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

12 May 2016

Antique Books

Last Sunday I was helping my grandson and his girl friend
on their stall at a vide grenier / brocante fayre.
I haven't been to one of these for a long time
  I always come back with something
I don't really need.

But since living in France I can't resist old books.

This one took my fancy.
full of pictures.

 showing the beautiful architecture of the Paris buildings.

These two little gems, look like they have been well read.
Vintage French Literature School books.
I love the covers on them,
 I don't remember my school books looking like these.

BOOKS... books.. books. I couldn't resist these.
  most of the books I now read, I read as e-books on my Kindle.
But I must admit I do love turning paper pages .

Look at the date of this one

 The title translates to...
'The Wise Women '
Although they probably won't be read,
 They'll be part of my décor in the guest blue bedroom. 

Books, letters, printed photographs 
they are all slowly becoming things of the past.
We are told it's the way of life,
 new technology slowly sneaking in.

How do you feel about this.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

03 May 2016

Welcome to the month of May.

The garden is full of birds singing and flitting about feeding their young.

The Robins nest we found in the shed. How long must it have taken
 these birds to build this nest, tucked in the hanging hosepipe 

We thought it had been abandoned.
Last week we saw a little head and two bright eyes staring at us 
it is the female sitting on her eggs, they have been very discreet.
We can't wait to see the feeding activity. 

After a lot if hard work, the Rose garden is now finished.

 Lots of flower buds are showing on the Clematis.

Here we used some of the willow frames, to replace the rotten ones.
This small area was planted up last year, and is now looking well established.
The small lavender plants have now doubled their size. so I'm looking forward 
to some nice perfume wafting my way when I'm relaxing near by.
 When the plants are in bloom, it will be a nice show of pink and blue
with a white climbing rose against the stone wall.
I'm glad the hard work is finished, now I can taking it a bit easy for a few days.
Hoping the warm sun we had yesterday,
 enabling Mr France and I to have lunch on the terrace will continue.

This seems like a good time for me to get my sketch books and Ink-tense pencils out.

Yesterday I saw this post from Quinn on her blog about getting back into painting.
Quinn is an incredible lady who has so many talents at her finger tips.
She lives and works looking after her goats in severe winter weather conditions.
She keeps her family of goats for their wool which she processes and 
then knits into the most lovely items, especially the lacy shawls.
Tell her I suggested you pop over to share her blog.

 My back is telling me I've done too much.
I will need  to just potter in the garden for awhile
So I'm hoping the sunny weather is here for awhile, then I will relax.
I'll be back soon.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian