Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts

19 May 2016

Preparing my hanging baskets.

Due to the unseasonal weather conditions this year, I'm so far behind
preparing hanging baskets than previous years.
Although the nights are still cold, I need to get the baskets prepared.
With not much enthusiasm we went to a small family owned garden centre.

It's nothing like what you would visualise as the usual
'Garden Centre' no fancy glass greenhouses
with electrically controlled ventilation and watering system.

4 poly tunnels an array of country animals wandering freely
 and a friendly lady to greet me.

Sorry no photos I didn't have my camera
so close your eyes
 and imagine you're in the heart of rural France, and step back 30 years .

There are 4 poly tunnels with flaps at each end, the entrance and the other end for some ventilation. 2 of the poly tunnels are full of vegetables, as they do sell their vegetables at the markets. I think the flowers might have started as a side line,
probably just a few geraniums and petunias .
I usually have an idea what I'm looking for. I noticed this year there was more choice.
 I choose all my own plants, put them in a veg. box which are provided. I then go to a little table where there's a lady, who was dead heading all the plants,  she asks me
 how many I have, she writes it down on a piece of paper ripped out of what 
looks like child's exercise book. I have to go to the little shop to pay, where they sell
their vegetables . On leaving I was handed a plastic bag containing fertiliser grains. and told how to look after my plants to get the best results.
and left with their good wishes of...
'au revoir et bonne plantation'
 How charming is that, you certainly don't get this service in the towns.

I did notice a few elderly ladies in their wrap around house pinafore dresses, who had brought their own plant pots to have them planted up with a few geraniums, 
while they chose the vegetable plants to put in their potager.  

 We have bought some of our plants from here for the past 2 yrs
 and been really pleased with the quality and far better value 
than any of the large Jardi-land centres.

This is the selection I chose. They look really healthy.

Trailing Verbena.

White Alyssum

 dble. Sufinias

Brachyscome angustifolia

Begonia senegat.
we had these last year and they flowered from may to October. 
last years baskets.
Pink begonia senegat. 

Simple dark red leaved begonia.

Hopefully by the weekend we will have them planted and hanging.

How are you getting on planting up your summer flowers.

Do you use summer annuals for a splash of colour on your terrace.
I'd love to see what you choose and how you display them.

I hope the weather is warming up for everyone.
Happy planting / Bonne plantation

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian

29 February 2016

The last day of February.

Towards the end of last week we had a day with not too much rain,
 so we thought we'd make a start by visiting the garden centre.
We took advantage of the special offers on these bags of terreau.
Which we will need for the new flower beds.
However it's been far to wet to do any digging, 
so I've just been tidying up and snipping a bit here and there.
This blue glazed pot was used for an outside Christmas decoration.
I was ready to pull everything out but I hesitated 
as some of the pieces had started to root.
Don't know if it's due to the amount 
of rain and very little frost,
but I'll be leaving them
for awhile to see
what happens.
If they grow we could have some more Skimmia
like this, as this is the shrub I cut them from.

The Pieris is very early to flower this year'

this one is Forest Flame
I have three Pieris not sure which variety the others are.

The winter flowering Erica has grown very leggy,
It was fighting for the light, until I did some severe pruning.
When we came to live here a French lady who is now a friend
 gave me a few tiny rosettes of this plant.
She told me to tuck them into the cracks of a wall, and I would 
have the plant for life. Since then I have walls and pots full of them, 
and I'm always giving them away. I have since found out the name
which is Sempervivum and I've heard it called the Hen and chic plant.
It's reproducing rosettes all the time.

 I'd forgotten all about this plant Aucuba Japonica'Variegata'
It was hidden behind some Photinia, which have grown so big
this poor thing was being smothered, I'd rescued it last year,
 look at it now, the leaves all shiny and healthy, with lots of berries.
These miniature daffodils where planted in this part of the garden a few
 years ago and with a little tidying every now and then, it looks after itself. 
It joins the farmers field, so it's always full of wild flowers which I leave.
I also put some Buddleia cuttings a friend gave me and now they are massive 
If Buddleia is not pruned back each year, before you know it the shrub
 will become a tree. So the secateurs will be working hard 
this next week. Come rain or shine.
Can you see all the wild flowers already growing here?
they will fill in when the daffodils are past their best.
Looks like it's creeping buttercups shooting up there.
Further along the bank,wild violets are growing,
there were a lot more until the mouse popped out from this hole
I think he must have damaged the roots, with all the digging.

Each morning Mr France replenishes the bird table with a mixture of seeds
he then scatters some seed around this mouse hole. I've been trying my hardest
to catch him on camera, but he pops in and out so quickly.

Well after lots of patience I finally managed to get a few shots of him 

As you can see, not a lot of gardening has been done.
But I hope you liked following me around the garden
catching up on some progress I've been able to make.

Hopefully next time, weather permitting I should have lots to show you,

I have new roses to plant and one to move from last year.
which didn't like where it was. A new home needs to be found for it.

I see from some of the blogs I read some of you still have lots of snow.
What a strange winter this has been.
 I'm sure you are all looking forward to Spring.
I'll be back soon showing the progress in my garden.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian

18 February 2016

Forced Forsythia

So much rain and now a covering of snow this morning. 
I needed some spring to lighten my heart.
  I'm so pleased that I had  brought some Forsythia into the house.
 A shrub had been damaged during the storm so I cut a few branches 
and put them in a vase near the window. With the warmth inside 
and the light it didn't take too long for the flowers to open.

Our weather forecast had shown, sun and a rise in temperature, however it 
didn't happen. It's been cold & we've had sleet falling on and off all day.
 This lovely bright spring yellow, has certainly cheered me up
 I've been browsing through my Edith Holden, Edwardian Lady books.
Nature notes 1905 and Country Diary 1906
She painted some lovely illustrations for both these books .
I've had them for a long time and only ever looked at the pictures.
Now I'm painting again they've  given me inspiration.
Reading the daily entries in the diary is so interesting, 
not unlike the way the weather has been so far this year.

If you like, nature, birds and wild flowers
these books are lovely to have.
I also picked a few catkins,
 when we were children we called them Lambs tails.

 On my last visit to Denmark I bought myself this slate tray. 
Just right to display a few bits & pieces.

I made this card,
 just For You.

Have you brought a little early Spring into your home yet.
Try something, especially if you have snow, it made me feel happy.

Until the next time.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

08 October 2015


 I've been missing for awhile and already it's October.
Autumn can't quite make up it's mind whether to arrive or not.
It really doesn't feel like Autumn yet here in my part of France. 
As always the Virginia Creeper is the first to put on her red robe.

While the summer flowers hanging in their baskets
 are still showing off their brilliant blooms.
Thanks to Mr France and his continual
watering and feeding.

The Dahlias were a little disappointing.
maybe I'll give those a miss next year.
The late summer berries are still on the bushes,
I'm not a jam maker, so these will be left as food for the birds.

I have seen some signs of Autumn on my walks,
but these were too prickly to put in my pocket.

I took just a short walk this morning in between the showers.

Leaves & acorns are falling, 

But the glow of orange and red on the trees is not here yet.

Here we are on the lane back home and to
La Petite Maison  our guest house
Waiting for our visitors to spend a long weekend in la campagne / country.

Thank you to everyone who have sent me messages
wondering if all was well, as they had missed seeing my posts.
I never expected to be missed in the world of blogging.
Thank you so much,
it's your kind thoughts that make it all worth while.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian

28 August 2015

Some of my favourite things.

I'm sure those of you who are getting to know me
a bit more will know what most of my favourite things are.

 I'm unable to look after my garden at the moment as I've just spent 5 days in the
 clinic again, having treatment for my back problem and now I need to take things easy.

With flowers all around our home I couldn't wish to be resting in a better place.

I can't seem to get back into my painting, so I thought I'd browse through my photo albums and pick out some of my favourite things to cheer me up.
Would you like to see what I've chosen.
Get yourself a cup of coffee or what ever your favourite drink is,
and if you love flowers I'm sure you'll enjoy these photos.

I love the coffee Mr France makes for me mid morning.
better than any Starbucks, not that we have a Starbucks near where we live.
As you can see Mr France has drunk his coffee before I've even tasted mine.

During the past few days we've had some stormy weather
with lots of rain, which was badly needed, but has damaged a lot of the flowers. 
Fortunately Mr France had noticed that the early flowering pink rose
had a few new buds on it. so he cut this one for me.

and now I'm able to enjoy seeing it indoors.

Along with some more pink roses, which I have now hung to dry.

 The first photo selected has to be the Lavender from my own garden.

After my visit to La Provence region.

I had to have a Lavender bed of my own.

and also I had to paint what I'd seen.

A few of the hanging baskets we have every year.
These were from a few years ago when we won First prize in the floral competition.

This year we planted some pendulum  Begonias which have given us
a beautiful splash of colour all summer and it's still looking good.
A totally different basket to the previous one much daintier
flowers, which hangs at our holiday cottage where the guests stay.

Now for a selection of flowers cut from the garden.
With it being so hot and dry this summer, I haven't had many flowers to cut.

Our new Pierre de Mansard rose has certainly bloomed well for the first year. 

Pretty Spring flowers in a dainty cup.

Summer pinks & blues.

A lot of you seem to be wishing for Autumn. not me I hang on to every sunny day
hoping summer will last another month.
Our two eldest grandsons, are moving on in their education next week
 which means they will be leaving home.
So a family get together around our pool is planned for tomorrow.

This was one of many get together meals, during this summer
 when our son was here from Denmark with his family.
We just love having our home full of family and friends.

Boys at work.

Pool waiting for the family, teenage grandsons and girl friends.
What better way to end their summer vacation before College starts on Monday.

Next week I'll be taking a break. revisiting the Atlantic coast region. 

Mr France has rented a tiny fisherman's cottage.
It will be such different scenery for us. I'm really looking forward to it.
 hoping the good weather will hold out and we can just stroll along the beach, 
 enjoy a nice fish restaurant, nothing too energetic.

 and take lots of photos, 
Maybe it'll help to get me back in the right frame of mind to paint.

I hope to see you again soon
 as I'll certainly be sharing my short break away from the countryside.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian