In a vase on Monday – from the French garden

The garden is in a phase where there aren’t many flowers. At least that’s what I thought until I decided to walk around with a flower bucket in one hand and a pair of secateurs in the other. And I was pleasantly surprised. Here is this week’s #IAVOM, all picked from the garden. Keep reading for some identification and explanation.


Here’s another couple of views from different sides

I rather like how the vase has ended up, all loose and informal and flowery.

Here’s what found its way into the vase:

Prunus cerasifera: we’ve planted a number of these along a hedgerow

Verbena bonariensis: we love this and will always have it in all our gardens. In due course it will self-seed around and be very welcome

Rose, a pale pink climber, no idea what name, lightly fragrant, grows up the south side of the covered terrace (that used to be a tobacco barn)

Erysimum Bowles Mauve: another plant we usually have in our gardens and which is absolutely flourishing here. I must remember to try and strike some cuttings to keep it going as they can be short-lived

Lychnis coronaria: one of the few flowering plants that we inherited which self-seeds modestly in one or two places and is very welcome. I love the way it looks as though it is paying homage to the ancient plane tree.

Kaki flower: a small branch that was growing in the wrong direction (so OK to sacrifice for the vase!). We didn’t know what this tree was for a couple of years but last year it was covered with flowers and subsequently fruits. We weren’t able to enjoy the fruits as we missed the window when we could have ensured they were ripe enough to eat. Unripe they are very astringent and really quite unpalatable. I suspect we may need to get a system going where we pick them and encourage them to ripen in drawers or paper bags! The tree is making a lovely shape (spot the flower bucket put down while I took the photo!). You can just see our compost area in the background to the left, and the rose garden to the right.

Rhus typhina: a small sucker pulled up and trimmed for this vase. They sucker very badly in our region and for this reason we removed the couple of trees that we had, notwithstanding the lovely autumn colour.

Scabious: not sure which variety but beautifully fragrant and loved by butterflies

Heuchera sanguinea (not sure which variety) bought from a local French garden centre but thriving and absolutely beautiful

A spring of wild mint. It grows wild everywhere.

Calamagrostis Karl Foerster: bought a couple of years ago in Carcasonne to plant in front of (at the time) above-ground pool to try and disguise it. The pool was subsequently demolished and the Calamagrostis dug up, divided, and relocated to a new bed where it provides rhythm throughout. The clumps are bulking up rather too quickly and in danger of dominating so will need yearly attention I suspect

Gaura lindheimeri: also bought at the same time as the Calamagrostis for the same purpose and subsequently treated in the same way. Gaura grows well in our climate and location although it hasn’t yet shown any signs of self-seeding as we know occurs elsewhere

Leycesteria formosa: another plant I always like to have. I know some people find it a pest, with volunteers springing up all around, but we are ruthless in weeding out volunteers that are surplus to requirements and wouldn’t be without it.

A couple of sprigs of a small-flowered red salvia that we inherited; we like salvias and intend to grow a lot in due course.

Zantedeschia: all self-respecting French gardens (at least in this region: 33 Gironde bordering 47 Lot et Garonne) have a good specimen or two. Ours is just in its second year but building up nicely.

And finally a beautiful red rose from the climbing rose that soars over the front door. Its been spectacular this year. Its first flush has finished and there are only a couple of flowers to be seen at the moment. More will follow very soon. Sadly it has no perfume at all.

And if you think that I’m just living the dream in my corner of south-western French paradise … I’ll tell you that the weeds are growing like mad and I spent today raking and barrowing rubble. But that’s a story for another time.

#IAVOM thanks to

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7 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – from the French garden

      1. Oh, of course. Timing is very important with them.
        A hard frost ruins them, but if you could get to them after a mild frost, they are supposedly at their best. I was never that diligent on timing, and often got mine prior to frost.

        Liked by 1 person

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