a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

It’s raining, it’s pouring…


It’s raining it’s pouring…Well, what does a gardener (an amateur one!) do on a wet Sunday in March?  First comes the guilt for going walking during the warm sunny afternoons last week but that doesn’t last long.  The temperatures soared into the 20’s and it was too good to stay in the garden and get started on the spring clean-up.  Today I can make a start on my seeds. I have not looked at my seeds since the autumn.  I have thought about them but I have saved up the pleasure of a thorough foray into my seed reserves for just such a day.


I have my two reserves.  My “treasure chest” for the collection of long term favourites, plus the unusual and new seeds collected during the past year to be tested for the first time.


Then I have my serious, working collection which I sort through regularly during the growing season checking for second and later sowings.


My “serious” seed collection does not look very serious as it is in an ex shoebox loving decorated by my granddaughter.  However, I can make a recommendation of this container as it has served me well for many years; keeps the seed packets in a neat and orderly fashion and in addition slides conveniently under my settee for storage purposes. A collage project for a wet Sunday, perhaps?


My first selections are practical; some mixed salad leaves, some radish and some baby spinach.  We have not had frost for a few days now so I will be optimistic and hope that they will survive in the open ground.  I cannot proceed with any flower seeds or more tender plants until I get my covered staging out of winter hibernation and I need some dry weather to organise that.

As I sort through the flower seeds I also remember the warm autumn days when I collected them.  I remember a very special day in September in a garden inEngland.   The garden was beautiful and a perfect backdrop for a family lunch outside.  The little brown envelope contains more than dried verbena seeds; it contains lots of happy memories.

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.

2 thoughts on “It’s raining, it’s pouring…

  1. I, too, have many happy memories of that wonderful weekend, I hope the seeds germinate!!


  2. I recognise that Bagshot garden that you are ‘procuring’ seeds from !


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s