Sunday, 10 May 2015

Foxtail lily



They glow you know.  Eremurus himalaicus, the white foxtail lily shines in the evening sunshine. I love eremurus - so much so I bought about 9 or 10 roots of e. robustus last autumn - that's the big one, the 9 footer foxtail lily which is bound to draw a gasp. Bloody no shows - the lot of them. I have zero idea as to why not. I mean, the soil is right; the planting time was right; they had space.....   Maybe rodents?


Anyway, such is the way of things. Well almost.  That 'laissez faire' type statement belies my new motivation to grow Digitalis ferruginea as I need more spiky punctuation in my garden.  Blame it on Dan Pearson. I've just been leafing through his book, The Garden (again) admiring this sun loving biennial that he planted with such aplomb at Home Farm many moons ago.



Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Don't mow the meadow...


The 'meadow' area has been weeded and prepped as we've decided to continue to sow an annual meadow despite being a little disappointed with last years results. We've also decided to continue to use Pictorial Meadows annual seed varieties though this year we've changed the mix. For the last three seasons we sowed their 'classic mix' which for the first two years gave outstanding results - really beautiful. However, last season the same mix proved to be a little disappointing. I guess there are many reasons and factors that can explain why it was a little below par but life's too short to analyse the many ifs and maybes so this year we've sown 'blue wave' which incidentally was the mixture used outside the Aqua centre at the London Olympics - impressive eh? I hope so!


If we really can have a field of shimmering blue then we'll be happy, very happy though I can almost guarantee  some self seeders from last year will punctuate the colour scheme with a rogue hue here and there and that the - impossible to eradicate - bind weed will remain just that.


Above is the meadow in 2013 with its first flush of poppies following a sowing of Classic mix. Later in the year the succession changed to a yellow and gold theme as you can see in the photo below. This year's sowing, though altogether different promises to be really special if all goes well - I mean, who doesn't like blue flowers?


Saturday, 28 March 2015

Le Périgord in Spring



Spring has sprung and the Perigord is better for it.



Hopefully we've had the last frost of any significance and no strong winds are forecast as the Peach blossom is about to open back at Le Banquet. Inclement weather cuts short pretty scenes such as the blossom in front of the church here at Castelnaud la Chapelle.






MeteoFrance promise us more in the way of sunshine from the middle of next week though the temperatures won't be breaking any records.


But April sunshine is warm sunshine and nature is waiting to burst forward.






Monday, 16 February 2015

Windfall Box


I've always fancied adding a little more box (buxus sempervirens) somewhere around La Fermette, down by the river. In fact I've always fancied having a low box hedge - a parterre - but creating one presents a twofold problem. Financial and patience. Box is both expensive and slow growing, so when my neighbour mentions that there's lots of old box hedging being given away as someone is digging up the grounds to an old manor house they've just bought and do I want any - well I bit their hand off.


I decided to make the parterre in front of the stone wall by the Fermette's terrace.


After removing the turf and digging the area over, I layed out the boxwoods to get an idea of spacing and number.


All in. A bit unruly but they'll pull into shape after being clipped and the 'leggy' exposed bases should leaf out nicely as the growing season gets under way and the light encourages them.


Clipped and waiting for spring. I'm undecided as to what to plant within the border, maybe annual Cosmos and Ammi majus (the bishop's flower).

Sunday, 11 January 2015

A Good Year For The Truffle




The second weekend into January and Sarlat celebrates all thing Truffle. The Fête de la Truffe  is a major calender event and people descend from all over the world to be part of one of the best French traditions -  to eat fine food and drink fine wine. It's hard work, but someone's got to do it.


It's been a good year for the black Truffle of the Perigord.



There were huge quantities for sale  - more than in previous years and at anywhere between 650 to 900 euro a kilo, a lot of money changed hands,























Et voilà

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Noël in Bergerac


There was an ethereal quality to the view surveyed by the statue of Cyrano de Bergerac as he peered down into the 'old' town through the swirling mist drifting from the river Dordogne this evening.




The little covered market was putting together the final touches to the orders for tomorrow nights Christmas eve dinner - the  réveillon - or 'wake up' feast traditionally served late in the evening and frequently after mid night mass.


Oysters


Little  'hampers' of cheese.


But everywhere seems calm and peaceful. There's no mad last minute rush.








Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Mushroom Season Continues...



The Cepe season continues. It kicked off late, way into September when usually a downpour in August is the trigger. One thing's certain. This has to be one of latest running seasons, which courtesy of an absence of any frost seems set to continue for a week or two longer.

I bought these at Le Marché des Capucins, the big food market in Bordeaux and at 15 euro a kilo they weren't  too eye wateringly expensive. That said, on the way home, just near St. Emillion I saw a roadside stall packed with crates of this particular bolete knocking them out at 6.50 euro a kilo.


The start of Saturday night's dinner - mushrooms and noodles - the best noodles I could find at the Italian stall in the same market. Délicieux