23 April 2012

Sowing seeds at the right time - in tune with the moon.

Having had so many failures of seed germination, this time I will do what my old French neighbour Leonard told me to at our 1st house in a tiny village in the 'heart of nowhere' as our English friends described it. Leonard would arrive with match boxes full of seeds, usually courgette, which I duly put into the ground when I managed to find time in between being the labourer, for my husband during our renovation period. He always gave me instructions of when & how to sow the seeds, at least I think that's what he was telling me; as my of understanding of the French language at that time was very limited. So for all I knew, he could have been saying 'put them in a pan of boiling water & cook for 20 mins'. Everyday I  would go to my little veg plot, which indecently grew to a whole field the following year, more about that another time. I waited anxiously for the little blighters to show some sign of growth, & when nothing appeared I'd sneak down the lane to  Leonard's potager to see how his were doing. Leonard's were always up well before mine & at that time I didn't realise how important it was to sow them at the specific time he had told me. Which was in tune with THE MOON. I just thought the precise instructions given were because I was English & he thought I didn't have a clue what to do & he was right. It's taken me a long time to realise that's the way the old folks have always sown their seeds. God Bless old Leonard, I say old with affection as he was a dear man, always laughing, up at the crack of dawn to tend to his potager before the day became too hot, unlike me who tended to my veg, plot if & when I found time. Another lesson I had to learn. When I came to France my gardening attempts were full of mishaps, only ever having grown tomatoes in a grow bag in England. I had a lot to learn.
I'm afraid to admit it but I still have the attitude of  ' it has 2 chances, it grows or it goes '
So this time my seeds will be sown in 'tune with the moon'. That's if the rain stops long enough for me to get out in my garden.


20 April 2012

Indoors wth a Home and Garden magazine.

It's really April showers weather in my corner of France. I'd hoped to do all sorts in the garden, but now at my age I only work outside when it's NOT raining. Gone are the days when I'd be a busy Bee doing things like there was no tomorrow. So I've spent some time indoors browsing through some of my old magazines. One in particular it's Danish, unfortunately I can only look at the pictures but the decorating ideas from other peoples homes are so lovely it's well worth it. I usualy bring it back with me when we go to visit our grandchildren. http://www.isabellas.dk/

Isabellas magazine

16 April 2012

The wild flowers in the garden, are just as pretty as the cultivated ones.

This morning having taken a stroll around the garden & the field, I found so many pretty wild flowers. I thought I'd share them by posting a few photos.
When I lived in England it was'nt considered a proper garden if the weeds were left to flower, however since I've lived here in the countryside of France, our house which was once a barn being part of a small farm it's literally in the middle of farm land, so really it's  plonked in the middle of a field.
I needed to change the way I thought about my garden. Now I let all the wild flowers grow in abundence, woe betide if my husband dares to put a blade any where near them untill they are past their best.
I was excited to find the first blue bells down by the stream not many yet; but hopefully the river banks will soon be a mass of blue & yellow from the Marsh-marigolds & the Yellow Iris . But the best find was some Cow-slips, I haven't seen them near my house before. But the scent that thrilled me the most came from the wild Violets. People do say the wild ones don't have any perfume, well they need to visit the French country-side.
I know we are not supposed to pick the wild flowers, but as they were growing on my land, I felt I had the right & was privileged to be able to do so.

 A posy of wild flowers from the field in a 'Tasse de Cafe'

The Cow- slips

A Carpet of wild Violets in the banks.

The Common Dandelion
when you look at the form of the petals it's  a very pretty flower.

As we say, 'Wet the bed' but known as 'Pissenlit' in French !

Garden work in progress.

The downside of the joys of living in the country.

I was just getting the hang of creating my blog, when the lights went out . Yes.. power failure, so out came the candles. We never get to know why. If it goes on for more than an hour, sometimes our nearest neighbour who lives 1km. away will pop round in his car to ask if we have power. So I decided to have an early night 9.0 pm. in bed, means an early start the next day. So that's the good side, up early & ready to get stuck in with the ongoing project in the garden. I'll post some photos later, if I can remember how I did it.

Welcome to the 1st page of my new blog.

Welcome to my blog. As yet I'm not quite sure what path it will folow, as I dabble in so so many things ...    at the moment being Springtime my priority is the garden, so the watercolour painting has gone on hold, but there's always meals to be cooked & cakes & puddings to be baked. A gift for someone, so that's usualy a quick cross stitch or a patchwork item sometimes a pretty posy from the flowers in the garden or wild flowers from our field. So I hope amongst some of my interests you might find something you like, if not on the 1st visit maybe another time.

When I started to learn water colour painting late in my life, I began to search on the internet & after reading several blogs & signing up to the ones I really liked; I became more interested  in blogging or whatever one calls it ! I had always said, 'why would anyone ever want to read about what other people are doing' Well that's what I've been doing, so now I've decided to make a blog of my own. I don't know if anyone will be interested in what I do, have done or would like to do, but whatever.. here goes & even if no one logs onto my blog to have a peep, I will have a collection of my memories for my Grandchildren to read when I'm gone.

I don't know how often I will be posting things on it, that will depend on the spare time I can find in between the new garden project I am helping my lovely husband create. I am the planner/designer of the project & he is the do-er. Plus all the other 101 things I have on the go (probably like most of you out there) The rest of the garden is badly in need of some TLC which was badly hit this winter by the really low temp. & very hard frosts we experienced. We lost so many shrubs, I'm not sure where to start. Also the holiday season will soon be upon us & we have two holiday gites which we let, so that takes up a lot of my time.

I will make a big effort to keep things coming, even if it's only a picture or two of things I have seen or have been doing, which makes me feel happy & I hope will be pleasing to you out there, where ever you are !

 I'll try & see if I can successfuly post a couple of photos !   then I'll sign off.

The end of Winter for the Blue-tits.

Daffodils in the wild part of the garden. 


The 1st Tulips 

Bye for now

Barbara Lilian