a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Carcassonne visit


Last Saturday morning we realised that if we did not take the chance to get away for a few days we would have no time to fit it in before I go back to the UK in May to be with the family.  A couple of hours later we had booked our hotel in the Mediaeval Cite of  Carcassonne.

There has been no work done in the garden this week but if you would like to share our visit to Carcassonne – here are some photographs of the places we saw.

The area is really beautiful and we hope to return another time to explore more of the countryside.

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.

22 thoughts on “Carcassonne visit

  1. thank you for giving me a little vacation!


  2. This is somewhere already on my list to visit and your images have made me want to visit even more, thanks for sharing. Christina


    • Our guide, Julian, said it was the third most visited place in France after Paris and Mont St. Michael, which surprised me. I think there is a lot of internal tourism and were amused with all the little boys we saw in their plastic breast plates with cross bows etc. The area around it is truly beautiful and we did not have time to visit the many ruins of the Cathar castles.


  3. As much as there is a lot to photograph here, in the US, one thing missing are these type of structures. They would, indeed, be very interesting to visit and photograph.

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. A beautiful spot and you were able to enjoy it without crowds of people it would seem.


    • We were there during the school holidays or it would have been quieter, which could have posed problems as some of the restaurants in the old city may have been closed. Most of France can be very quiet outside of their annual holidays during July and August. In the UK we often take short breaks at different times of the year but it isn’t so common here.


  5. Lovely photos. I went to Carcassonne about 20 years ago and found it fascinating. Sadly I was not able to stay overnight in the city walls. That must be wonderful.


  6. OMG what a beautiful place and superb photos. If your goal was to make me as jealous as can be, you succeeded!


  7. Brings back some happy memories. Thanks! RH


  8. Wow-what a beautiful place. I like the tunnels through the ramparts and the amazing wisteria. It’s hard to imagine a place that is so old.


    • I think that is the difference between the States and Europe. France has got many more very old buildings than the UK. They had more people interested in maintaining their heritage much earlier on.


  9. Thanks for these photos we will be down there next month to see for ourselves. Have a great weekend. Diane


  10. Looks like you picked a good time to visit – blue sky and not too thronged with other visitors. In July and August, it can be difficult to move through those narrow streets. Every year, we like to go to one or two of the open air concerts (held in the ‘old’ amphitheatre) during the summer Festival – its quite magical. The July 14th fireworks are also magnifique!



    • Thanks for the link. The concerts sound great. I’ve never been so organised to get to anything like that. My only complaint about French life is that everything seems to happen in mid summer including visits from family and friends and we seem to miss a lot of events.


  11. Beautiful shots Amelia – I particularly love the one with the sunset through the arch.


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