Compost, communication, and pain

Taking on the development of a 3-acre garden in another country was never going to be for the faint-hearted. At the best of times we can only be there between a third and (absolute maximum) half of the year. The land is fertile, the rainfall plentiful, and the temperatures temperate throughout most of the year. So the plants grow fast. We can only do what … Continue reading Compost, communication, and pain

Spring bulbs: success, failure and looking ahead to the future

Planting bulbs is one of my least favourite activities. The task usually falls to my trusty OH, with my responsibilities lying with research, selection, and buying. Last autumn I was determined to get ahead and made a wonderful selection from Peter Nyssen whose excellent customer service (via Karen and colleagues) is renowned on social media. The plans were limited to the Sussex garden, as I … Continue reading Spring bulbs: success, failure and looking ahead to the future

The best laid plans … calamities and change

The best laid plans of mice and men … (Robert Burns, so Google tells me). These were the plans: 14th October, arrive at the French house, stay for three nights, back to the UK, final preparations for my final event, draw breath briefly and then get stuck into a new life that some call retirement. Well, change has occurred but with it has come some … Continue reading The best laid plans … calamities and change

In a Vase on Monday #IAVOM Sussex

I’m off to the French house today for three nights. It’s a flying visit partly because I haven’t been there since the end of August, a longer gap than usual because my husband had an operation, and partly to meet with various builders to finally sign off on the major works earlier in the year. Oh, and there’s the small matter of a hair appointment … Continue reading In a Vase on Monday #IAVOM Sussex

Books: recently bought and on my wishlist – yes, mostly about plants and gardens – October 2019

I’m an inveterate buyer of books, most often about gardening. And whilst I do admit to having a large “to read” pile I always get round to using and enjoying each one. I thought you might like to know what I’ve recently read and what I’m looking forward to reading in future. I’ve provided links direct to their Amazon page should you wish to buy. … Continue reading Books: recently bought and on my wishlist – yes, mostly about plants and gardens – October 2019

Six on Saturday 3rd August 2019

I’ve long enjoyed “Six on Saturday” posts from my oh-so-better fellow bloggers. And I’ve resolved to join them on several occasions, but have always been thwarted by it not being Saturday or not having appropriate photos to include. I must be in a blogging kind of mood today as I remembered to dash outside a couple of hours ago and take a few photos. And … Continue reading Six on Saturday 3rd August 2019

Market day in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande

We’ve heard many people describe the Saturday market in Ste Foy as the biggest and best in the region. Today was the day when we decided to go and see for ourselves. We’ve driven around the town a few times en route for other places but never stopped. Parking, in true French (small town at least) fashion, was easy. We were late arrivals (characteristic of … Continue reading Market day in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande

The Garden Museum Literary Festival – a long weekend in Norfolk Part 1

A blissful midsummer’s weekend celebrating the best in garden writing I can’t remember when I first heard about the Garden Museum.  I’ve been to a few of their wonderful events over the years, have supported Christopher Woodward’s sterling fund-raising efforts for development, and have become rather fond of the organisation and everything it stands for. One day, when I was clearly in the mood to treat … Continue reading The Garden Museum Literary Festival – a long weekend in Norfolk Part 1

Advice for friends: planting in a difficult situation under trees

Two lovely friends in our French life, P & F, recently asked me for advice on what to plant in a very difficult position under trees which apparently suck all moisture and light from the soil. They’ve tried various plants none of which have thrived or even survived (so they tell me). I’ve always adopted the “have a go” approach to gardening. Someone I knew … Continue reading Advice for friends: planting in a difficult situation under trees

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 … Continue reading In a vase on Monday – from the French garden