Showing posts with label plants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plants. Show all posts

19 February 2015

Guess what I'm Waiting for ....?

Yes  Spring.

A few days more of sunshine and we should have some more signs of Spring.

I love the formation of the petals on pansies.
When I first started  watercolour painting I enjoyed learning the technic

of  wet on wet watercolour painting and painted several pictures of pansies.
I gave each one as gifts to friends and family. At that time I didn't take photos of my paintings.

A few little spring flowers in an eggcup.
After last weeks cold frosty mornings it was a pleasure
to walk around  the garden today in the sunshine
it thrilled me to see lots of new growth,

This vintage egg basket is full of cones with Sedum growing through them.
Bright red shoots on the Photinia ( Red Robin )
and the catkins or what we call lambs tails on the Hazel trees.

The birds are flitting about singing their courting songs.
Then I found a discarded blackbirds nest from last year.

 These Sempervivums always survive the cold frosts.
Some will die off but I always manage to keep enough to
 replant them in small terracotta pots. Then I can move them around
to fill in an empty space while waiting for plants to resurface after the winter.


I see lots of my followers are still having snow storms.
How are you feeling ?
You must be more impatient waiting for Spring.
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

06 November 2013

No Gardening, so I'm painting.

It's been raining for days and the forecast is more for the next few days, which means our garden project has been put on hold ! So what do I do with my time after the daily chores have been completed.......
Well, now I don't have any excuse not to be working on  the painting challenge I gave myself.

Before the rain I'd collected a selection of different leaves so thought I'd start off with a little bit of Autumn.

and a couple of cones from the many I've collected
waiting to be used in decorations for Christmas.

I have various watercolour painting books on 'How to  ....... '
and the many techniques on how to use aquarelle in the style I like.
.However that day my mind was blank
 I had no idea what to paint, should it be scenes, buildings or flowers ?
Being so undecided I thought I'd sketch a few things in my journal

I started with what I could see in front of me on my work surface.

Then I saw my journal. !
 I only started  it at the beginning of this year 2013
 Unfortunately I'm not disciplined enough and only make the odd entry every now and again.

My journal has brown paper which is like wrapping  paper.
and it's a very different surface to paint on which I don't find  easy.

  so I usually just sketch.

then use my watercolour pencils.

I will state this is not meant to be a self portrait ! 
but it is my usual style of dress for gardening on cold drizzly days.

We had a break in the clouds and it had stopped raining for a short spell
I decided to get outside and divide up a few plants &  re-pot a few others, also
 I'd just bought a tray of pansies to brighten up the window boxes and they needed to be planted.
so that turned out to be my subject for sketching.

I do like to paint pansies.
I put one in a little blue glazed, terracotta pot.

This one below is one I did during my first period of painting in 2008
Mr France was so proud of me, he made a mount and framed it .

I had a period of busy family life and painting was shelved for quite a few years.Then when I did have the time, I found it difficult to begin again. I felt I'd lost my way, and was never happy with what I produced.  My art teacher at that time gave me a very good piece of advice, 'never throw away any of your paintings, otherwise you'll never have anything to compare your recent painting with' 
I'm glad I listened, as I took out some of my early paintings, and saw I had improved, and now feel I have the courage to gradually slip a little painted sketch into my posts.Some of my lovely followers have asked, where I've been hiding my talent. I don't see myself as producing good work or being talented. I enjoy painting, but always want to paint in the style of others.
I received an email from one of my follower friends, telling me I should be chuffed at what I'm producing in my own style..That was the best encouragement I could receive and I take it as a compliment.

Slowly I'm gaining my confidence again. 
and trying to paint as often as I can.
I hope you like what I've dared to share.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

29 October 2013

Chrysanthemums for remembrance

 Outside of the supermarkets big and small are pots & pots of  Chrysanthemums for sale
 in all of the lovely colours, which are bought  and then placed on the graves
 of their loved ones,.in remembrance for 'All  Saints day'

All over France this time of the year you can see masses of Chrysanthemums in pots,
 as beautiful floral decorations in the towns and cities and on the roundabouts.


In France
Chrysanthemums are never given as a gift to anyone,
 and you rarely see them planted in the gardens.
In the first village I lived in I soon learnt it wasn't the done thing
 to use them as a floral decoration outside my front door.

These lovely arrangements are in our local church.
This one amongst many others was in the entrance area.

 in front of the alter.

This was my favourite.

After our visit inside the beautifully decorated church we had a wander around the market stalls.

and I couldn't resist snapping this little fellow
 who seemed  to be on guard 
at a market stall.

I hope you liked seeing how the French people use
Chrysanthemums for remembrance.

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