a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

First published photograph


One of my photographs has just been published for the first time!

Two bumble bees on rose

O.K., O.K., I know it was only 7 x 5 cm. (3 x 2 inches) and the print quality was dubious but the original isn’t exactly Nature Photographer of the Year quality either.

However, it was in Buzz Magazine which is produced as a newsletter for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust http://bumblebeeconservation.org/.  I had replied in a Forum to another member who was wanting suggestions of what rose bushes to plant in her garden that might be suitable for bumblebees.  I have found that my climbing rose Madame Isaac Péreire attracts large numbers of bumblebees and some bees when it is in flower so I included a photograph with my reply with two bumblebees on a single rose.  The photograph was picked up by the editor and used in this issue of the Buzz newsletter.

I cannot think of anywhere I’d be happier to see one of my photographs.   They are a great organisation and provide news and information about bumblebees.

I had great fun photographing the bees on the rose last May, see the post Madame Isaac Péreire and remember you saw it first here on A French Garden!


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.

38 thoughts on “First published photograph

  1. OH! HOW DELIGHTFUL and exciting! Your photos really are good! I’m so happy for you…I can just imagine the thrill!



  2. I am a member of the BCY so receive the newsletter, remember admiring that photo. Well done!


  3. Congratulations, its a great image; you are amazing in the shots you take of ‘no so easy to photograph bees’. Well done! Christina


  4. Congrats… well deserved… lovely photo… I can almost smell it from here.


  5. I love Mme Isaac Perriere. It grew over the end of my verandah in Australia, and is thoroughly reliable. There is a lovely one growing on one of the cottages on the Chenonceau estate too.

    Congrats on having a photo published. Always very good for the ego when someone from a magazine or website you’ve heard of and use asks for a photo.


    • That’s really interesting, Susan. Did you find your rose in Australia attracted any bees or other insects more than any other rose?


      • I can’t say I noticed. My money would have been on the Mermaid rose around the corner as the biggest attractant though — it’s a big flat open single rose, also very reliable and one of my faves. Bumbles didn’t occur where I lived, although they have been introduced (not terribly successfully) much further south. Bumble bees are a cool climate creature and restricted to the northern hemisphere. We had honey bees and various native bees though. My principle interest in those days was lepidoptera and some wasps — it wasn’t until I got to the UK I started looking seriously at bees. I see from your post that I have been misspelling (and mispronouncing) Péreire for years :-0.


  6. This is very very cool. You always take such great photos – quality and subject – it’s a nice pat on the back to you when someone recognises that and jumps at the chance to use your photos. Well done!


  7. Well done. Congrats 🙂


  8. Congratulations! i think that picture is excellent and that rose is a real beauty. Its color and shape, along with the fragrance you speak of, all remind me of the “cabbage roses” my mother planted before she died.


    • Roses are not my favourite flowers as I don’t like the thorns. My husband likes them and he cares for them and prunes them. I must admit that this one has one me over with its lovely perfume and attraction for the bumblebees.


  9. I have just read your previous post on the rose. I think that entire post should be published. It has lovely photos and observations on bees and roses. Are you excited about taking photos of that rose and the bees with your new camera when May arrives?


  10. I’ll keep an eye out for that variety of rose to bring more bees into my garden. Loved the photo.


  11. I rushed to check my copy of ‘Buzzword’, naturally… and there it was! A truly apian coup. Well done. RH


  12. Congratulations! Lovely rose..


  13. Great photo – I can smell the rose-scented success from here! I only have a cheap digital camera and I am looking for great beekeeping photos to use on my blog. I have already been sent some. If you want to get involved please read my request for beekeeping photos, which also links to the photos I have already been sent. Take care.


    • I’d be happy to send you any photographs that might be useful but I do not keep honeybees. Any honeybee shots I take are only when I see them gathering pollen or nectar from the trees and flowers. I am very interested in honey bees but I have also a growing fascination for the solitary bees that have chosen to nest in my garden. I have put up a house to attract the Mason bees but the Mining bees and Bumblebees have arrived of their own accord. If I ever get a chance to photograph a friends hive I will let you know if I get anything interesting.


  14. Fanasitc news Amelia – big Congratulations!! I love your bee and flower shots.


  15. Well done, that is really excellent and the photo is not bad either.


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