Tuesday, 8 July 2014
The cardoon's doing its thing. Perfect magenta.
They stand tall for now, discreetly staked as any notable wind could bring them over.
The garden looks good at the moment - the flipside of a below par start to July weatherwise. Showery and relatively cool, everything's that bit more turgid. The heat returns next week according to MeteoFrance.
Everything is very green for now.
Leading down to La Fermette, the new border that I built earlier in the year has filled out rapidly. Another boon of recent rainfall. Kniphofia caulescens are clumping out handsomely and I guess will be sending up their 'torches' in a month or so. The Russian sage may have to be moved about a bit. It's growing rapidly and as ever I've underestimated it's ultimate size which will almost certainly swamp out the pathway. Aside, I continue to find it difficult to get a good photograph of this area.
Maybe this pic does it more justice?
Saturday, 21 June 2014
We took off in the car and headed to wine country last Tuesday. Only an hour away and you're amongst the appellations of Bergerac, Pécharmant, Montravel and many more. Grabbed these photos of cave, Julien de Savignac just outside Bergerac within the Monbazillac region.
This is a beautiful place to buy wine!
This is the good stuff.
Drink it in the garden.
Friday, 6 June 2014
Every year I manage to underestimate just how big catmint will get. Even after much spring division, giving away large chunks, still it does it's thing and fills out almost every inch to where it started. On the flipside I also always to manage to forget how beautiful catmint is. June is it's best month.
Salvia nemorosa is just starting to colour up. The colour of dark denim and possibly the best blue equalled only by the blue of Lavender 'Hidcote' which flowers later on.
Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'. I still reckon this is the prettiest blue geranium though not the longest flowering.
Campanula muralis cloaks the terrace at La Forge. The wall bellflower crops up everywhere and seems to colonise regardless of sun or shade.
Sunday, 11 May 2014
Eremurus and alliums - perfect.
These foxtail lillies are e. himalaicus, and they shine like candles in the spring sunshine.
I have five, but back in early April, a caterpillar chewed away two of the emerging blooms. Bloody caterpiller, left me with three. Anyway, I need more, so come the Autumn I'll pick up another five or six bulbs.
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Sunday saw the annual garden festival held in and around the truly manifique Chateau et Parc Botanique de Neuvic just north of Perigueux.
The strong spring sunshine belies a blustery tale. A couple of squally showers blew through during the course of the day - no fun at all if you've an unsecured parasol covering your pitch.
Such a stunning place to visit. The chateau was originally built in 1520, with various additions, mullioned windows, battlements and chapel added over the following centuries. The botanical parc was created in 1993.
As ever at these events, there's always diverse crafts on show. These benches are being put together from green chestnut, the back being cut to shape in the photo.
Bill Carter's clever 'upcycling' of redundant old farm and garden tools is always fun.
Happy bat below was so good we took him home.
Lunch under a vaulted ceiling.
Not exactly a culinery extravaganza, but perfectly accetable and together with
a warm log fire - very convivial.
Friday, 18 April 2014
Asparagus season has been underway for a week or two now. It'll be all things asparagus for at least another month.
The French preference is for the blanched, white asparagus. The black polythene keeps photosynthesis away - no chlorophyll here.
This is the courtyard to one of the most magnificent asparagus farms around.
It's been in his family for generations.
With views to the villages and chateaux of Beynac and Castelnaud, the panorama is also magnifique.
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Many hours of digging and tilling and the meadow area is ready. I'm waiting for the bloody bindweed to appear and then spray it off. It's the only way, those roots are everywhere, more so following the rotovating which cuts them into a million pieces all ready to sprout and continue the cycle. Once they're dealt with I'll sow. I'm aiming for about two weeks time, three weeks later than in previous years, which makes sense on many fronts, primarily to give me time to deal with the bindweed, but also to enable the meadow to 'peak' a little later and continue through to October.
I've decided to sow Pictorial Meadows Classic Mix again. It didn't perform as well last year than the previous which I put down almost entirely to oversowing. That's it above in June, poppies are the star of the show.
Later into July and things gradually turn gold.