a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Fête du Printemps


This week, Amelia has returned to England and has left me to look after her “French garden”.   I’m the husband that makes the bee hotels and now has been entrusted to keep her posted with the happenings in the garden while  she is in the U.K.

There is a lot to do this time of the year in our garden: there are weeds to pull out after the rainy start to the year; there are new vegetables to be transplanted into their allotted rows in the vegetable garden; and she is hopeful of reports on bee activity and the flowers that she will miss seeing.

But today I have given myself a day off and visited the Fête du Printemps – the Spring fête at the beautiful little town of Saint-André-de-Lidon.


One views the old mill across the fields of rape as one approaches the town.  Getting closer, I noticed that the mill and the parcel of land are for sale.  There are a lot of windmills dotted around the area, some in ruin and some lovingly renovated.


The fete was held in a private garden which was worth a visit on its own merit.  It is a beautifully designed garden with a winding stream running through it.  This is unusual in our local area.  The private gardens here are very different from the UK.  The are usually much larger in the countryside but more attention seems to be paid to the vegetable garden than to ornamental flowers and plants.


The stalls offering all kinds of flowers, and vegetables were spread artistically across the garden.Image

Our friend Michel and his wife Josianne were proudly displaying their honey and other products from the hives, including soap and candles.


They even had a section of a working hive on display.  Image

The busy bees were really attracting the attention of the visitors, particularly the curious youngsters.Image

But I was fascinated by the use of old farming equipment that were used in the garden as decoration.Image

Even an old bedpost had been put to good use.Image

I found a living flower stand made from growing willow branches quite appropriate in that garden.Image

But I could not leave that beautiful garden without paying a special attention to the bumble bees.


Come back soon, Amelia, your bumble bees and I miss you!

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.

20 thoughts on “Fête du Printemps

  1. Good jog, husband of Amelia.


    • Thank you, Linda. I missed Amelia and wanted really to share my day with her. But I am so glad that I could also share it with you. It makes the memory of the day so much more enjoyable. – K [Amelia’s husband]


  2. What a nice husband your are!


  3. Well done; thoughtful and enjoyable.


  4. Well done! It seems that you share Amelia’s eye for detail.


  5. A beautiful setting for the local fête – and I love that willow branch stand!


    • Thank you, Cathy. You would have also liked seeing the way they had stuck willow branches around their vegetable garden, and then as the little trees had come to life, they had twisted them into little arches all around the garden. It was so practical and yet looked kind of cute.


  6. Lucky Amelia to have a kind husband to write her blog for her, lovely to hear about French life too and not just the bees. Gardens are as you describe here in Italy too. Christina


    • Thanks, Christina. I often read over Amelia’s shoulders about your adventures and your garden in Italy. Yours sounds magical, as gardens often are. I am grateful for the comments – K [Amelia’s husband]


  7. Looks beautiful, wish I could have visited the Fête du Printemps too!


    • Thank you, Emily. Just to add another excitement to the day, our friend, Michel had to rush back home because his son phoned there was a swarm of bees at the foot of one their trees. This is the second swarm in the last couple of days. – K [Amelia’s husband]


  8. Hi Amelia’s husband I think you are doing a great job with her blog, the fete must have been very interesting to visit and the place magic. I would have spend hours watching that hive… It’s surely better than the Big Brother! 😉


  9. Hello K, Husband of Amelia, How very sweet you are to take over her blog while she is away. I enjoyed visiting the fete du Printemps with you.


    • Dear Karen,
      That is so kind of you. I have always enjoyed my walks around the countryside, and in our own garden, but especially if I could share my enjoyment with others. In Amelia’s absence it was such a pleasure to share my day at the fete du Printemps with you – K [Amelia’s husband]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s