22 April 2015

Taking a short break from my garden.

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This time of the year is always busy in the garden.
We are leaving for a trip and everything is growing so fast,
I wanted to do so much, but time is running out.
I feel like the mad hatter in 'Alice in Wonderland'

These days everything seems to take us so much longer to do.
We have shrubs that have grown so big they need to be cut back or moved.
They'll have to wait a little while longer.
 Fortunately the new roses have been planted at the replacement arbour.
They should have settled in nicely while we are missing
 and hopefully will have signs of buds when we return.


We do take a break now and again, to sit here
 and drink a mid morning cup of coffee and early evening 
after our day working in the garden we have an aperitif,

or as Mr France says.'Him doing the hard work and me titivating'.
Well someone has to give the orders.

I'm hoping that these climbing roses will do better this year.
After a year of neglect, I've given them lots of TLC which they were
in desperate need of, so I'm looking forward to seeing the reward.
Also I must stake up the peonies before they get too big.
I have Day Lilies & some Penstemon that a friend gave me still to plant.
Can you see my garden whimsy peeping out from behind the Euphorbia ?
I still haven't decided, whether she stays or goes.
Take a look here it was my gift from the floral committee. 

A gift from my daughter three Ranunculus in a pot.
Their petals are so pretty, wrapped round and round and so paper thin.

At the moment this is our view from the terrace.
We can see the wild Cherry trees in blossom  Food for the birds.
When we get back, I'm sure this view will be very different,
 all the trees will be dressed in their green robes,

I did manage to find some time to paint a sketch in my garden journal
of one of my Camellia flowers, before it turned brown & fell off.




I'll be taking this small sketch journal with me
 and a few ink pencils .


This lovely hand bound sketchbook was sent to me by Valerie Gardiner 
who has a lovely blog called Colours in the Breizh
 On her travels she doesn't use a camera, only the
detailed sketches she does 'en situe' in her own hand bound sketchbooks.


If I miss your posts, while I'm away, I'll try and catch up when I get back.
Enjoy your gardens,
especially those who have only just stopped having snow.


à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

06 April 2015

The Circus has come to our town.

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Knowing I live in rural France and seeing the title of this post
 I expect you were wondering what this post was going to be about ?
I'd just popped into the nearby village to post a letter
and where I usually park the car there was a Camel grazing on the grass.
Not an everyday scene. I wondered what was going on.
But then I remembered I'd seen some posters 
advertising the Circus, but as my grandsons are now young men
I hadn't really taken much notice of when or where it would be.
Usually it's during the summer months that 
'The Circus Comes to Town ' but as it's a festive time
the circus must have been touring the smaller towns .
I'm so glad  I had my camera in the car.
I was able to wander about and take photos. 



I'm sorry there aren't any clowns or acrobats practicing
their acts, for you to see. This circus is more like a zoo. 
But it's not everyday you get to see Camels in the car park. Is It ?

I'll be back in my garden again soon.
 I need to get the climbing roses planted.


 à bientôt
Barbara Lilian



02 April 2015

An Easter Posy for afternoon tea time

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Sit and enjoy your afternoon tea time posy
sent to you from France.
 A pretty posy from my garden
 in a pretty cup.
 to wish you Happy Easter 


Just a greeting from my home in France to your home
where ever you might be.




I hope my posy helped to brighten up your day.



à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

30 March 2015

Just Looking

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 It's not very often we take this route, but how happy I am we did. 
Joy for my eyes , look what I found .
It's only a 25 min. drive south from where we live
but it's amazing how much warmer it is.
The temperature is always a few degrees higher.
which means the blossom is more advanced than where I live.
.

Then we took a detour to our daughters house and I was even happier
as we found a garden center which had opened last year
I spent most of my time inside .
I was in awe of the beautiful Camellias.

I hope you like Camellias, as there were so many I couldn't stop clicking.
and before I realised that the battery was running low
 on my camera, I had spent all my time photographing them. 






Outside were rows of shrubs,
Each row had a sign showing the type of shrub and where to plant them.

Easy to grow.

Climbing plants suitable for walls and arbours
I was very tempted to buy a Clematis, but as I hadn't done any research
on them, to know which one to choose, I resisted temptation
for the next visit, which I know will be soon.
So a few more different Camellias to show you.
I hadn't realised there were so many varieties.

My only disappointment with these flowers
is they don't last very long.
If they get caught by early morning frost they turn brown
and they don't like wind and rain.
Which seems to have been our type of Spring weather
I have one in my garden which is struggling,
apparently due to all the things they don't like.
Now after the expert advice I was given by the owner
 of the garden center, I need to move it, after it's finished flowering.
It was planted last year, when my heart was not into gardening.
I thought I'd chosen a good position for it, but apparently not.
Also we do have very acid soil, due to the hundreds of pine trees
that were growing here when we bought the property.
So I need to correct that, when I find a suitable place to replant it.
But not just yet, it will have to wait, as I have climbing roses 
waiting patiently to be planted and grow up the new arbour.
If it's stopped raining tomorrow, I'll take a photo to show you.
It will be like  ''before and after.''

 What ever you are doing in your garden
Enjoy your planting.


à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

It hasn't stopped raining, but I did what I said I'd do.
I took this photo, to let you see my pitiful Camellia. 
As I say I'm not a gardener and we all make mistakes.
It wasn't a plant I bought myself, as  I know all the difficulties
of growing a good plant  (it was a prize ) from our Floral competition.
Yes you did read that correctly  a prize. But I do grow lovely
hanging baskets.
.
The flowers were battered even more during the night
This is my Camellia looking very sad, waiting to be moved.

26 March 2015

The rewards of my bulb planting.

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I was browsing through  one of my French magazines  again,
if you know me, you will know I keep lots of my magazines for a long time.
This time it was the fairly new one called  ' ESPRIT d'ici '

which is now in it's 2nd year and published 4 times a year
Spring - Summer - Autumn - Winter.
It covers a wide variety of interests.
Various types of crafts, gardening and country life
 with speciality recipes from different regions of France.

 My garden is beginning to look very spring like at the moment,
as I had planted lots of Tulips last Autumn,
I was happy to see these pink tulips as a feature.
Last Autumn I planted a large bag of Tulips, 
you can see here while doing some Gentle gardening
I think there were about 60 +.
While I was tidying the shed last week,
I found these bulbs sprouting in a string bag, not sure what they are, 
so they'll be a surprise when/if they flower. 


I chose to put them in pots as I was still only doing light gardening then.
 It was easier than having to bend down & also when they've 
finished flowering I will be able to store the pot in the shed. 
This year I plan to find easy ways to garden, with not a lot of effort,
 by having lots of flowers in pots which can be 
moved around to where ever I want to brighten up a dull corner.
When the first buds opened I was a little disappointed, 
as they weren't as pale as I had thought they would be.
It's not the first time bulbs haven't produced what is shown on the label.

 After a few warm sunny days, a few of the Tulips have opened up.
I won't be picking any as they are so cheap in the local Supermarche 
I bought a few bunches to have indoors.

After a shower of rain,  the buds had closed up for the night 
I managed to capture this shot.

These were planted at the same time as the others 
but look as if they'll be flowering much later.

More expensive as they are a speciality type 
only 10 in the packet compared to 60+ in the other bag.
I'm hoping they will be worth it. I'll know in a week or two.

And finally I have to show these tulips.
I show them each spring as they were planted here
15 yrs. ago by my sons lovely Danish wife.
Each year they flower and give this golden ray of sunshine




Have you planted bulbs which you're waiting for them to bloom.
I'd love to see what you chose to plant.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian