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

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

The Exotic Garden: inspiration, planning and planting

Inspiration from Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter The first time I visited Great Dixter was the first occasion I was introduced to the concept of exotic/tropical style planting. It must have been not many years after the late Christopher Lloyd and his head-gardener Fergus Garrett (recently awarded the RHS’s prestigious Victoria Medal of Honour) replaced the long-standing rose garden with this new, challenging, and very exciting … Continue reading The Exotic Garden: inspiration, planning and planting

The rose garden: planted in January, flowering by May

Many people have been asking me how the rose garden is developing, after the big plant out in January. On arrival at the house last Thursday for a cheeky last-minute weekend I was thrilled to see that some of the roses already had flowers. Across a sunny weekend more opened. I was even able to enjoy one of my favourite gardening activities, a spot of … Continue reading The rose garden: planted in January, flowering by May

A fortnight in April: cool, damp, and much progress

We set off from Sussex with a car packed to the gunwales with the usual random collection of items, this time mainly plants.   Our drive to Portsmouth is quick and straightforward (apart from the 11 roundabouts around Chichester) and we were smoothly on to the ferry. where we quickly dumped our small bag in the cabin and went straight to the restaurant for dinner. … Continue reading A fortnight in April: cool, damp, and much progress

Rain stopped play (but not the weeds …)

We are here at the French house on a two-week visit, one week either side of Easter weekend, a special and precious time together. I’m still recuperating after a very intensive working period, and R is partly working and partly having a few days of holiday. Our gardener has been here several times during our visit, making a flight of steps down into the new … Continue reading Rain stopped play (but not the weeds …)

The rose garden: progress and planting

This time last year we had our groundworkers on site, constructing a new car park. A considerable amount of soil had to be dug out, to level the area. This was partly tipped down a bank to the side of the drive (and will become a new exotic garden later this spring) and partly spread on the south side of the car park, an area destined … Continue reading The rose garden: progress and planting