Sunday, 22 August 2010

Snowed under

A million apologies for not getting around the blogs right now, it's just a case of not enough hours in the day.

This is my busiest period, full occupancy at both Le Banquet and Le Relais des Roches. Hospitality with a capital H.

The air is heavy, the scent of barbeques wafting in the breeze. It was 36 degrees today, the ground is dry, the swimming pool a veritable HQ!

I'll be back!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Don't Quit Tobacco

I'm pleased I didn't. Nicotiana sylvestris or 'tobacco of the woods' is a plant I just can't be without. Late summer and the first elongated tubular blooms are always a treat for the eye. On warm evenings, when the air's still, the gentle scent pervades, very sweet.

Moths seem to like it too, I guess they're the pollinator back in it's original home in South America? But there's no denying the 'shooting' star like blooms come alive close to dusk. I have it growing in two large tubs near the old cattle barn where it gets sun until around two in the afternoon. I also have it planted near the river by 'La Fermette', another part sun location and it seems to thrive. I'm always amazed that just a pinch of the dust like seed, surface sown back in March matures into such a large plant by late Summer.

Nicotiana 'mutabilis' has got my vote this year. I was a bit dubious about it, especially when Thompson and Morgan describe it as 'Masses of wiry stems topped with a haze of small blooms, each one fading through rose, pink and white tones, giving the effect of three colours on one plant'. It was the three colours on one plant that put me off, a description that 'smacked' of a 'blingy' annual, you know, a bit garish, how wrong could I be?

It's airy, branching habit, each flowering stem elongating with more and more blooms of the subtlest pink and white shades is a delight.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Old France Rurale

Ok, so going through the archives I decided to hit the sepia button.

The newly opened pre-history society building in Les Eyzies is housing a free exhibition of Robert Doisneau's stunning photographs from his visit to the Dordogne back in the Summer of 1937. Two things struck me as I admired his stunning compositions. First, in many ways it seems nothing much has changed. The stallholders at Sarlat market could have been the same as last Saturday, but secondly, I couldn't help feeling a tinge of sadness as I viewed people messing around on boats afloat the gentle Dordogne river, yet just two years later and Europe was at war.

On a lighter note, that last photograph is of Cyrano de Bergerac, he with the unfeasibly large nose!