a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

The beekeeper’s car


Bee keepers are full of surprises.

Michel's Renault

The other day our friend Michel turned up to show us his latest project completed.

90 year old Renault

His offer to go for a spin was promptly taken up by my husband and son-in-law Tim.


The dress code was casual!

Renault reversing

I have no interest in cars myself but I was completely seduced by the beautiful cream Renault.

The tour begins in the Renault

A perfect day for a drive in the country, even without your shirt!

Tim's royal wave

Tim gives the royal wave, quickly falling into spirit of the occasion.

Six months of work

Michel has been working on the engine of this ninety year old Renault  for the last six months.

Renault from rear

Aren’t bee keepers clever?

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.

17 thoughts on “The beekeeper’s car

  1. It’s amazing how many French people have wonderful old cars in the garage. One of my pieces of advice for people moving to France is buy an old car (especially if it is French) and join a car club if you want to integrate and make friends. Everywhere we go in ours complete strangers come up and tell us about their experiences with the old car in their life.


  2. I heartily agree with Susan about an old car makes friends…
    Simon just left here in their SECOND 50s Citroën Traction Avant
    [having wanted to try some T-Cut before buying some]…
    everyone wants to tell you their stories…
    and it is the same with our ’56 2CV!!

    And membership of our local car [and tractor and bike… and Solex, Mobylette, etc] has made us local, knowledgeable friends…
    and the events that we’ve attended are fun!

    I saw a bright yellow carder bee leaving a male pumpkin flower two days ago…
    it was covered in so much pollen that it looked like a flying stamen!!


  3. What a wonderful car! The side view looks like a child’s boxy drawing of a car… RH


  4. I don’t know anything about cars either but that is quite beautiful!


  5. That’s a great old car. I’d guess that it must be fun to drive.


  6. Beautiful car. Beekeepers are certainly amazing.


  7. Elle est magnifique! What a labour of love, that can now be fully enjoyed.


  8. Dress code was you don’t even need a dress apparently! I smiled at the royal wave by the way! That car is really something, your bee keeper is clever (and a bit mad too, I guess).


  9. Gosh, he is very versatile!


  10. PS and the car is gorgeous. We have just bought a classic vehicle too (more details in a blog next week. But not as old as this one,


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