Houseplants, flooding, and unproductive days

The rain has been relentless for some weeks now, so much so that the land is saturated, the rivers are overflowing, and France has declared a natural disaster in this region after extensive flooding. You can read about it here in The Local France. Fortunately we ourselves haven’t been impacted in terms of flooding. But there’s been a stream running down the drive much of … Continue reading Houseplants, flooding, and unproductive days

First Monday in February 2021

The equivalent post in January took us for a walk around the garden. This post is going to be more of a roundup of what’s been going on since. We’ve had quite a lot of wintry weather, a mix of hard overnight frosts, ferocious wind, and torrential rain. We are currently living through a period when the temperatures are mild (in the teens) but the … Continue reading First Monday in February 2021

First Monday in January 2021

A friend posted photos of all the plants in flower in her garden a couple of days ago. This inspired me to walk round yesterday taking photos of all the flowers I could find; very few! I had a real sense that the garden has now sunk into its brief period of winter dormancy. Winter is short in this part of south-west France, but it … Continue reading First Monday in January 2021

My top 10 from 2020

This time last year I downloaded an app called Top 9 which selects the best (not sure by what criteria) nine photos posted on Instagram during the previous year. I’m seeing a few people posting their Top 9 so I decided I’d revisit it. Unfortunately the app doesn’t want to play ball, just hanging and displaying the message “Doing some housekeeping …”. Its been doing … Continue reading My top 10 from 2020

A Christmas Letter – Part 2 “the garden”

As the first year when I wouldn’t be distracted from the garden by work, 2020 was intended to be a year of significant garden development. We know what happened; distractions far bigger than work conspired to put a stop to those plans. However gardens and plants never stand still and here we are just a few days before the end of the year; time to … Continue reading A Christmas Letter – Part 2 “the garden”

A Christmas Letter – Part 1 “us”

I was an early adopter of the idea of writing Christmas letters. Some people call them Round Robins. Many ridicule them. But general feedback on mine is that they are welcomed and received with interest. So I shall continue to write one even at the end of this very strange year of 2020, even though I don’t necessarily feel like it. Like so many of … Continue reading A Christmas Letter – Part 1 “us”

Plus ça change plus ç’est la même chose

One of the few artefacts I have from my childhood is a composition (as they were called in those days) I wrote at primary school where I expressed the desire to live in a house in the country with roses growing over the door. I never lost that wish despite decades living in (albeit leafy) suburbia. Someone once accused me of having a romantic fantasy … Continue reading Plus ça change plus ç’est la même chose

In a vase on Monday : peonies from France to West Sussex #IAVOM

These are in a vase on our dining table today: I can understand you might look twice, trying to work out what they are. I’ll tell you: they are peonies after all the petals have fallen. What was left as the petals began to fall was so beautiful that we decided to keep them for a few more days to enjoy the architectural form. This … Continue reading In a vase on Monday : peonies from France to West Sussex #IAVOM

Six on Saturday, life in lockdown, volunteers, and self seeders

Somehow, during lockdown, I’ve been completely unable to write a blog post. I don’t really know why. Perhaps one reason is that for me to retain my sanity in these strange days, these days when I should have been building my new non-working life, I’m focusing all my efforts on the here and now, counting the blessings I have, enjoying where I am. Perhaps writing … Continue reading Six on Saturday, life in lockdown, volunteers, and self seeders