Showing posts with label Baskets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baskets. Show all posts

11 July 2015

Market day

I haven't been to Piegut- Pluvier market for a long time.
It's rated as being the best market in our area and stall holders come
 from far and wide, it's always very busy especially during the summer season;
so we like to arrive early. It's about a 25 min. drive from where we live.

 Most times I go to the market with our visitors or a friend.
It's not very often Mr France comes with me, but as we were up early
 he came with me. Here he is with my straw market basket.

We started off buying lots of fruit.
The Apricots were almost as big as the peaches.

I needed to stock up on fresh garlic so searched out my favourite stall.
It's always much cheaper to buy them loose.
I only buy the platted strung garlic as gifts.
Next I wanted summer fresh vegetables.
I'll be making summer salads with the Haricot vert beans.

This is how I make a quick simple bean salad.
Top & tail the beans. bring a large pan of salted water to the boil
cook the beans just enough to still have a crunch, about 7 to 10 mins.
drain in a colander, then plunge them straight away into iced water,
this will keep them green.
Put the beans into a serving dish, and drizzle some good quality olive oil over them,
  add some thinly sliced spring onions, toss tog. season with ground black pepper.
If you make a large amount, they will keep for a few days stored
in a sealed plastic container, in the fridge.

I noticed a lot of the stalls I used to visit were not there anymore,
so I decided to look around to find a new source for good fresh veg.
I saw a queue, at a  stall I'd never seen before, this is always a good sign.
 It was all Bio vegetables, which is usually more expensive, but their prices 
were very competitive. I had a peep first and all their produce looked top quality 
so I tagged on at the end of the queue. I noticed most of the people had
crumpled brown paper bags in their hands, which I assumed were from
their last visit and they must be regular customers. 
So not only were the producers Eco friendly all their regular clients were too.
So I'll certainly be buying my vegetables from there again.

 I bought a kilo of plum tomatoes with the intention of slow roasting them,
but I made a tomato salad drizzled with olive oil & sprinkled 
with fresh basil with a crunchy baguette for lunch,
I wish I'd bought more. I'll have to buy more next week .

My last purchase were olives to have with our evening aperitif.

So many types so I left that purchase for Mr France to choose.

He chose Greek and Moroccan, black olives

 There were lots of wine stalls, we only looked this time.
maybe next week we'll try wine from another region.

 Vin Rosé seemed to be the most popular.

I was pleased with the fresh fruit & vegetables I bought.
 Here's my straw market basket full of all things fresh.

I hope you enjoyed joining me along with Mr France at our favourite market.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

01 December 2014

1st. December - time for a little decorating.

Nothing fancy, one or two  candles slipped in here & there
amongst  some of your favourite things and add a few pine cones

Candles are always my favourite ways to decorate.

Candles and a little touch of the forest.

Now for some country style ways to decorate, 
taken from this French magazine I sometimes treat myself to.

I'm sure it will give you a few ideas with a different twist .

A window and steps leading to the entrance, decorated with
just a few branches of pine, with pine cones and a splash of colour from some apples.

For those who find it daunting to make their own wreath, 
this is an easy way to make the front door welcoming
Use some of the  branches from the bottom of the tree, some twigs covered in lichen,
 tie it with some thick red cord and attach a  few pine cones.
 If you live in the country these are all easy to find.

Bring a little of the outside into your home
 to spruce up a shelf or window ledge.

This is my country style decoration for my window ledge during the week-end .

A wreath using a straw base and then  covered with pieces of pine
 from your Christmas tree, small stems wired to the inside 
and the the larger stems on the outer edge.

I love this angel made from red stems of wood 
and bits of spruce pine.

A basket of cones and presents  wrapped in brown paper 
tied with simple cord with a sprig of dried berries.

This candle is wrapped in bark from a silver birch  tree.
On my next walk, I'll be looking for fallen branches to peel off some bark.

Some pretty ways to wrap those special homemade gifts for friends.

I hope I've given you a few ideas from France for you to try.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

23 October 2014

Gentle gardening



 I'm really wanting to get out in the garden with a spade in my hands .and make a start on creating the flower bed that went on hold last year. However I think I'm being a bit ambitious just yet. I did try to do a little but...Mr France and my body are telling me to hold on a bit and take things slowly and gently, So I listened and this is what I've been  doing this past week.

Something easy.

planting bulbs in baskets which later Mr France can hang on the terrace.

I did have big ideas of planting loads of bulbs in the bank I call the wild part of the garden.  

Now I'm thinking maybe later. I hope I don't run out of time before the frost comes.

These were bargain 2kg bags.
 63 Tulips and 65 Varied Daffodils

Which will have to stay in the trug for a little while longer

 I was able to tackle a bit of tidying up, which was easy, I pulled down
 a few branches of the Virginia Creeper and was about to dump it, then 
as I was pushing it into the wheelbarrow it started to
 automatically twist into itself making a rough garland,
so I instantly  rescued it, and look at these wreaths I made.
I'll put them on one side until I have gathered enough
bits of natural things to decorate them.

Even though I wasn't able to bend and dig, I was quite pleased
 with what I did achieve.

What do you think ?


à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

21 April 2014

Leaving my garden to look after itself.

Not done intentionally , but sometimes things have to happen that way.
I'm back after my stay in hospital, having treatment on my back.
Although not completely sorted due to a little hiccough with my blood pressure,
which on the last day of my treatment decided to shoot sky high,
which meant I was unable to complete the full treatment,
 and will have to go back in a months time.
It is greatly improved, but I still can't do any gardening for awhile.
Fortunately his basket was planted up some time ago
so we did have a few nice things to see
 Tete a Tete daffodils
So regretfully I'll have to leave things to Mr France.
Gardening is not his thing.
 Not so very long ago he couldn't tell a weed from a cherished plant.
He does all the hard ground work and I do the planting.
I'll be giving advice and asking him just to do the most important things.
My big new flower bed will not happen this year.

At the moment it's looking like this.
But it's not important.
I'm thinking when the soil is levelled off, I'll just lightly rake in some seeds
which were gathered last year and hope for the best.
This is what they looked like last year when my niece collected them for me,
 it's where we go on one our favourite walks.


Our communes have been sowing wild flower seeds en-mass in certain areas for the past few years.  
They're left to grow on their own amongst the grass with no attention what so ever .
 but look so pretty, and as my garden is on the rustic side in places
I think they should fit in quite nicely.
This is the view from the front of our house.

Shall we start with the potting bench, where most of the preparation  begins.
Trailing Fuchsias which we over wintered indoors, coming along nicely
 Something I could do was watch & nurture
some of the cuttings growing, that I took back in September.

So what's been happening around the garden, naturally and unassisted?
I'll take you on a tour showing the good the bad & the ugly.

Work in progress, hopefully this will get finished.
Mr France loves to build rustic stone walls,
 using the stones left over from the renovation he did when we bought this old ruin 20 yrs. ago.

These Tete a Tete miniature daffodils are new
 they were planted last year in the work in progress new bank area.
Muscari  bulbs in bloom planted last year.
Two different varieties. 
and the ones in the trough appear every year
a little on the small side due to neglect, put a pretty blue.
These big blousey Tulips were planted here by my Danish daughter in law
over 15 years ago. They come up every year, but this year I think this is the best they have looked.
Maybe they put on a special show for me, to cheer me up for when I came home.


No seeds have been sown this year, I will be buying trays of plants this summer.  

Some trays of summer plants already bought for the window boxes & baskets.
This year not as many as usual.
Could be a sitting down job next week.



Hopefully, slow but sure I'll be back to my old self soon
doing what I love best
 pottering about in my garden.
Before I went into hospital I bought myself a new Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook.
so while I was passing the hours in hospital I did some water colour sketches.
I'll show you some I did later in the week.
and maybe work in my garden will have progressed.
Thank you to all my friends who have sent me their kind wishes for my speedy recovery.
Some of you are also suffering with back problems, so I hope things are improving for you too.
 Even if I didn't leave comments on the usual blogs I follow I've loved reading your posts,
 keeping up to date with some of the things you've all been doing.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian