house visible. The church tower of Puygaillard can still be seen at this time, along with an outline of the tiny village, but will soon be hidden as the trees reach full power in their leaves.

Way further on the water tower of Lavit marks the outskirts of this small town and at night its lights signal that one is not entirely alone

Familiarity hasn’t bred contempt in me at these views after all these years, but I rarely stare for I know every outline now. My visitors do though – books slipping off knees, a little smile on their faces as they sip wine and consider the evening to come.

Then, with candles burning they sit again in the same spot but this time look upwards. I love to hear the intake of breath as all God’s wonders – for surely, they are – reveal themselves in the unpolluted night sky.

If lucky, and we usually are for the view has no seeming end and we are in a natural planetarium, shooting stars blaze across, and even the most jaded of my guests find themselves oohing with the wonderment of a small child.

These are the times I love, when the air is like a cashmere wrap around bare shoulders, cicadas make their comforting sounds and many of the plants and flowers release their exotic scents, and the lavender shivers and lets go its heady fragrance as bare legs push by.

Then I like to look back at the house – dog lying just inside the open door; warm, inviting pools of light caressing corners that until my arrival knew only the rough touch of a farmhand.

Outside, the vines and roses; cyclamen entwined with honeysuckle

clothe the old girl and she looks positively picture-book pretty.

But not yet. I write these words every year for myself as much as you; to remember myself just as the garden does this month.

The dangers of winter may not be over yet, but almost. Almost.