03 May 2016

Welcome to the month of May.

The garden is full of birds singing and flitting about feeding their young.

The Robins nest we found in the shed. How long must it have taken
 these birds to build this nest, tucked in the hanging hosepipe 

We thought it had been abandoned.
Last week we saw a little head and two bright eyes staring at us 
it is the female sitting on her eggs, they have been very discreet.
We can't wait to see the feeding activity. 

After a lot if hard work, the Rose garden is now finished.

 Lots of flower buds are showing on the Clematis.

Here we used some of the willow frames, to replace the rotten ones.
This small area was planted up last year, and is now looking well established.
The small lavender plants have now doubled their size. so I'm looking forward 
to some nice perfume wafting my way when I'm relaxing near by.
 When the plants are in bloom, it will be a nice show of pink and blue
with a white climbing rose against the stone wall.
I'm glad the hard work is finished, now I can taking it a bit easy for a few days.
Hoping the warm sun we had yesterday,
 enabling Mr France and I to have lunch on the terrace will continue.

This seems like a good time for me to get my sketch books and Ink-tense pencils out.

Yesterday I saw this post from Quinn on her blog about getting back into painting.
Quinn is an incredible lady who has so many talents at her finger tips.
She lives and works looking after her goats in severe winter weather conditions.
She keeps her family of goats for their wool which she processes and 
then knits into the most lovely items, especially the lacy shawls.
Tell her I suggested you pop over to share her blog.

 My back is telling me I've done too much.
I will need  to just potter in the garden for awhile
So I'm hoping the sunny weather is here for awhile, then I will relax.
I'll be back soon.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

19 April 2016

How does your garden grow.

I've been so busy working on the Rose Garden,
I hadn't even noticed what was happening to the rest of the garden.
Here's what I found, it's not looking too neglected
New Tulips planted last Autumn, sorry I can't find the label for the name.

It almost looks like a Gardenia, when the petals are open.

I planted 10 but it looks like there will only be  9. 

A few garden ornaments I like to use dotted here & there.

These are Day Lilies, planted in a vintage storage jar.
I move them around to add a splash 
of colour where needed. 

This area needs some attention, I had intended to re-do it. 
However I didn't have time before it started to grow again.
There are 2 pink climbing roses growing up against the wall. 
I did give them a hard pruning, so hope they will be OK.

The Peonies are already in bud, they need to be staked.

All I've done to this area is hoe out the weeds.
It's a mixture of pinks and blue, perennials.  
and the rose is white ( Iceberg) 

 I found these Aquilegia ( Columbine )growing in the gravel  drive.
The seeds must have been blown there.They were so tiny
 when I dug them up, but they've grown so quickly 
now they are being looked after.

Chives, which keep re-growing every year.
Always nice to have, to sprinkle over summer salads.

Rosemary & Thyme which might need replacing.
I always grow my herbs in pots.

The pink Tulips from last year, some bulbs only made leaves no flowers.

 They look pretty in these big stone pots.

This Lavender plant I bought in Provence. Its still looking good.
I do keep cutting it back to stop it going straggly.
I've managed to keep it a good few years.

The last of the Muscari ( grape hyacinth) bulbs.
 I have three different varieties which all flower at different times.

Ornamental grasses. I was never very keen on them, 
I always thought they looked like dried weeds, but now I've 
changed my mind and thought I'd try some this summer.

My potting area, full of hope-fulls !
By that I mean, plants that have been over wintered in the garage
and now I've re-potted them hoping they will flower again this summer.
I'll let you know later what was successful and what wasn't.

The Rose garden is now finished, All the roses 
have been planted, and the Clematis which is already in bud.

I'm taking a short break, going to the coast, 
before our summer visitors start arriving in May to stay in 

I will show you the finished result when I get back.
Some of the roses already have buds on so it shouldn't 
be too long before we have signs of pink.

I'll look forward to seeing what's growing in your gardens 
and what you've all been doing.
So until then

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

11 April 2016

Rose garden project.

 During Autumn we started planning an idea for a rose garden.
We have an open area of the garden which is never used
 and it's just more grass that needs to be cut.

Mr France has recently taken an interest in the garden
other than just having to do the heavy work
that I can't manage these days.
Last year we visited a 'Roseraie' in Limoges
and came home with the idea of creating one in our garden
albeit  on a much smaller scale .

 Plan A

We bought these woven willow boxes
and started planning were we would put them -
However after a long winter of lots rain,
and not being able to get on with the project,
The willow boxes have been put in the shed for the time being

Now we have - Plan B.  Work is still in progress.
This is what it's looking like at the moment.

We managed to acquire a very large piece
of thick black polythene from the farmer near where we live
which he didn't needed any more .
Covering the ground will kill off the grass
and will save a lot of back breaking digging.
Mr France has made much stronger wooden box frames
and they are nearly all in place.

All the roses have been bought, some French and some English.
I can't wait for the summer to see them in bloom.
Would you like to see what I've chosen ?

All pink.

Frederic Mistral created by Meilland - French rose.

I have chosen three different bush roses
 from the ever popular David Austin variety.

 Geoff Hamilton. - Mary Rose. - The Mayflower.

 Climbing rose 'Narhema'  I bought and planted this one last year 
to grow on the new pergola we put up near the pool.

After a summer of very few blooms,
 it certainly wasn't happy where it was.
The reason ?  a mixture of things,
the most important was not enough sun and then fighting 
with the nearby Honey suckle & a Variegated Ivy.

After I'd dug the rose up, I could see it hadn't made much root growth.
so it was definitely ready to be moved.

Mr France has made an Obelisk

similar to the one I'd seen here
take a look at Pamela's blog, 'Flower Patch Farm'
she is a very talented & creative lady.

Hopefully moving it to new open ground
with 2 Clematis, it will flourish and we'll reap the benefits
and see lots of beautiful pink roses, intertwined with blue Clematis.

Hopefully this is what we'll be seeing for our efforts.
Can't wait for summer.
I'm sure if you know me, or have followed my blog for awhile
you know patience is not one of my virtues .
But ....  'come on ' who couldn't wait to see these beauties.

We still have some more work to do.
I'll show the finished result in another post.

How are your gardens coming along? Have you made any changes,
or are you trying new plants you've always wanted to grow?
I'd love to see what you've done.

I know some of you are still having cold weather & snow....
Maybe you're over wintering your delicate plants indoors ?
 in pots, ready for the warm sunny days.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian

28 March 2016

Missing but active.

The month of March is nearly over . 

During the first few weeks I was busy Spring cleaning
our little holiday cottage La Petite Maison

for our first visitors.

A little French rustic adornment.
I don't think I've ever seen anyone wear the straw hat, 
but it's there just in case.

The weather was perfect to bring out the Olive tree.

We also had a lot to do outside 
 to make good after the damage from the mini tornado.

The terrace pergola and new fencing was finished in time.
For the first arrival.
Even the tulips that come up every year were in bloom. can you see them on the right ?

I'm still waiting for the pink ones I put in pots to flower. They wont be long I'm sure .
This is what they looked like last year.

March is nearly over, the clocks have been put forward an hour, 
I look forward to the longer days. 

The birds are singing morning an evening

Finding a mate

 To help build their nest

I don't think I've ever seen so many different types of finches 
altogether at the same time, in the garden.
Maybe it's because Mr France has chosen some 
different type of bird food, which he scatters on the ground.

and frantically building their nests.

We even had this visitor in the garden .
Unfortunately I didn't have my camera at the ready.

These photos are images from a source found on internet.
 The Hoopoe bird. 

I'm hoping they'll nest again near us.
We hear them but don't always see them.

There's new shoots popping up all around the garden.
What could be better. I love this time of the year.

I haven't been feeling well this past week. 
A nasty chest infection, which knocked me for six,
it was a pyjama week for me, thankfully it's slowly clearing up.

Now I'm looking forward to some warmer sunny days.
then I can get into gardening again.
Things have been put on hold, yet again. 
I was hoping to get things done 'gardening by the moon '
this Spring, but it wasn't to be. I would have liked to test 
to see if it did make any difference, when things were planted.
or pruned.    Now I'll never know.

Lets hope April won't be full of showers. 

Thanks for popping by
 and if you are new to my blog I hope you'll come back again .

Look forward to seeing you again soon.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian