a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Advantage bat


We have been getting summer weather almost continuously for the past month.  For instance, this afternoon it was 27 degrees centigrade (80 degrees F) in the garden.  We have been making the most of the garden and enjoy being able to have lunch outside – even if we may need a jacket.

Today was, in fact, too hot without sitting under a parasol, but the parasol had been requisitioned as a day-time roosting spot for a bat (Pipistrelle, I think.)

We have had a Pipistrelle roosting through the winter behind the shutters of the window facing the garden.  He disdained the bat box Kourosh had made  mounted on the wall.

Kourosh noticed that the gap he squeezed into behind the shutters was narrower than the gap recommended for the bat box.  So he made a custom-sized box specially for him and placed it slightly to the side of where he roosted.  Still he preferred the shutter.

So our choice today was to move under the apricot tree for shade.  We do try to give nature a home but sometimes I think they can push their luck.

Author: afrenchgarden

Born in Scotland I have lived in England, Iran, USA and Greece. The house and land was bought twelve years ago in fulfilment of the dream of living in France that my Francophile husband nurtured. We had spent frequent holidays in France touring the more northerly parts and enjoying the food, scenery, architecture and of course gardens. However, we felt that to retire in France and enjoy a more clement climate than we currently had in Aberdeen we would need to find somewhere south of the river Loire but not too south to make returning to visit the UK onerous. The year 2000 saw us buying our house and setting it up to receive us and the family on holidays. The garden was more a field and we were helped by my son to remove the fencing that had separated the previous owners’ goats, sheep and chickens. We did inherit some lovely old trees and decided to plant more fruit trees that would survive and mature with the minimum of care until we took up permanent residence. The move took place in 2006 and the love hate relation with the “garden” started. There was so much to do in the house that there was little energy left for the hard tasks in the garden. It was very much a slow process and a steep learning curve. Expenditures have been kept to a minimum. The majority of the plants have been cuttings and I try to gather seeds wherever I can. The fruit trees have all been bought but we have tender hearts and cannot resist the little unloved shrub at a discount price and take it as a matter of honour to nurse it back to health. This year I have launched my Blog hoping to reach out to other gardeners in other countries. My aim is to make a garden for people to enjoy, providing shady and sunny spots with plants that enjoy living in this area with its limestone based subsoil and low rainfall in a warm summer. Exchanging ideas and exploring mutual problems will enrich my experience trying to form my French garden.

16 thoughts on “Advantage bat

  1. That’s a cheeky bat. Lucky you, D

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am a huge bat fan….. wait, I’m not huge, my fanship is huge. I have bat houses but don’t know if any bats use them, because I would have to be outside at just the right time and watching ….. They do love shutters. At my house in the Herault I had them under my shutters, I could tell by their droppings. Which by the way you probably know how to identify their droppings, but if not ask me. Friends have also had maternal colonies under their shutters. At the Herault house, which is in the Parc Regionale du Haut Languedoc, bats sometimes came in at night and flew around the bedroom. At one time I had 6 of them for 45 minutes in my converted grenier bedroom, not sure what they were but for sure not pipistrelles, they were larger. I felt I was quite honored.
    bonnie in provence

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love them too. I can see the attraction of shutters for hiding but not from wind or rain. Thus saying, I suppose the roof keeps that part of the wall drier. I do know the droppings but they can be very easy to miss for a single bat on top of earth or rubbish. Have you heard of them using bat boxes in your area? Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

      • My shutters folded up into the protected space inside the wall of the house. They did not fold back onto the exterior house wall, but instead folded in half to fit inside the profile of the wall itself. Very protected. That being said, I also know people with the other shutters that fold against the wall that had bat colonies living behind the shutters.
        bonnie in provence

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Perhaps it’s the fresh air through the louvres that the bats like. Also, It may give then a sense of security with access to lots of ‘quick getways’. Could Kouosh try louvres on a bat box?
    Here in Australia I get bats in the garden when the Bluegums are flowering. They are huge, smelly, dirty, noisy and keep us awake all night. They also defoliate the trees. This such a big problem that the Botanical Gardens move them on, even thought they are a protected species.
    We also get micro bats, ultra tiny even compared to your charming little fellow.
    Enjoy your lovely garden, thanks for posting.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Zut! Great theory, but French shutters are made of solid planks of wood :). I have seen photographs of the Flying Foxes in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney. I thought they were great and would have liked them hanging in my garden. I did not consider any down side though :). Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha! Well, I have to spend a lot of time in another city and my employer rents me an apartment there. I once found a small bat hiding – I swear – under a coffee cup in the kitchen sink. Once discovered, it launched itself and started flying around and around. I tried to shoo it out the window with a spatula. It did not end well.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I believe they use bat boxes in this area, but I haven’t seen it myself. They will use the boxes if other roosts are not available. This evening I was outside at “bat time” and didn’t see any, they may not be out of hiberation yet. I my old village in the Herault there was a wonderful evening time when the swallows and martins were still out and the bats were emerging, so you had both at the same time.
    bonnie in provence

    Liked by 2 people

  6. How nice to see a bat so close up. I find them fascinating but I rarely see them.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. He is really cute! He is coming back each morning so we still cannot use our parasol. Amelia

    Liked by 1 person

    • If he is a she, you might not use that parasol all summer. But generally the maternal colonies are more than one bat. If you start getting more residents get ready for the baby shower under your parasol.
      bonnie in provence

      Liked by 2 people

      • Love the idea of a baby shower under a parasol! We get a lot of single bats hanging around here so I think the breeding colonies are elsewhere. We are in a limestone area so maybe they have a nice dry cave hidden away somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Back to the bat | a french garden

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