Reflections towards the end of July

Reflections towards the end of July

  It was after I read Sue’s post “White is cool” that I remembered that white was our favourite colour for flowers too.  The white oleander was planted in front of the house shortly after we bought it and years before we moved here.  I too loved the idea of a white area.  Crathes Castle garden, near Aberdeen, … Continue reading

The bees and Sweet Chestnuts

The bees and Sweet Chestnuts

Last week I was very worried about the bees.  We are new to beekeeping and we visit the girls everyday (often more than once) just to see how they are getting on as you can learn a lot by just watching them. However, I noticed a strange odour around the beehives and Kourosh confirmed that … Continue reading

Have you seen a glow worm?

Have you seen a glow worm?

This is what a female glow worm looks like and as you can see from its size against the grass stem it is not very big, maybe two centimetres at a stretch.  However, at night time all you will see is a spot of green light. The group Estuaire is trying to study glow worms … Continue reading

June finishes

June finishes

June began with unseasonal rain and showers which meant it was a perfect time to root out weeds from the soft ground and watch the plants grow.  The rain has stopped abruptly and it is amazing how quickly the ground dries up.  The vegetable garden now needs a daily watering. We do not grow a … Continue reading

Summer arrives

Summer arrives

We had almost no Winter this year; and the Spring has been most unusual.  Across the mainland Europe, warm days were interrupted with days of heavy rain and wind. A week ago Amelia and I were driving near the city of Cognac and it was truly sad to see large tracks of vineyards completely flattened … Continue reading

A wet June in the garden

A wet June in the garden

This year the garden has had more rain than I have ever experienced here.  I noticed the yellow sedum had dropped its seeds and new plants were growing in the hollow of the next door stone.  By this time of the year moss would usually have turned to a crispy brown but it has inspired … Continue reading

Garden and owl update

Garden and owl update

This is the first year I feel the garden is beginning to take shape.  The willows are now sheltering a seating area in the back garden. The plants are taking on a more mature look. I’ve actually managed to grow lupins.  Well, four plants from a packet of seed.  But only two of them have … Continue reading

Wildlife Wednesday – A Perfect Storm

Originally posted on Gardening Jules:
Inspired by Tammy’s Casa Mariposa blog, I have been trying for some time to compile a list of UK Garden Centres and Nurseries which sell plants without neonics – systemic insecticide use. I am failing. The RHS were unable to help – despite selling a licensed logo “Perfect for Pollinators”…

A queen is born

A queen is born

Perhaps it was only the beginner’s luck, but last year we had three bee swarms that all came directly to a six frame hive that we had placed outside to attract them. This year we thought we were well prepared with our three polystyrene hives to attract any new swarms. Swarm fever seems to have … Continue reading

May orchids at St-Maurice-de-Tavernoles

May orchids at St-Maurice-de-Tavernoles

It was a warm sunny day with a partly covered sky when I finally went to see the path of the orchids at St-Maurice-de-Tavernole.  I’ve had the intention of going since I was given the beautiful guide “Les Orchidée Sauvage” of the Haute-Saintonge which is available free, thanks to the funding from the Communauté de … Continue reading