Our Spring Garden

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I hope you are all having/have had a fabulous weekend.  It’s been a bit of a blustery week here, in fact I seem to have spent more time picking up fallen branches than actually gardening. However, finally everywhere is looking, well, springlike! This most endearing of seasons is doing her thing, enchanting us as always and beckoning us to move the entire show outside.

So without anymore rambling from me, come and take a quick stroll around our spring garden. These old metal gates long ago ceased to form any real use other than to look pretty. But we could never take them away, they are a climbing frame and support for so many plants.

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Lunches, suppers, a quickly grabbed cup of coffee or a well deserved cup of tea are often taken at this table, right now it’s in the sun, so we can make the most of the warmth, as the weeks progress it will end up under the olive trees in full shade so as to offer a respite from the heat.

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Our terrace is filled with an array of mismatched containers, a mixture of old terracotta pots, even older zinc buckets and plenty of ancient stone tubs. I fill them with an equally inconsistent selection of plants, brightly coloured annuals, summer flowering perennials and plenty of herbs and lavender. The result giving year round interest.

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A new addition this year has been the herb bed in the guest house garden which we made from the old stone we managed to move. Millie is the pyrography expert and Roddy the pro at cutting the hazel, between us I think we’ve made rather a charming addition for guests to pick and use at their leisure.

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Likewise the stone bench we made is a big hit. The number one perching place for everyone. The children can often be seen just sitting and chatting together. There is something about staring at water, a pond teaming with wildlife that is just so peaceful.

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In the opposite direction our pink flowering Horse Chestnut almost steals the show in early May, we have to pass under her drooping branches to enter the chicken garden

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where our hens and one rooster scratch around as happy as can be.P8020096P8020161

We have an addition this year too, Indian Runner Ducks. We raised them from one day old ducklings. Millie dug the pond by hand, they are now four weeks and growing so fast.  Lots more on these another time, but needless to say they are great time wasters!

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Our summer kitchen garden has received lots of attention this spring. It has dappled shade and I feel it has never really been appreciated, so I set about changing things. I found stone urns at a brocante which now frame the entranceP8020187

and we’ve added a bird bath, because I just love shimmering water.P8020242

Climbing up the entrance to the summer kitchen itself is this pretty rose. I bought her at a plant fair last year. She had no name, was about six inches tall and in a tiny pot with a label stating she was a climber. She was also only a couple of euros. I bought her, planted her, fed her and waited. This year she has rewarded me with  a mass of blooms, coloured like strawberry vanilla ice cream. As I have no clue as to what variety she really is that’s what I have called her!

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We have roses everywhere, old fashioned varieties with the most incredible scent, where possible I have teamed them with lavender.

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Our vines are supporting hundreds of tiny bunches of grapes, the season looks very promising. They form the boundary of the potager, which I am slowly planting out with summer vegetables.

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Garlic and onions are nearly ready for harvesting, the roses here too are blooming, ideal for cutting to be put in vases inside the house.P8020151P8020153

We’ve kept plenty of areas wild for the insects, so beneficial for the garden. I find it is best to let nature do her own thing whenever we can, she has a knack of sorting things out much better when we don’t interfere!P8020146

Walking back up towards the house, the iris in the long herbaceous border have really been magnificent this year.P8020164

The cherries are ripening fast and we are trying to eat our fill before the birds get too greedy.P8020138

We are lucky to be surrounded on three and a half sides by old stone walls.

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Virginia creeper climbs wherever it can get a hold and campanula self seeds all over the place in tiny cracks.

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There’s plenty more to see and I know it’s difficult to fully understand the lay-out, but I hope this has given you a little insight into our spring garden.

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52 thoughts on “Our Spring Garden

  • It’s my dream to own my own French home ! For now I will walk through your beautiful garden ! Love the variety of visual delight it has !!!!

  • Pink flowering Horse Chestnut is a favorite of mine. Beautiful to walk along The Seine and enjoy their bloom.

  • What a joy to walk through the garden with you and sitting on benches or at tables to relax and enjoy it all! Most of all, I love imagining the scent of the roses (why are there roses without scent anyway???) and that of the lavender. We’ve made it into spring, but the almost continuous rain has put some parts of it on hold. But many things are growing like mad, especially the grass that needs mowing. 🙂

    janet

  • I have never before commented, but greatly enjoyed your post today from the great photos to the descriptions. I am an outdoor, yard and flowers person and although now I live in a small apartment, I make every use of my allotted space. Thanks for sharing!

  • How perfect Susan. I love all the changes and additions. Next year we REALLY do need to organize ourselves to come your way. Tell Millie she is worth her weight in gold.
    Ali Xx

  • I recently found your blog again after several years and am so happy to be reading (and catching up) on your life in France!

  • So much fun to have a “tour” of your garden! It’s remarkable…and inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing…
    wish I could just “pop” in for a lunch outside….
    Nancy
    wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

  • Just loved the walk-around from the practical to the simply beautiful, from areas where to sit, eat, drink and admire to the fun of watching your ducklings enjoy their new home! The latter will lay eggs, won’t they? But, oh all that work especially when the days get warmer and all the weeds think they have a right to space and your time also . . . would so love to be there to help tell them ‘no’ 🙂 !

  • I love this site. So much I want to ask! Who is Millie ? What is living there as an ex pat really like. How do you cope wwith beaurocracy? Oh Id love to sit down over a good red and chatter! We love France and come over every year for 2 or 3 weeks, but my dream is to live there. Not a huge house, not a posh house, just a nice garden and 2 bedrooms. Im up for restoration on a smaller scale. So often we see people have found bargains but so far nothing quite right! We love Brittany, however slightly warmer sounds good! Thank you so much for sharing. Enjoy a lovely bottle of wine on me. Much love Jay

  • Love all your plantings! I just have a deck now & have just put my plants in pots. I really like all your different pots too. First thing in the morning I check on all my plants. Enjoy!!!

  • LOOKING LOVERLY!
    I wonder where ALL YOUR CHILDREN will end up!Looking at these photos they will have had such an idyllic childhood it will be interesting to see where they GO!!
    WHY that popped in my HEAD I have NO IDEA but it did and maybe you have thought of that too?!!
    XX

  • Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I love the informality of it and lucky you to have access to old stone containers and wall remnants. They are quite dear here. I will say we have an abundance of granite so have homemade stacked stone walls in many areas. Nearly every shovel that goes into the ground strikes a generous-cow-pie-sized “rock” – perfect for stacking. I assume they are the result of blasting out the basement when the house was built 40+ years go. Some are the size of a laundry basket but most are manageable. I’m fond of mullein (verbascum) – ours has been beautiful this year. It self sows but not aggressively (at least not in our garden). And lupines – they aren’t happy in the Atlanta heat but I purchase them from mountain nurseries and plant them anyway.

  • Wow, what an utter delight this is! I find new things at every visit, virtual or real…. the pond for the new arrivals is stunning too – can I adopt Millie for a while, please???? And the others too?!, while we’re at it?! 🙂
    Love how everything seems to grow so fast in your garden. Here it’s mostly the weeds who have a great time. Have just sent a deposit cheque to our gardeners who will collect some 1000€ for taking out some dead shrubs who didn’t make it through the horrendous dry summer last year. A vine who offered for the first and last time some sour grapes also is dead…. Your photos are a marvel on their own. Love the newly acquired urns; they make such a statement. And WHERE did you plant (or rather build) the guests’ herb patch? Didn’t see anything but maybe didn’t look much either with everything else going on!
    Sorry to comment so rarely, am not always in the mood for it and am very busy travelling from one country to the other – to keep the ‘church in the village’! Hugs galore to you fantastic friends. Love you

  • You certainly have a green thumb. Everything is so beautiful. I envy you having all those beautiful flowers to cut.

  • This is about the third picture I’ve seen of a horse chestnut so far. They seem popular. They are unheard of here, and our local buck eye of the same genus is very different.

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