Les poissons en France

Friday, June 08, 2018

Has it come to this?

Much as you might have thought that our lives revolve around gardening, I'm not a gardener.  I'm happy mowing or helping with 'heavy' landscaping jobs but I really prefer looking at a nice garden with a glass of wine in my hand.
But today was the day ... when I got down on my knees and hand weeded a bed.
The head gardener is under pressure this year with rampant growth caused by the exceptionally wet Spring and she is struggling to clear spaces in the beds for the summer bedding plants.  So ... extreme measures ... and I actually did some weeding!!!

Don't expect to see it too often.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Keep on running...

As Sue gets more and more involved with the Open Gardens organisation, we seem to be getting busier!  What with that and getting our own garden into shape for our opening at the end of June ... and with socialising of course!

Yesterday was a good example.

In the morning we went to support a lady who opened her garden for the day, about 50 minutes north-east of us.  A lovely garden with lots of roses blooming now.  We came home to grab a quick lunch and then went 40 minutes to an open garden to the west of us. Lots of mature plants and an array of superb Japanese Maples.  We then returned home for a cup of tea before going down to the municipal camp site to take a glass of wine (un verre d'amitiĆ©) with the mayor to celebrate the opening of the summer season.
The mayor gave the statutory speech after everyone had had a couple of plastic cups of Kir (white wine and a shot of cassis), grazed on the bowls of crisps and nibbles and also bowls of chips.
Then, to our surprise, we were all waiting for the chicken to finish being cooked!
The event had been advertised only as a glass of wine so dinner was waiting for us at home!  We hung around for a bit but there was no sign of anything being ready and then the thunder started as a storm approached.  At that point we made our getaway, which was just as well as the rain arrived about half an hour later.

Such is life in rural France.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May in all its glory

The rain continues to pour here and we have yet more storms forecast for the next 10 days. The wet weather all year has produced incredibly lush growth and the irises in particular have been the best they have ever been. I have rushed out whenever the sun has shone during the month in order to capture the flowers on camera before they were ruined.

Here is a selection of the photos I took.
We should have opened the garden last weekend!! However we were helping 3 other people in the Open Garden scheme who opened theirs. The weekend was a great success despite the tremendous storm which raged all Sunday morning.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

After the storm

Look what appeared the morning after a heavy storm.
The petunias had only been planted the day before!
Our neighbour Nadine was going shopping, so we were able to get an urgent delivery of Slug Pellets.

Drumming up Support

As you may know we are more involved with the Open Gardens organisation this year.  Last Sunday we went to a big local plant fair to publicise the organisation and the gardens which are opening in our area.
We had a good spot and were very busy, with a lot of 'gardeners' who were showing interest.
We await to see how many turn up!

The Rain in Spain ...

,,, fell in Girona!
We went to the annual Flower Festival in Girona, Catalunya again and, as you can see it rained some of the time ... and it was cold!!!  However, that didn't put off all the pensioners in North Spain or Southern France, there were lots of coach trippers on Sunday and lots of school parties on the Monday.
To begin with we were disappointed with the displays.  The main one on the steps of the cathedral was very poor.
It was mainly apricot roses which just did not show up.
Over the next couple of days we explored more, and even found parts of Girona which we hadn't seen on our previous visit and found some really spectacular displays.
There were also a number of wacky ones!
To complete our Spanish excursion we managed to fit in a shopping visit to 'our' wine emporium to stock up on one of our favorite wines, and we also checked out the birds at the Nature Reserve at St Pere Pescadore.
There were still a few Storks nesting.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Movin Movin Movin

My husband is gettng very fed up with putting something in one place and then being told I want it moved. Remember the gravel in the courtyard!

This time it was the pot with the Phoenix tree in it. In the winter I was happy to put it at the end of the serpentine bed in the front garden....that was just for the winter. We both felt that it would look better in the grass between the prairie beds in the back garden. So John set about moving it, but it was so heavy it was impossible. I had a minor tantrum, as is my wont, because I had bought a new large pot and the plants to put in it to stand in the spot vacated by the tree. However I reflected over night and decided it wasn't the end of the world if the tree stayed where it was. Meantime John had decided that the pot with and tree would be moved come what may.

The next thing I saw he had a saw in his hand and was cutting into the trees root ball, emptying the soil from the pot and it was on route for the back field.
 Its journey on the sack barrow was a little precarious, but pot and tree arrived safely and were reunited. Pot and tree are both doing well.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

The Beast

We don't know if it comes from the east but it has been arriving in the dead of night for the past fortnight. Initially we noticed large holes, about 25cm deep, appearing in the flower beds. We didn't think too much about it and just filled them in. However when we regularly saw each morning that a "JCB on caterpillar tracks" had been marauding through the front garden each night we became a bit more concerned. It even had the audacity two nights ago to plough through the bank in front of Jean-Jacque and Nadines house. It appeared to favour areas covered with wood chippings and the light soil on the bulb bank.

We suspected a badger was the culprit. However yesterday the dastardly creature left a clue, he deposited some droppings in one of the holes.
 Further investigation on the internet seemed to confirm our suspicions. We assume he is looking for worms which have risen nearer the surface with the rain we have had in the last few months. Despite his devastation we are very proud of the garden at present as it is tidy and floriferous.......but it wont last, more rain on the way.
I am particularly pleased with the ranunculus (persian buttercups) which I have never grown before and have been a great success.

The badger is not the only unwanted creature in the garden. Our box hedge was killed by an infestation of box caterpillars last year, it will have to be cut down next winter, and we found some yesterday on the variegated box plant in the white bed, despite taking precautionary measures.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Japanese Style Courtyard

We have at last finished transforming the courtyard. I have been waiting for the leaves to come out before publishing some photos.
John has moved every rock himself ... under supervision!