Monday, 30 April 2012

Jardin en Fête



Karen and I spent yesterday afternoon touring the annual garden fete held in the grounds of the magnificent Château de Nuevic. It's hard to imagine a better venue - a sixteenth century chateau close to the banks of the river L'Isle complete with a parc botanique.  


Despite dodging the odd short lived sharp downpour, all in all it was a good event. As ever with these things, it's the characters that really 'make it'.


That's M. Willy de Wilde whose excellent nursery, la Pépinière du Lac des Joncs, is simply one of my favourite places to visit. I mentioned it before here and  here.


 Now here's a story. Just before we were about to leave, we stumbled upon a stall specialising in honeysuckle and really beautiful, species and scented pelargoniums (I don't usually like pelargonium, too blingy, not these though). 

 Plantes de Paillole is run by an English woman, Gay Webster who'd travelled up the night before from the Lot et Garonne department. Gay told us that she'd stayed overnight in a dormitory within the chateau along with eight other people who'd also travelled a fair jaunt. Well it's nice to stay in a splendid chateau, but it gets better. Gay went on to tell us how the head gardener doubles as a chef and had cooked the small group pork chops over a huge log fire that previous evening. There were also salads and other vegetable dishes plus Bergerac red wine practically on tap. Tres conviviale.



These are insect 'hotels' by the way." Ho-tel, Mo-tel, ho-li-day Innnn." They did a brisk trade, seems everybody wants to house a bug.  I was tempted to buy one but resisted, I reckon there's plenty of places for insects to hide in my garden.




Of course the chateau had the Mother of insect hotels, actually closer to an insectean olympic village!




Finally, for no other reason than I like him, I give you the Gallic rooster, Le Coq, the national mascot of France and made entirely from old farm tools and the odd horseshoe.

22 comments:

  1. Oh, wow. Insect Olympian villages. We are backward, over here

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  2. You were so lucky with the weather. I even see blue skies there. It just does not seems to stop raining here at all. What a great day out I would have loved to have joined you. Diane

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    1. Diane I think this has to be one of the wettest Aprils ever. Hopefully the ground water levels will have benefitted from it as I reckon we were heading for restrictions. It's funny how the weather 'corrects' itself.

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  3. A perfect way to spend an afternoon in a glorious setting. We were set for a plant sale yesterday but rain of biblical proportions thwarted us. I doubt that any of the sellers would have been treated to such hospitality the eve before the event :) What did you buy Rob? Hope that some scented pelargoniums came back with you - they should do well in your neck of the woods.

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    1. I actually bought a buddleja alternifolia and a lonicera 'mint crisp'. It was a question of cash versus choice! Ain't it always.

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  4. Wow, that looks great. Insect hotels? They may be on to something there.

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    1. Hi Phillip

      The 'hotels' shifted quickly.

      I bought a buddleja alternifolia which I googled images of and found a great one on your site ' A southern Garden'.

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  5. I hope you bought Le Coq for your garden. Seriously! That's a great story of the chef/gardener or is it gardener/chef?

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    1. Le Coq was already sold, I bought a Mayfly from the same guy last year.

      I liked the chef/gardener story, I can imagine a big roaring fire in the chateau, especially with this current blustery weather regime hammering down outside.

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  6. I too, hope you got Le Coq. The symbol of France.
    We have Angus the steel rabbit. The symbol (or rather plague) of Central Otago.
    http://thefieldofgold.blogspot.co.nz/2011/04/year-of-big-central-otago-rabbit.html?utm_source=BP_recent

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    1. Angus is one big bunny.

      I had no idea that the rabbit population was so explosive in NZ. A real problem.

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  7. Willy de Wilde. What a great name! Nice outing, Rob.

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  8. I agree, it's a good name, one you don't forget.

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  9. It sounds like the travelling vendors enjoyed their stay!

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    1. I actually think you can't fail to enjoy a stay here.

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  10. Those insect hotels are so interesting - I had never seen them before. If they were located around here, they'd just be full of european paper wasps, though. There is a cylindrical utility container in my front yard with a keyhole that is just large enough for the wasps to fly into. It has a new colony every year, so I just put some packing tape over the hole to trap and kill the wasps. They're very aggressive and not native. I wonder what types of insects live in those hotels around you?

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    1. The biggest 'problem' insect here is the Asian hornet. They seem to be increasing in numbers with alarming ease and are responsible for destroying many bee colonies/hives. They'll not live in a hotel mind.

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  11. The Gallic rooster is very handsome! I also like those insect hotels. I saw something similar here in the U.S., but yours are prettier!

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    1. Hi Tatyana thanks.

      I would have bought ther rooster but it was already sold!

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  12. Write a book. You have so much interesting material - and some fantastic pictures... Willy de Wilde deserves to be preserved in print!

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    1. Thanks, it's an unforgettable name that MUST be preserved in print somehere!

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