Les poissons en France

Friday, May 29, 2015

Curious Immigrants

We have noticed signs for Alpacas in our next village and we decided to take Guy there to see what it was all about.
There is a small herd of these docile animals being run by 2 very nice ladies who give guided tours of about an hour and a half.  You can get up close to the Alpacas who are timid but very curious.
As well as explaining all about the animals, the ladies demonstrated the preparation, spinning and weaving of the wool. 
A good attraction for this summer's visitors!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Superman Arrives

Guy has been telling us how fit he is. He proved it a couple of weeks ago when he ran the Manchester 10K in 51 minutes, very impressive we thought. As a result we have lined up just the jobs for him. I have wanted to plant three trees in the front garden since last Autumn but once the nursery told us that we would need a hole roughly a metre cubed for each tree I knew that it wouldn't be possible for John to dig it. Well we now have just the man for the job although he has just keeled over after digging one and a half holes today. We have decided that it is beyond even Superman to dig a hole a metre deep in our ground so we have compromised at considerably less.
Just to show that "Weakman" has not been resting on his broom he has also been slaving away clearing the serpentine bed............

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Happy Gardener

Even I have to say that the garden is looking really good now.  And you can see that the head gardener is loving it!
Currently the 'Christo' bed is receiving all the attention.  It has been planted up with dahlias, lilies and selected seeds but today saw the trial laying out of a drip watering system before the cannas were planted.  Sue assures me that there will be a riot of colour, but I think the whole thing looks dreadful.
I feel that we need to consider the aesthetics of this element of the garden.  I the look is just too 'industrial', too allotment.  All we need is a shed or pigeon loft next to all those stakes and the black plastic water pipes!!!
But then, I'm only the hired help.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spanish Inspiration

Last year we learnt of the Flower Festival held every year in Girona in Northern Spain and decided that, as it's only about 4 to 5 hours 'down the road', we would go this year.
The festival is held in the old city, parts of which date from Roman times, and we managed to find a hotel (with parking) only about 3 minutes from it all.  Upon our arrival, we saw that the hotel had entered into the spirit of the occasion ...
 ...so a short walk from the hotel, over the river and we were in the old city.

The city has lots of narrow steep roads and stairs...
...but also some more impressive sites like the stairs up to the cathedral.
There were also displays in courtyards and patios ...
...but there were things for all ages and all interests.
There were also many displays in the museums, churches and historic buildings.  One of the best was in the old Arab Baths ...
... but some were hidden away like this representation of falling water (white orchids attached to streamers) which was in an old cistern.
There were a lot of people there.  It felt like all of the pensioner's clubs of Catalonia were there, as well as quite a few from over the border into France!
In the midst of all of this, there was a little time for some shopping therapy, albeit unsuccessful.
We do like a city break and this fitted the bill exactly ... the buzz of a city, inspiring artistic floristry, a lot of walking, a few tapas and a few glasses of wine.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

More Irises

The garden is full of irises at the moment and most of them originated from 3 rhizomes that our friends Eric and Anne brought over to us in January 2007. I remember them staying with us in sub zero temperatures, and that was inside. It is lovely to look round the garden and associate plants with people.

You are now going to get blasted with pictures of irises around the garden and a sneak preview of the raised bed. It has a way to go but is coming on. I have begged and bought more things to go in it over the weekend as there is little or no sign of the seeds which I imagined would have covered it by now!!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Oh to be in England...

A few days in England to see 'Aunty' Betty (91 and not very mobile) and it was the best of times and the worst of times.  A Bank Holiday weekend and typical weather.  Rain, wind and cold.  But in time to see the bluebells and the beeches in their fresh green leaf.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Lilies of the Valley

It is the custom in France to give bunches of lilies of the valley on May Day. So our dear friend Bernadette arrived yesterday, in the pouring rain - well it was a Bank Holiday, with a posy of "muguet" and half a dozen eggs. Just a small act of kindness but it meant a lot.