a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Apricots harvested


All the apricots have been recovered from the trees, well actually tree, the one in the front garden gave virtually no fruit.  The one in the back garden gave us only about 5 or 6 kilos.  This year there was no problem with what to do with them.  A split with our neighbour Annie giving us each a nice bowl to eat.

Apricot blossom

I took this photograph on the 20th. of March and the tree was covered with blossom.  There was no shortage of bees in the garden although they were more attracted to the willow and plum which were also flowering.  The apricot flowers early and yet is sensitive to the cold.  A cold spring and late frosts can leave you with no fruit.  I cannot recall a particularly cold period after the apricot flowered this year but the year has veered from high to low temperatures in rapid succession which probably was enough to disturb the fruiting.

Prunus armeniaca ‘Rouge du Roussillon’

The variety we grow is Rouge du Roussillon which gives large sweet fruits which are very good to eat raw and also excellent to make into jam and compote and tarts in the years when the harvest is plentiful.  It is also a very decorative tree in its own right with the beautiful blossom in the spring and in the autumn the leaves turn beautiful shades of golden yellow and red.

Apricots in hiding

There are always more than you expect hiding away behind the leaves.  Last year we were taken by surprise by the quantity that we were able to take off the two trees.  We were able to collect several orange boxes of fruit to share with friends who like us had plenty to eat and also to make into jam.

The apricots are the first fruits we have from the trees and in some ways I am secretly glad I do not have to worry about making jam or preserving them in some way.  The jam etc. will come soon enough, the plums are on the way!

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.

6 thoughts on “Apricots harvested

  1. They’re lovely looking apricots. Our friend in the village has a huge apricot tree and sadly a late frost damaged the blossom, so none for us to share this year.


  2. Looks like you have plenty of bee-friendly plants, flowers and trees!!

    You might want to consider getting some honeybees as they are an important pollinator of apricots. 🙂

    Liking your vision and blog.


    • I love bumble bees. I have a lot of plants that all the bees like. I get a lot of honey bees in the garden as we have quite a few apiculteurs near us, I also have seen different solitary bees and this year I have at last got mason bees nesting in a bamboo “insect house” I’ve had for years. I’m keeping a note of the flowers the bumble bees like in the garden. It is not always the ones that are publicized a lot. A lot of them are so easy to grow like Larkspur which they love.


  3. This year is the first year I’ve had any apricots on my tree, other years late frosts or freezing winds have taken the flowers! But they aren’t good, the skin is marked with a grey bloom that looks like mold, but I don’t think it is. Christina


  4. Lovely post. The apricots look gorgeous.


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