Finally the garden becomes more convinced that this is in fact October and Summer has past.

They've been a long time turning, but both the Virginia Creeper and the Sumac trees are starting to 'flush'. It all seems later this year. I know the reduction in daylight plays it part, but the unseasonably warm start to the month appears to have held things back a little.

It's been so mild in fact, that Karen and I sat outside with friends on the terrace until 1a.m. on Monday night, not usual at this time of year but hey, we profit from this kind weather known as a Spanish 'plume', an airmass with a long southerly track, it's origins in North Africa and which now bathes this corner of south west France.

This is the latest addition to the garden. Malus Evereste, a beautiful crab apple. The fruits look stunning and by all accounts the blossom is really something.

I've taken every effort to give it the best start possible, digging a hole twice the width of the tub and quite a bit deeper, shovelling in loads of compost and a good handfull or two of blood and bone which you can see pictured below

I'm so pleased with this tree, I wish it would reach maturity in say, a season but, patience is a virtue, right?

This rose shouldn't be here. It struggled for the first couple of years and I thought it was simply going to expire. Amazingly it's put on loads of healthy growth this year. I say amazing as I did my level best to neglect it. I planted it to replace an old rose that died in exactly the same spot. Little heed was taken about replant sickness and little ammendment was made to the soil at time of planting. To add insult to injury, I thought it was called 'Danse du Feu' but actually it's closer in appearance to 'Danse des Sylphes' though the bloom colour is a darker red.

Finally, the rougest of the rouge, dahlia 'bishop of llandaff' which has bloomed better in a pot than it ever did in the ground.


  1. That first picture of the Virginia creeper wall and the sumac is awesome! It reminds of of sentinels guard a castle.

  2. Oh how I love seeing the scenery around your spot of heaven, Rob! It all looks grand, love the color on the rose against the wall and the Bishop is magnifique! Is that a word? We have seed grown Bishop's Children that have been the best this year far and away. Can I move in with you and Karen? :-)


  3. Hi Rob! Crab apple is a tree from my childhood. The pictures are so warm! I wish this autumn to be so warm and sunny (fat chance)!

  4. The season of dreams... Beautiful sumac and Virginia Creeper. Ironic that North American natives are thriving so naturally in the south of France. Andrea Wulf's The Brother Gardeners tells the story of how those plants probably got there, sometime in the 18th century. I greatly enjoy reading about your world, even envy your landscape and climate.

  5. Wonderful post, Rob! Crabapples remind me of my childhood--we had a tree in our yard and we used to climb it when we were kids (it had a shape similar to our cherry tree). It's branches were covered with blooms in the spring, and we would bite into the crabapples and pucker up! Your close up of the fruits is so clear and lovely. My garden is finally beginning to realize that autumn is here and summer is gone, but it's still hanging on--as am I! It's been difficult to face the fact that warm weather and bright flowers are (almost) a thing of the past! Photos like yours help remind me of autumn beauty. Perhaps I need to just dive into it with both feet instead of keeping one foot behind;-) France must be gorgeous right now. Do you get a lot of guests during this time of the year?

  6. I think my heart fluttered a little bit when I saw that first photo. How beautiful! I love Sumac, it grows wild around here in fields and along roadsides. The color is always amazing. I have long wanted the "BOL" dahlia and I finally located one on E-bay of all places but apparently it didn't make it and has died. No more E-bay plants! LOL

  7. I hear you about wishing the trees would grow faster. Supposedly trees take 1 year for each inch of trunk caliper (you'll have to translate into centimeters) to get their roots grown enough to start putting on good top growth. So in a season or two you'll see a burst of growth, and plenty more thereafter, if there's enough but not too much water, enough but not too much nutrients, etc. Plenty to think about, but they're worth it, these trees!

  8. Visiting your blog is such a treat! A refreshing and encouraging inspiration. Thank you!

    We have a sumac in our yard passed on from my parents that I've transplanted twice. And that, after spending a good year or more in a pot. It is as strong as ever (perhaps too strong) and sends out shoots everywhere. I pluck those to try to keep it singular. The color is amazing and at this point mine is just beginning to turn.

  9. Wonderful photographs - your blog is really a joy to visit!

  10. Ah, you do live in paradise, don't you?

    Warm enough to sit outside all night, now that is paradise.

    What a stunning collection of photos, I am sure that my sister is drooling up in the Okanagan over what you have posted today.


  11. Fall is looking beautiful there. I love the wall of Virginia creeper turning red.
    The dahlia with the Cannas behind it look really nice.

  12. Rob, What lovely lovely images of your splendid world... truly a like an estate. Love the colors in all the reds... your vine with the Sumac... I am always trying to keep back... great texture and values there ... I see the sun plaque is allowed to shine within your vine. Your crabapples look perfect ... are you making jam? Well your rose and the dahlia and its surroundings are all just enchanting. What a joy to visit! Carol

  13. Indeed October Rouge has found you, Rob ... your first photo of Virginia creeper and sumac (grows wild here) speaks of autumn. And aw, the beautiful evening ... tuck the memory away to sustain you through the winter.

  14. Ah... the sound of the word,

    "rouge" - sensuous, earthy!

    Bishop of Llandaff continues to bloom here, a plant I adore, despite the powdery mildew that appears as the growing season progresses.

    Your fall colour..... beguiling.

  15. Rob I so enjoy looking at your lovely photos of your lovely garden. The Virginia creeper and Sumach trees look great as dose your sweet rose.

  16. How I would love to walk along by the wall with the sumach trees in the first photo! I love the way the light shines among the leaves, and those beautiful colours. I can feel the atmosphere kind of emanating through the picture!

  17. Rob your autumn garden looks lovely. I will have to look up Evereste. The rose looks a beautiful valvety red and the Dahlia looks wonderful against the warm yellow of the building. I love the sumac/ creeper combination too.

  18. You really captured such soft rouge tones. The rose is a beauty, whatever her name. Is someone going to make jam from the crab apples? I think your micro-bio mix will do wonders. Don't be surprised if plants grown with it far exceed their advertised size in short time.

    The Bishop group is so lovely. I had the opposite experience. I couldn't keep my dahlias (an orange-brown variety) sufficiently watered in the containers, so I moved them to the garden and they are in bloom -- but, they lost their companions, so I don't post photos! LOL


  19. As always, you post such beautiful pictures. I love how you have captured the first blushes of autumn.

  20. I gasped too at the first photo of the Sumac and Virginia Creeper. How very nice that these also grow in our area.

    Then I gasped again at your little apples against the crisp blue sky.

    Folks must love to stay with you and hopefully I can too one day. Seems like the most grand of places.

  21. What lovely colours. You captured Autumn so well.

  22. hi rob,

    i usually read your posts thru the
    link on ilona's page. i saw the
    same va. creeper and sumac the other fine fall day,
    in all their blushing beauty.
    here in Ga. they run wild on the
    roadside banks. our first vivid
    colors of fall are the brilliant clear red black gum trees. we too
    have has unusually balmy weather
    as our "first frost" usually
    is predicted for in mid-oct.
    this year, plenty more time for
    peppers and eggplant here!

    re> yellow rose ID...i have an
    old old climber that was here
    when i came to this ancient country house. the flowers look remarkably the same... mine
    is heirloom "golden shower"
    it's trunk is quite large and it has crawled the old shed with

    i really enjoy reading and seeing la belle france through your eyes...have now bookmarked
    your blog page.
    vty, johanna

  23. I love this post you did!Especiaily the very first photo! Stunning eye candy! Your photos are beautiful and your site always has something unique to offer. I enjoy my visits here.

  24. I must say your blog is absolutely stunning! I find it wonderful how you talk about what to grow, needs to be done, and the pictures! All I can say is WOW! It makes me miss Europe so much and my family over there.
    I love that rose even though it isn't the one you wanted, but it is still lovely!

  25. I'm one of those people who gets more excited by fall color than by seeing the first blooms in the spring. Things are just beginning to turn around here, so enjoyed your sneak preview.

  26. Gorgeous photos Rob!
    The Virginia creeper is stunning. I'm going to have to get a Bishop of Llandaff - he's been haunting me all summer!

    Frances can't move in with you and Karen because me and Himself are .... even if we have to do the plumbing!!!

  27. Glorious shades of red or rouge which sounds much more warm and soft. That Spanish 'plume' must be a most desirable airmass Rob :)

  28. Autumn is the loveliest season and it is just beautiful in your garden.

  29. Oh how beautiful!! I strive to have a beautiful garden but where we live in Texas is very hot with lots of humidity in the summer.
    I'm glad I found you!!..I will be back often!

    Have a wonderful day!!!

  30. I have just found your blog and now have somewhere else in the world that I dream of visiting. Your picture of the dahlia makes me want to grow a dahlia for the first time ever.

  31. Hi Rob I just popped back to say i tagged you for a Meme I do hope you pop by to see my Meme. I have linked to your lovely blog.

  32. Oh rob, such delicious pictures - each one so full of beauty I feel *gorged* with gorgeousness now.

    Thanks for sharing the inspiring views of your part of the world. I was just thinking yesterday how much I like sumacs, and there it was at the start of your display.


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