Showing posts with label Garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garden. Show all posts

29 January 2017

Wandering and Wondering.

Although I'm enjoying where I am living, I'm feeling a bit lost at the moment.
It's not my house & its not my garden, I can see new green shoots popping up
from the ground, not frozen like it would be where we used to live.
 I'm wondering if all my plants & shrubs will survive the cold
frosty winter they are experiencing,

The day we left after 26 happy years .

We are still in France but have moved to a totally different landscape and a milder climate.
Now we have the benefit of both countryside and the coast.

The past few weeks we have woken to cold frosty mornings, 
but I hear from the local people it is unusual.
I wander around our little private courtyard looking for signs of new life.
This week I saw the first daffodil bobbing its yellow head towards the sun.
much earlier than my previous abode.

This is where we've been able to sit on some of the mild sunny mornings for our coffee.

Hopefully we will eventually find a house that 
we will be be able to settle into and be able to say, 
'Chez Nous'  our home.

I know it's been a long time that I've been away from the world of blogging.
but I have been reading all my favourite blogs and hope some of my faithful friends 
will still be there. If not maybe I will find some new followers who will enjoy
seeing the photos I share and enjoy reading about my life in France.

Enjoy your weekend where ever you are
and most of all, enjoy life.

Next time you'll be able to see inside our lovely cottage here in the Charente Maritime.

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

19 April 2016

How does your garden grow.

I've been so busy working on the Rose Garden,
I hadn't even noticed what was happening to the rest of the garden.
Here's what I found, it's not looking too neglected
New Tulips planted last Autumn, sorry I can't find the label for the name.

It almost looks like a Gardenia, when the petals are open.

I planted 10 but it looks like there will only be  9. 

A few garden ornaments I like to use dotted here & there.

These are Day Lilies, planted in a vintage storage jar.
I move them around to add a splash 
of colour where needed. 

This area needs some attention, I had intended to re-do it. 
However I didn't have time before it started to grow again.
There are 2 pink climbing roses growing up against the wall. 
I did give them a hard pruning, so hope they will be OK.

The Peonies are already in bud, they need to be staked.

All I've done to this area is hoe out the weeds.
It's a mixture of pinks and blue, perennials.  
and the rose is white ( Iceberg) 

 I found these Aquilegia ( Columbine )growing in the gravel  drive.
The seeds must have been blown there.They were so tiny
 when I dug them up, but they've grown so quickly 
now they are being looked after.

Chives, which keep re-growing every year.
Always nice to have, to sprinkle over summer salads.

Rosemary & Thyme which might need replacing.
I always grow my herbs in pots.

The pink Tulips from last year, some bulbs only made leaves no flowers.

 They look pretty in these big stone pots.

This Lavender plant I bought in Provence. Its still looking good.
I do keep cutting it back to stop it going straggly.
I've managed to keep it a good few years.

The last of the Muscari ( grape hyacinth) bulbs.
 I have three different varieties which all flower at different times.

Ornamental grasses. I was never very keen on them, 
I always thought they looked like dried weeds, but now I've 
changed my mind and thought I'd try some this summer.

My potting area, full of hope-fulls !
By that I mean, plants that have been over wintered in the garage
and now I've re-potted them hoping they will flower again this summer.
I'll let you know later what was successful and what wasn't.

The Rose garden is now finished, All the roses 
have been planted, and the Clematis which is already in bud.

I'm taking a short break, going to the coast, 
before our summer visitors start arriving in May to stay in 

I will show you the finished result when I get back.
Some of the roses already have buds on so it shouldn't 
be too long before we have signs of pink.

I'll look forward to seeing what's growing in your gardens 
and what you've all been doing.
So until then

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

11 April 2016

Rose garden project.

 During Autumn we started planning an idea for a rose garden.
We have an open area of the garden which is never used
 and it's just more grass that needs to be cut.

Mr France has recently taken an interest in the garden
other than just having to do the heavy work
that I can't manage these days.
Last year we visited a 'Roseraie' in Limoges
and came home with the idea of creating one in our garden
albeit  on a much smaller scale .

 Plan A

We bought these woven willow boxes
and started planning were we would put them -
However after a long winter of lots rain,
and not being able to get on with the project,
The willow boxes have been put in the shed for the time being

Now we have - Plan B.  Work is still in progress.
This is what it's looking like at the moment.

We managed to acquire a very large piece
of thick black polythene from the farmer near where we live
which he didn't needed any more .
Covering the ground will kill off the grass
and will save a lot of back breaking digging.
Mr France has made much stronger wooden box frames
and they are nearly all in place.

All the roses have been bought, some French and some English.
I can't wait for the summer to see them in bloom.
Would you like to see what I've chosen ?

All pink.

Frederic Mistral created by Meilland - French rose.

I have chosen three different bush roses
 from the ever popular David Austin variety.

 Geoff Hamilton. - Mary Rose. - The Mayflower.

 Climbing rose 'Narhema'  I bought and planted this one last year 
to grow on the new pergola we put up near the pool.

After a summer of very few blooms,
 it certainly wasn't happy where it was.
The reason ?  a mixture of things,
the most important was not enough sun and then fighting 
with the nearby Honey suckle & a Variegated Ivy.

After I'd dug the rose up, I could see it hadn't made much root growth.
so it was definitely ready to be moved.

Mr France has made an Obelisk

similar to the one I'd seen here
take a look at Pamela's blog, 'Flower Patch Farm'
she is a very talented & creative lady.

Hopefully moving it to new open ground
with 2 Clematis, it will flourish and we'll reap the benefits
and see lots of beautiful pink roses, intertwined with blue Clematis.

Hopefully this is what we'll be seeing for our efforts.
Can't wait for summer.
I'm sure if you know me, or have followed my blog for awhile
you know patience is not one of my virtues .
But ....  'come on ' who couldn't wait to see these beauties.

We still have some more work to do.
I'll show the finished result in another post.

How are your gardens coming along? Have you made any changes,
or are you trying new plants you've always wanted to grow?
I'd love to see what you've done.

I know some of you are still having cold weather & snow....
Maybe you're over wintering your delicate plants indoors ?
 in pots, ready for the warm sunny days.

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