a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Last persimmons of the season


Khormolu side

The fruits of my labour in the garden are an incentive whether they are a vase of flowers or new potatoes from the potager.  They also maintain a connection with the changing seasons.

Today I noticed I was down to my last eight persimmons.  These amazing fruits ripen as winter is coming on and in our area of the Charente Maritime there are huge trees in gardens that look as if they are decorated with red Christmas baubles.  Many local people are completely unaware that they are edible and are highly suspicious of these beautiful red fruits.

I had a good crop that I took in before Christmas –still largely unripe- and kept in my unheated utility room.  They had the convenient ability to ripen at different speeds and could be sorted, the ripe ones being eaten and the others left for later.  My fruit has lasted until February, as long as my Golden Delicious apples – but that is another story.
Kaki leaves  30 Oct 2011

In addition to the crop of delicious fruit in the winter my kaki tree decorates the front garden giving us shade in the summer.The leaves change into varying hues of red and soft orange in the autumn as can be seen from the picture taken at the end of October.

Kaki 1 Nov 2011

By 1 November the fruits are yellow and will take another month to turn red attracting the attention of the local birds.

Author: afrenchgarden

Born in Scotland I have lived in England, Iran, USA and Greece. The house and land was bought twelve years ago in fulfilment of the dream of living in France that my Francophile husband nurtured. We had spent frequent holidays in France touring the more northerly parts and enjoying the food, scenery, architecture and of course gardens. However, we felt that to retire in France and enjoy a more clement climate than we currently had in Aberdeen we would need to find somewhere south of the river Loire but not too south to make returning to visit the UK onerous. The year 2000 saw us buying our house and setting it up to receive us and the family on holidays. The garden was more a field and we were helped by my son to remove the fencing that had separated the previous owners’ goats, sheep and chickens. We did inherit some lovely old trees and decided to plant more fruit trees that would survive and mature with the minimum of care until we took up permanent residence. The move took place in 2006 and the love hate relation with the “garden” started. There was so much to do in the house that there was little energy left for the hard tasks in the garden. It was very much a slow process and a steep learning curve. Expenditures have been kept to a minimum. The majority of the plants have been cuttings and I try to gather seeds wherever I can. The fruit trees have all been bought but we have tender hearts and cannot resist the little unloved shrub at a discount price and take it as a matter of honour to nurse it back to health. This year I have launched my Blog hoping to reach out to other gardeners in other countries. My aim is to make a garden for people to enjoy, providing shady and sunny spots with plants that enjoy living in this area with its limestone based subsoil and low rainfall in a warm summer. Exchanging ideas and exploring mutual problems will enrich my experience trying to form my French garden.

5 thoughts on “Last persimmons of the season

  1. Hi, i would like to plant persimmon tree but where can you grow it in france? Ths dave


    • We are in the Charente-Maritime and they grow well here. It is a shame to risk disappointment if you are planting a tree, so buy one from a good nursery and take advice on the variety best for you in your area. Amelia


      • Hi Amelia… yes, I am still reading your blog!!
        Information for Dave:
        Dave… We are 40 miles South of the Loire at Tours…
        Persimmons drip with fruit here, too!
        The flowers seem to miss the worst frosts as well.
        There is one in a neighbouring village that looks long established… drips with fruit…. but it is a holiday home and none get picked.
        As Amelia says… visit your LOCAL nursery and talk to the owner… they will know which one is best for you!!
        Good luck.


    • Hallo! I don’t think that most people realise that persimmons should be left until after the first frost: like medlars, they should be eaten”blette”, although personally I don’t like them soggy. I discovered this delicious fruit only last year, so I am growing a tree from seed of a fruit bought from my local ‘”bio” salesperson who has a stall on the market. Beware the first persimmons of the year: they are absolutely inedible, so astringent they leave the mouth dry. We are in Normandy, on rich, heavy clay, but I think these trees will grow anywhere not too cold,if planted in a sheltered place. And we seem to be having such mild winters…!


      • I wish you good luck with your Kaki tree. There are many varieties and some are not as astringent as others and likewise the flesh can vary from firm to soft. I do not like using the the word “blette” for Kaki as I feel they ripen normally. An unripe grape can be very acid and not pleasant to eat. The nefliers and cormes have to be blette but they also change colour whereas the kakis stay an attractive red. Amelia


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