a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Bee orchid



I am so excited, I’ve just found a bee orchid  (Ophrys apifera)  in the border of the front garden!  It was nearly an ex-bee orchid as I was in the process of ripping out the dead forget-me-nots.

Is it just me or does it look happy I found it too?



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.

11 thoughts on “Bee orchid

  1. It must have heard that your garden was very bee friendly! That’s very exciting indeed…not too much likelyhood of wild orchids here in Weybridge.


  2. that is soo coo! It really looks like a bee!


  3. It looks very happy, and it’s incredible!


  4. Those are absolutely beautiful and do they ever look like the large bumble bees we have flying around Calgary these days!


  5. More than a smile, it looks like its laughing with glee that you found it. They are fascinating plants. Christina


  6. Beautiful, what a wonderful find. It’s definitely happy, it’s laughing I think 🙂


  7. Pingback: Lizard Orchid…WOW! « poitoucharentesinphotos

  8. I am a Venturer Scout with the BSA. I am working on a project with Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve in Collinville, IL, USA. The project includes planting a Pollinator Prairie for elementary students to learn about the pollination process and about pollinators. I am making a sign to be displayed on the Prairie. I am interested in using one of your photos on this sign and am seeking your permission to do so. Also, if you grant permission to use your photo, how do you want me to cite your photo on the sign?

    If you would like more information on Willoughby Farm or the project feel free to contact me. I look forward to to hearing from you.

    Lydia Friz


    • What a fantastic project! I wish you all the best with the project and I am delighted that you would want to use one of my photographs. I don’t mind how you cite me just a blog – afrenchgarden or something like that. I have lots of photographs of bees such as Carpenter bees pollinating flowers and broad beans even a hornet pollinating black currants – they are not well-loved insects but they do a lot of good. I have lots of bumble bee pictures pollinating flowers and broad beans as well as other bees. If you need anything specific I will see if I have anything. If you have difficulty getting it off the site contact me again. Amelia


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