26 January 2016

Pretty Pansy Faces

Pansies are one of my favourite winter flowers, 
I plant some every autumn.
I love their flowers heads they remind me of smiley faces
 This year I put two troughs on the south side of the house 
and they were safely sheltered from our storm last week. 
Troughs of pansies in full bloom.
Early morning photo taken from the window.
these are dwarf pansies

 and we've been enjoying seeing them in flower for some time.

Then after a view days of warm sunshine 
  the tête à tête daffodils quickly came into bloom.

These tête à tête  daffodils are from a few years ago,

 I planted them a little later, than the others.

Last year I planted them in hanging baskets.

after they've finished flowering, I store them in a plant pot in the shed.  
I found a few more that had been forgotten,they'd already started to shoot .
so while the sun was shining I quickly shoved them into a trough.
Can't really call that gardening.can I ? at the moment.
I'm sorry to say it, but I'm not very enthusiastic .
Do you ever get like that ?
 please tell me it's not just me.

Thought I'd show you a few my pansy paintings
that I've made into cards.

they were painted a few years ago. 

I thought if I looked at some of my paintings
it might give me some encouragement, to start again.
I've set up a trestle table, found my sketch books and paper !
So ... until my next post, when ever that will be, I might surprise you.
Might be paintings or progress in the garden.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian

23 January 2016

How lucky we were.

Our weather forecast was hail and some high winds !
It all happened so quickly, we heard the hailstones on the windows,
the noise of the wind in the trees, and then saw things flying past the window.
It was recorded as a mini tornado, and we must have been in the eye of it.
We were so lucky......

If these very large high trees  had fallen in the other direction,
 the cottage would now just be rubble.
That's the corner of our cottage on the edge of this photo.

We are just thankful that it was just the road that was blocked
and the trees hadn't fallen on the cottage.

The electricity and telephone cables were brought down 
and we don't get a signal to use our mobile phones........
Fortunately the road which passes our house joins another road. 
so we were able to get out and alert the local commune.
Who quickly alerted the necessary services 
The next day a team of 4 men came to cut the fallen trees
 and clear the road so that the electric & telephone 
cables could be fixed back on the poles.
As we are so rural our cables have still to be put under-ground.
Now the huge tree trunks on the side of the road.
Not sure how long they will remain there,
as the owner of this land is now in a retirement home,
and in France everyone is responsible for looking after their own land !

Do you remember seeing pictures of our lovely pergola ?
during the summer it's covered in a grape vine 
with a Bignone/Campsis - orange trumpet climber.

This is what it looks like now.

Most of the boundary fencing was in bits
 and the rest was blown away.

I know it's sad when trees that have have been there for years, 
are damaged by storms, but these had never been managed 
and were far to high and too close to our property,
so in a way we are happy.

Can you believe that this window decoration remained in place,
it was on a sheltered wall.

I've just seen the news on our television
and seen how many states in the USA
are being given warnings of severe snow storms .
To all of you that maybe affected, I hope you stay warm and safe.

Weather permitting, I'm hoping that soon
I'll be able to get on with preparing some raised flower-beds
for the new David Austin roses I've chosen.
( with  help from Mr France of course. )

I'll be back when the storm damage is cleared up,
and the flower-beds prepared,

So until then .

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian