a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France


Summer is here

Amegilla on lavender

Summer is definitely here.  Outside the garden the fields are full of sunflower and I could stand all day and watch the bees on my lavender.  My little grey Amegilla albigena that I noticed for the first time last year, has returned like an old friend.

Chitlapa 26.6

My Chitalapa has been flowering from the end of June and is still going strong.  It is a hybrid of the Catalapa or Indian Bean tree and Chilopsis or desert Willow.  Catalapa are beautiful trees but really need space so this has proved a good compromise and the flowers are delicately perfumed.

1-fading Magnolia

The perfume from the Magnolia grandiflora is much stronger and is held even by the blossoms as they fade.  It looks as if it holds onto its nectar too as the bee is still interested in it.

1-Bumble and clover

Despite the variety of blossoms available the bumbles love the clover.


Before we even came to live here permanently I planted Oleander outside the house.  Apart from it being beautiful and reminding me of Greece it is supposed to keep away mosquitoes.  I would never have planted it if I had realised how fragile it is.  This winter was mild and it thrived but usually it is damaged over the winter by frost and cold.  When it was smaller we covered it with fleece but it is too big now and so any damaged branches must be cut away in the spring.


I was surprised to find this winter flowering cyclamen in the back garden under the trees completely ignoring the summer weather.  There are always surprises in the garden.

1-Bumble starts drinking

We found this tired red tailed bumble bee and gave her a 50:50 solution of sugar and water.

1-Starts on the next drop

I was surprised as she lapped up the first drop and started on the second!

1-That was good

It gave me time to admire her pollen load.  She had carefully packed the pollen down from the flowers she was gathering from.  There were two shades of yellow pollen but I cannot say where the yellow pollen came from as there is so much around just now.

1-Red poppies

I’ve no problem in guessing where the black pollen comes from.  Most of the poppies have coal black pollen.

1-Last of the blackcurrants

I have gathered in the last of the blackcurrants and the sorbet is made and waiting for the arrival of the grandchildren.

1-Stork and tractor

Outside the garden nobody is thinking of holidays.

1-Stork 1

As the tractor breaks up the rough ground the stork is finding food in the uprooted grasses, perhaps frogs and lizards.

1-Wee mousie

Birds of prey are interested in the disturbance that will make mice and voles run for cover but this one has not run fast enough.

1-Black kite

I think they might be black kites but I am not a bird person so I cannot be sure.

Garden in the evening light

Now that summer is here I look forward to holidays and uh oh, those summer nights.