a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Hollyhocks revisited.


Three Tetralonia (2)

This morning (Saturday 5 July 2014) I had a look in the Hollyhocks and saw two Tetralonia bees still not properly awake at 8 a.m.  They are not early risers.

Three Tetralonia (1)

As I bent to take the photograph from a different angle I noticed that there were three!  It had been a rainy night with cooler overnight temperatures so I wonder whether its warmer to share your hollyhock shelter with others?

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.

14 thoughts on “Hollyhocks revisited.

  1. a nice place to sleep 🙂


  2. How lovely! Would it be ok if I use one of these photos in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s next newsletter, along with your name and a link to your blog?


    • You are very welcome to any of my photos. I post them on a reduced size so that they load up more quickly, if you need them in their original size I could Dropbox them to you. Amelia


  3. They had obviously been partying the night before!!
    I think I’ve spotted these here…
    or very similar…
    bees with these very long antennae?


    • That seems to be the obvious explanation now that you mention it!
      The male has very long antenna. You get a similar bee Eucera longicornis in the U.K. they are closely related; Eucera have 2 sub-marginal cells and Tetralonia 3. Amelia


  4. Gorgeous! I have seen similar bees sleeping in the ‘blooms’ of my dogwood tree. Although they don’t seem to get together, precisely keeping to one bee, one ‘bloom’.


  5. Smart of the bees to spend the night protected by the flower petals.


  6. Clever bees to share bodily warmth!


    • You can see the first signs of socialisation among some of the solitary bees. Some mining bees share nesting tunnels, the Tetralonia are sharing a comfortable night time gite. Amelia


  7. You are very lucky to have spotted three bees on one flower, it makes for such a charming picture. Philip


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