a french garden

Bee hopeful

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I would love to have a garden that was alive with colour, shape and form throughout the four seasons of the year.

I read the gardening magazines and I plant Cornus alba to give me the bright red bark throughout the winter.  I leave the flower heads on the hydrangea and sedum to catch the sparkle of the frost on a winter day.

I plant Sarcoccoca confusa for the evergreen leaves and the perfumed flowers but their perfume is not so strong in the cold winter days.  In total, I am not convinced I am succeeding.

Then I see my winter flowering honeysuckle.  The flowers may be insignificant after the freezing period last month but they are being visited by a constant flow of bees.

I’ve got a long way to go before I reach my goal but at least it’s keeping the bees happy along the way.

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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.

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