Showing posts with label Summertime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Summertime. Show all posts

12 June 2016

A mixed bag

This time of the year is always busy for us.
 Garden to keep tidy for our guests 
Especially this adorable 'Labradoodle'  from Holland.
 He was the star  staying in La Petite Maison
I found out he even takes his own selfies.

 Summer time is a must for market shopping.
always get there early, before the crowds appear.
I start off with the fruit stalls.

Then the Charentais melons, to take home and have for lunch
served with some jambon cru, and a crusty baguette.

There was even a stall selling Jambon from the Auvergne.

Local honey on a croissant for breakfast.

 A medley of tasty vegetables for lunch.

Traditional goodies to savour.

A lovely selection of rose shrubs.

Then I found a lovely stall with an English lady selling beautiful original things.
I loved these old cases & boxes she covers in decoupage.

 In the summer there's always an organ grinder playing music .

Time for a spot of people watching and a cup of coffee before leaving.

Easy all in one meals.
Then the joy of eating outside.
Followed by Strawberries from the Dordogne.( The best in France )

Family and friends popping in for aperitifs. 

All the things I love about summer.

How about you, what do you enjoy the most about summer ?

I'm looking forward to some long sunny summer days and evenings.
Spent outdoors.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

24 June 2015

Summer is always a busy time.

As always Summertime keeps us busy.
The garden and our summer cottage keeps Mr France and I occupied.
After my surgery last year the garden suffered considerably.
A few weeks ago we had a visit from the person in charge of the committee

for 'Le Concours des Fleurs'/ The Floral competition.
 persuading us to enter le concour  again.
Apparently last year we had been greatly missed by the judges.
Although we always have an abundance of flowers
 in pots and hanging baskets, we agreed to enter the competition again.

I love this corner, as I can change the pots when they look a bit sad
or add some of my collected items found at the brocante  sale.
Which Mr France describes as junk !

So after returning from our short 5 day visit to the U.K.
visiting friends and family, we were frantically putting
together baskets and troughs, to adorn the terrace and windowsills,
which is the category we are entered in.

Here's a few we have done and now hanging from the terrace.

These geraniums I managed to over winter from last summer.
and just added a few other plants to fill in the gaps.

Window troughs or boxes as they are known as in England
are always a pretty way to brighten up the front of the cottage.

Our new roses planted in the Spring are flowering nicely.
If you'd like to wander around my garden with me,
come back soon and enjoy seeing what's growing
 where I live in rural France.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian

01 September 2014

Summers still here in France.

Although our summer has not been glorious sunshine everyday
and I was not able to give our garden the care it needed
we still have some plants giving us lots of colour.
These  Echinacea  have flowered all summer
 and it looks like they will for a lot longer.
 They will definitely have to be moved to the new flower bed,
as they have taken over this small area smothering the smaller plants
which are now hidden underneath, fighting for a bit of light.

I bet you're wondering why I'm showing these Lobelia growing in the gravel ?
Every year I used to sow Trailing Lobelia seeds in trays,
they would germinate,  start to grow, then shrivel up !
Now I go to the nearest garden centre and buy them fully grown in small pots.
Then every year half way through the summer they pop up in the gravel,
from seeds which must have fallen from the previous year.
I pull them out and put them into my hanging baskets.
They must like the cold moist gravel during the winter.
So much for my tender loving care I give to the seeds I sow.

Iceland Poppy
Last year I acquired two Iceland poppy plants.
They were on the shelf in a little shop and looked like they were almost dead.
 As I had bought a few other plants, I thought I'd ask if I could have the two for the price of one.
It must have been my lucky day, he put them in a bag
and said it was a petite cadeaux / a little gift.

They flowered for quite sometime, then completely disappeared.
Then this summer after thinking they had died
they must have been slowly growing without me knowing what they were,
and now summer is almost over they've decided to flower.
I need to mark there place so that I'll remember for next year.

This is another annual plant that I found growing in the gravel from a fallen seed,
 I pulled it up and popped it into this blue glazed pot so that I can move it about  
and now it adds some bright colour to an other wise dull spot.

Blue Campanula - carpatica
I did plant some white ones, but they don't seem to have survived the wet winter.

 I rescued this on one of my walks from a compost heap.
Perhaps someone had been thinning out their flower bed. I took them home,
not sure what they were until they flowered, then I knew... Osteospernum
I've put them in pots until I'm able to get the proposed flower bed dug out.
 They have flowered on & on all summer.
Being white I need to be put them somewhere that needs lightening up.

Such a pretty flower.
Hibiscus - Adonicus pink.
I've kept this in it's original pot and it's been flowering profusely   
since my stay in hospital. It was a gift from a friend.

It still has lots of buds.

This Fuchsia has such a beautiful flower. Unfortunately I don't know the name.
 I managed to over winter it from a hanging basket I'd bought last year.
It's struggled a bit, but it's now showing some lovely blooms.
 now that summer is nearly over. 
I see from several of my blogger friends gardens that Autumn is certainly here.
I hope some of you can manage to hold on to summer a bit longer, If not,
maybe you have some plants in pots that are still flowering that you can bring indoors.
What ever your weather enjoy your garden.
I know my posts have been few and far between these past few months,
but I'm almost back to my old self.
I have greatly appreciated all the kind get well wishes from so many of you.
I'll be back soon, as  I have something I want to share with you.
à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

07 August 2014

In the Pink.

My garden is full of pink this summer
I'm also feeling in the pink.

Almost recovered from my surgery.
 I'm  now able to do lots of things which have been on hold
Come with me and enjoy some of my PINK.

Not the usual sort of thing I put in my garden.
This was given to me last year by the Floral committee
 along with my diploma as part of my prize .
Not sure how long this will have a place in my garden !
It's now tucked in a corner till I get used to seeing it.

The only Lily I managed to see.
The Lily bug ate the rest before they were able to bloom.

Welcome to La Petite Maison our holiday rental house.



View from the sun deck. 

Echinacea  (Poupres)

Phlox ( panicilarta )
A present given to me for my new flower bed.
to be created in Autumn.

Wild Foxglove
  Which pop up somewhere different each year.

I hope you enjoyed my Pink mood

I'll leave with a pretty posy
 to enjoy what ever mood you are in.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian



18 June 2014

Looking back.

It's now early June and I'm resting after my surgery
I've only planted up a few hanging baskets and
I've just had a phone call from 'Le Mairie' ( our local town hall)
It was strange to hear an English voice and also one I recognised,
 informing me that she was now the person in charge of the 'floral committee'
and would I be entering the floral competition as usual this year,
as I had not sent in my application form.
How things have changed since I first arrived to live in my tiny village
 take a look here
During the time  I've lived in France I've always had pots of flowers
on the window sills and by the front door, even when we were renovating our house.
 I felt a little sad having to say NO I would not be entering this year.
If you'd like to look back with me at one of my previous posts  
here  are some of the flowers which have won me prizes.

Little by little I'm getting better.
I'm still having to rest a lot and not allowed to go out in the car yet.
Fortunately we have glorious sunshine so I've been sitting on our terrace
I've done a little sketching, but really not 100% back into it.
Hopefully I'll get my enthusiasm back soon.

 I hope you'll enjoy seeing some of my older posts.
when the pots & baskets where at their best.

Since I've been absent,  I've gained some new followers
I hope you will come back even though my posting will be sporadic
for a little while.
Also thank you so much to those of you who have sent me get well wishes.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

10 September 2013

Other peoples gardens .

This summer I've been away from my own garden so it's been badly negleted,. Mr France did the watering for the hanging baskets and the occasional grass cutting which wasn't needed very often due to the heat.
But I had the pleasure of seeing and enjoying other peoples gardens. Would you like to share them with me.

First my daughters garden,
 where I spend most of the summer when we let our property.

Her garden has very little attention and is a little on the wildside
but has great charm.
Each year the hollyhocks are always so pretty.

Entering the drive way the buddleia greets you, usually covered in a mass of butterflies.

When Mr France & I went to stay in  La Petite Maison. the buddleia I'd planted before I left had come into flower, so I picked a few blooms and put them in a lttle old bottle I'd found in the barn when we first bought this little house. I  took a photo so I could paint them at a later date.
So I thought now is  a good time to get back to doing my watercolour painting.
 Here's the scketch I did in my journal.

This is my first effort for over a year
 I'm still only a beginner, but hope that eventually I will improve.
I've only ever shared any of my sketching with my family.

Back to garden visiting.

This is my French friends garden near where I live.
This part has been created with the help her grandchildren, she has seven all under the age of ten.
I love to visit her and see what the little ones have added during their summer holiday.

A lot of watering has been needed
so every little helps.

Another friend I have I admire so much, she  & her husband had a house built not far from where I live. They live and work in England but divide their time between France & England. Gardening is her passion.
I always say, 'she could plant a stick and it would grow.'
It's not easy for her, but with the help of her husband they have made a  vegetable plot and  grow all sorts of vegetables, they always seem to survive whatever the weather, which gives them fresh veg, each time they come back.

Her first batch of haricot vert.

These pictures are from the garden of a dear English friend who has recently passed away.
Although she didn't live in France permanently she chose  her plants carefully.
 to be able to look after themselves, she loved her garden.

This year her hibiscus in white, pink & blue where spendid.


As always her hydrangia was beautiful.
I'm sure she chose these because she loved to wear different shades of blue even if it was only a scarf.

Now this garden I've never actualy seen.
This lovely dahlia I've only seen from this photo,as it's  in the garden of my lovely English friends.They used to have a second home near to where I live in France. Her garden in France was planted for every season and always looked as if someone lived there permanently.
They sold their house 2yrs ago and the new owners do live there permanent and they have changed it completely, now when I pass I feel so sad as it doesn't look as pretty as when my friend was there.

Now to North Wales, where my family live.

These beautiful pink poppies are so delicate they are almost like tissue paper,
  are in my nieces garden and she has just been to visit us and brought me envelopes full of poppy heads.
So hopefully I'll have some flowering in my garden next year.

This is my sisters garden also in Wales.
This lovely clematis climbing up the wall to greet you at the front door.

Their garden at the rear of the property.has always been lovely.
Now it's planted mostly with shrubs for ease of maintenance.

This arbour is usually covered  in pale pink clematis flowers.
but due to their severe winter & late snow in spring it's suffered a bit.

My brothers house was an old Welsh farm.

He loves his garden.
When he was younger he was head gardener on the estate of Lord Sefton in Liverpool.

The wall surrounding the front of his house is covered in white alysum, red sauge & blue lobelia.
Then he has a tower of baskets, this had only just been planted when I went to visit him in late June, so I'm sure by the end of summer it was a beautiful mass of colour.

Now I'm back home we have a lot to do in the garden. 

I have plans to make a new area for some shrubs.
So some hard digging will be necessary. I'll show you that later when we get it started.

Before I leave you I must show you the gift my niece bought for me at the market just before she left.

This beautiful giant hibiscus

the flower is as big as a large dinner plate.

Hope you enjoyed seeing these gardens, all so different.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian