Monday, 27 April 2009

Not a bad little venue....

Over the next couple of weeks, many of the local towns and larger villages host spring plant fairs and flower markets. I love them. For me, they seem to confirm that spring is really underway, frost is becoming a distant memory and that the summer lies ahead.

The last Sunday in April is the usual kick off date for the flower fair season, so yesterday we took a trip out to the really very beautiful Chateau at Neuvic which hosts a little plant fair in its grounds.



These local fairs are just perfect for me. There's generally something of everything, from rare perennials, cacti and succulents, pottery and woodwork through to massive displays of annuals and bedding plants, take your pick.



These little festivals of flowers are really very sociable affairs. The smaller village fetes particularly so. At 12 noon the only thoughts are that of lunch. Generally rows of trestle tables are laid, carafes of wine are placed out and service commences. All very convivial.



Over the coming weeks there will be pretty spring markets everywhere. My personal favourite is a two day event held around the grounds of the 12th century abbey in Cadouin, another of the French 'plus beaux villages'. All those beautiful stalls surrounding an impressive Romanesque church :- The Abbey at Cadouin is registered on UNESCO’s World Inheritance list under the heading of Compostelle Paths in France.

France has a wonderful market culture and the French are very, very good at it!

27 comments:

  1. Oh what fun Rob and what better way to herald the arrival of spring which has temporarily retreated here. Cool and torrential rain today. Those small village fetes sound most civilised affairs :) The plant fair season will be upon us here soon and I am looking forward to visiting one or two.

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  2. That is so charming Rob, what a great place to spend browsing and buying plants.

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  3. I like these french markets too, they are so wonderful; when I think at the market on Eastermonday in I´sle sur la Sorgue- Brocante, all the old things; or the markets in the Provence, the soaps, the spices,the wonderful table clothes; France is a wonderful country.
    And a market for plants, - how beautiful!

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  4. In such a setting, how does one NOT spend a week's salary on plants? What a glorious way to spend a spring day!

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  5. I just love the village markets and fairs. Is there any village in France that isn't beautiful? :-)

    In ONE week, we'll be in Paris! Staying on Ile de la Cite, on the Quai aux Fleurs where there is a flower market everyday except Sunday (then, it's birds). Overlooking the Seine and next door the garden at Notre Dame. We can't wait.

    Cameron

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  6. Those fairs and festivals sound like they would be fantastic to visit. Of course it would be a challenge to keep from spending too much!

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  7. It's in such a beautiful place. It sounds so fun, I'd love to be able to go somewhere like that.

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  8. Rob, you do it to me every time! Yet again I have read your post and been left with the burning desire to drop everything and jump on the Eurostar to just about anywhere in France (well, maybe not Dieppe!)and browse the market!

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  9. Rob I have to agree with nuty gnome about every time I read your post I want to buzz right over to France.
    Our little towns each have their own celebration also. Our names don't sound as wonderful as yours do in French though - Vader, Toledo . . . LOL
    Our first one is May 1st for the May Day celebration and I'm going to be selling plants so I'll be there all day and hopefully get some pictures - nothing fancy here - well maybe I could find a pretty sounding french line to put on my table for the picture! LOL

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  10. Hi Anna and Hermes, I hope spring returns to blighty swiftly.

    Hi Zwergenwelt, sounds like you know French markets.That said, the very best Christmas markets in the world are in Germany.

    Tim, Dave, Catherine, trust me, they're always a good exercise self control:) always difficult for a spend thrift.

    Cameron, it just sounds wonderful. You've rented a plum spot and I hope it is the vacation of a lifetime. I know visiting Monet's garden was an ambition. Bonne vacance!

    Hi Gnome and rain Gardener. You could do a lot worse than 'buzz' over to France, happy gardening

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  11. That looks like it would be a lot of fun and I'm sure I would spend way too much money.

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  12. Hi Rob,
    Yes, I know french markets very well, because every time we stay in France, we organize our time to visit every market which is possible.
    Most the time we stay in Provence, so I can tell you that the market in Lourmarin, St. Tropez, Aix en Provence, Apt (especially in Apt!) are so good, so wonderful, and the best always is really the big "marché pour brocante et antiquitées en L´Isle sur la Sorgue!" You know it? Every Easter sunday and monday, its is a wonderful event!
    And for christmas, you are right, there is much to see in Germany!
    Goog evening,:o)!
    Cornelia

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  13. Hi Rob, you paint a lovely picture of plant/art sales and food served at trestle tables! Ah, to experience that, we will be relying on you to take us through it, fair by faire. :-)
    Frances

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  14. You are obvious inexhaustible! Another great post. I think is about time the French Tourist Board alloted you a Médaille d'Or! From wet, cold and english-grey;-/

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  15. By the by : Zwergenwelt -
    Apt is probably my dream 'if you could live anywhere' town, the antique and local produce shops, the town itself, it's location and surrounding villages and their Cotes du Luberon. Perfection!

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  16. 'At 12 noon the only thoughts are that of lunch.' Sounds like my kind of events!!

    I do love markets - wish I could visit these now!

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  17. I'm lucky to live in a town with multiple farmers markets to choose from on different days, but believe me, none of them are setting up trestle tables with delicious food and carafes of wine, let alone providing such stunning scenery.

    Great post.

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  18. Those markets sound wonderful Rob. So different from the US.

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  19. Hi Phillip, It's always so tempting to just buy one more plant!

    Hello Frances, fair by faire indeed

    Hi Fay, It's grey and raining here sadly. Apt eh? well maybe I'll visit in the Autumn once the season's over.

    Hi Susan, Phoenix and Sweetbay. We need more farmers markets the world over. Hey, we need more wine the world over!

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  20. I'm a little jealous, but fortunately we have wonderful farmers markets locally - about to open for the season - with French vegetables! And our little Heath Fair is a delight, even if we don't have wine.

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  21. Ironically Rob, Westbury where I live has a French Market this weekend to celebrate opening the revamped Market Square. I'm probably working but will try and get to the cheese stall!

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  22. Leave your I-Pod at home cause there is plenty to see and do. My goodness it looks like the most awesome thing happening anywhere right now. All that beauty is comforting. I want to go.

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  23. I need to keep my eye out for such events. I don't know of any local ones quite like this

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  24. How delightful, Rob ~ I can't think of a lovelier way to spend a Spring day. I would love to be a little mouse and follow you around on your charming adventures (one large enough to sip a bit of wine and nibble crumbs of cheese along the way).

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  25. It is so nice, reading your posts, Rob. France and Germany couldn't be more different...but I still am reminded of my time there,in Germany-- with the small villages, the markets, the fairs, etc. I was young then...28-31; and had a job, then a baby,,and was busy with all of that and didn't get to 'take in' all that I wish I could have. I travelled a bit w/hubby but surely not enough! I so wish we could visit again...and France, yes, it is gorgeous. I was there twice. Loved most every moment of it (except for the moving things in our chicken at a 'road side restaurant' on the way back to Germany. It's a long story but one we can't forget. All we could eat for the rest of the day was French Bread and water...and even they were hard to manage)LONG STORY.
    Anyway, back on the topic of loveliness--I hope you get to spend many days in your garden and have a wonderful spring! Jan

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  26. What a lovely event. Our little town will host its outdoor fair this weekend, and the Master Gardeners plant sale is not to be missed. I hope this catches on in America. What a beautiful concept.

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  27. It sounds absolutely lovely. I've always wanted to go to France. I am so enjoying your blog. Thank you for sharing your life there.~~Dee

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