06 April 2015

The Circus has come to our town.

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Knowing I live in rural France and seeing the title of this post
 I expect you were wondering what this post was going to be about ?
I'd just popped into the nearby village to post a letter
and where I usually park the car there was a Camel grazing on the grass.
Not an everyday scene. I wondered what was going on.
But then I remembered I'd seen some posters 
advertising the Circus, but as my grandsons are now young men
I hadn't really taken much notice of when or where it would be.
Usually it's during the summer months that 
'The Circus Comes to Town ' but as it's a festive time
the circus must have been touring the smaller towns .
I'm so glad  I had my camera in the car.
I was able to wander about and take photos. 

I'm sorry there aren't any clowns or acrobats practicing
their acts, for you to see. This circus is more like a zoo. 
But it's not everyday you get to see Camels in the car park. Is It ?

I'll be back in my garden again soon.
 I need to get the climbing roses planted.

 à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

02 April 2015

An Easter Posy for afternoon tea time

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Sit and enjoy your afternoon tea time posy
sent to you from France.
 A pretty posy from my garden
 in a pretty cup.
 to wish you Happy Easter 

Just a greeting from my home in France to your home
where ever you might be.

I hope my posy helped to brighten up your day.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

30 March 2015

Just Looking

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 It's not very often we take this route, but how happy I am we did. 
Joy for my eyes , look what I found .
It's only a 25 min. drive south from where we live
but it's amazing how much warmer it is.
The temperature is always a few degrees higher.
which means the blossom is more advanced than where I live.

Then we took a detour to our daughters house and I was even happier
as we found a garden center which had opened last year
I spent most of my time inside .
I was in awe of the beautiful Camellias.

I hope you like Camellias, as there were so many I couldn't stop clicking.
and before I realised that the battery was running low
 on my camera, I had spent all my time photographing them. 

Outside were rows of shrubs,
Each row had a sign showing the type of shrub and where to plant them.

Easy to grow.

Climbing plants suitable for walls and arbours
I was very tempted to buy a Clematis, but as I hadn't done any research
on them, to know which one to choose, I resisted temptation
for the next visit, which I know will be soon.
So a few more different Camellias to show you.
I hadn't realised there were so many varieties.

My only disappointment with these flowers
is they don't last very long.
If they get caught by early morning frost they turn brown
and they don't like wind and rain.
Which seems to have been our type of Spring weather
I have one in my garden which is struggling,
apparently due to all the things they don't like.
Now after the expert advice I was given by the owner
 of the garden center, I need to move it, after it's finished flowering.
It was planted last year, when my heart was not into gardening.
I thought I'd chosen a good position for it, but apparently not.
Also we do have very acid soil, due to the hundreds of pine trees
that were growing here when we bought the property.
So I need to correct that, when I find a suitable place to replant it.
But not just yet, it will have to wait, as I have climbing roses 
waiting patiently to be planted and grow up the new arbour.
If it's stopped raining tomorrow, I'll take a photo to show you.
It will be like  ''before and after.''

 What ever you are doing in your garden
Enjoy your planting.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

It hasn't stopped raining, but I did what I said I'd do.
I took this photo, to let you see my pitiful Camellia. 
As I say I'm not a gardener and we all make mistakes.
It wasn't a plant I bought myself, as  I know all the difficulties
of growing a good plant  (it was a prize ) from our Floral competition.
Yes you did read that correctly  a prize. But I do grow lovely
hanging baskets.
The flowers were battered even more during the night
This is my Camellia looking very sad, waiting to be moved.

26 March 2015

The rewards of my bulb planting.

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I was browsing through  one of my French magazines  again,
if you know me, you will know I keep lots of my magazines for a long time.
This time it was the fairly new one called  ' ESPRIT d'ici '

which is now in it's 2nd year and published 4 times a year
Spring - Summer - Autumn - Winter.
It covers a wide variety of interests.
Various types of crafts, gardening and country life
 with speciality recipes from different regions of France.

 My garden is beginning to look very spring like at the moment,
as I had planted lots of Tulips last Autumn,
I was happy to see these pink tulips as a feature.
Last Autumn I planted a large bag of Tulips, 
you can see here while doing some Gentle gardening
I think there were about 60 +.
While I was tidying the shed last week,
I found these bulbs sprouting in a string bag, not sure what they are, 
so they'll be a surprise when/if they flower. 

I chose to put them in pots as I was still only doing light gardening then.
 It was easier than having to bend down & also when they've 
finished flowering I will be able to store the pot in the shed. 
This year I plan to find easy ways to garden, with not a lot of effort,
 by having lots of flowers in pots which can be 
moved around to where ever I want to brighten up a dull corner.
When the first buds opened I was a little disappointed, 
as they weren't as pale as I had thought they would be.
It's not the first time bulbs haven't produced what is shown on the label.

 After a few warm sunny days, a few of the Tulips have opened up.
I won't be picking any as they are so cheap in the local Supermarche 
I bought a few bunches to have indoors.

After a shower of rain,  the buds had closed up for the night 
I managed to capture this shot.

These were planted at the same time as the others 
but look as if they'll be flowering much later.

More expensive as they are a speciality type 
only 10 in the packet compared to 60+ in the other bag.
I'm hoping they will be worth it. I'll know in a week or two.

And finally I have to show these tulips.
I show them each spring as they were planted here
15 yrs. ago by my sons lovely Danish wife.
Each year they flower and give this golden ray of sunshine

Have you planted bulbs which you're waiting for them to bloom.
I'd love to see what you chose to plant.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian

23 March 2015

Spring into Springtime.

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My favourite season.

So much activity in the garden, most of the spring flowers are blooming.
We are helping the birds as much as we can. Mr France has made some new Bird boxes & we've put out bedding for the taking, this seems to be working. We used to refill this suet cage with food, recently I've been filling it with wadding and the birds have been taking it for sometime.  Now I've seen on Mary's  blog A Breath of Fresh Air.
she adds  bits of lace & shreds of material cut into strips to hers. What a lovely idea. I know the Gold finch make very decorative nests. Some time ago,  I found one
 with blue forget-me-nots woven in with some of our dogs fur around the edge.
The birds seem to be taking it.
One of the new bird boxes, so far no residents.
 A gift from our daughter.
For the past 2 years I've put it out, but it's never been used.
Maybe it's too upmarket in style for our country birds.
How ever I like it as a garden ornament.

If I follow Mary's idea of adding some lace for a bit of luxury,
we might have some posh birds. 
or maybe a Robin / Rouge Gorge  like this, will take up residence there.
 Tucked in the Berberis, I found a nest from last year.
I think I'll leave it and keep an eye on it,
maybe it will be refurbished, by some new takers.
 Each year I put this little nest, with it's egg in one of the hanging baskets.

 This is the area we were working on this time last year.
Then it had to go on hold, when I was unable to do any gardening.
Now due to the resent surgery Mr France had to have, we have
decided it will be staying like this. I like it partly cultivated and the rest
left a bit wild. Later the wild flowers will add lots of natural beauty.

 I've just had a wander around the garden and found some more
different types of daffodils, from a few years ago.
Even some hidden in an area that certainly needs some tidying up doing.
How is your garden looking, do you have birds building their nests?
Are you putting up bird boxes ? If you've never had a bird box
in your garden, why not try. It's so rewarding watching the birds
busy building their nest, then flying backwards & forwards
feeding their chicks.

I'll be keeping you up to date with the flora and fauna in our garden.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian