a french garden

Valentine’s Day in the garden

18 Comments

Windy blue tit

It’s been a bit cold and windy in the garden this week.

Valentine doves

But it looks like the ring doves have already decided to nest in the apricot tree again this year.

(Photograph credits due to my husband!)

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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.

18 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day in the garden

  1. I don’t just like it, I LOVE it.

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  2. That little Blue Tit looks frozen! Do your doves make that lovely cooing sound? I love to hear them but we rarely get any near our garden – just the occasional wood pigeon which I also like to listen to.

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    • He got caught with the wind right up his tail feathers and it blew him right off his perch. Pity it wasn’t a video! The doves do make a lovely cooing noise, sometimes not so welcome very early in the summertime – the apricot tree is just outside our bedroom window. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I just love your blue tit shot. It looks so sweet and fluffy. Adorable.

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  4. My Mum used to call her Collared Doves…
    for reasons unbeknown to my brother and I…
    Gussies…
    however, it sort of stuck…
    so Collared Doves are Gussies…
    and they can be cute…
    that is a great Valentines picture…
    personally, I prefer the purring of the Turtle Doves…
    and they have a richer colouring, too…
    all this Summer…
    we saw them going back and forth…
    past the kitchen window…
    then, this Winter with all the leaves of the trees…
    we saw why…
    they had nested in a Wych Elm bush ten metres from the house…
    a good position, right out over the millstream…
    now totally visible…
    their little platform nest!

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    • I’ve never seen turtle doves. I wouldn’t recognise them outside from a distance so perhaps they are not the type to come into the garden. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open now when I’m walking. Amelia

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      • Amelia…
        think Collared Dove and then add colour…
        a wonderfully marked rusty coloured back and wings…
        the wingtips have a darker colour than the Collared.
        The grey head gradually changes to a pink breast
        three stripes on the neck, not one…
        a black ring to the open tail-tip.
        Type European Turtle Dove into Goggle Images… you’ll not be under-impressed…
        and look it up on the RSPB site too…
        it is an endangered species [thank you Malta] as opposed to the invasive Collared Dove….
        a natural invasion that has been going on since the 50’s in the UK.

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        • I did check it out. It is a lovely bird and would be very welcome by us in our garden although I’m not sure what the other doves would think about it. Amelia

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        • You are more likely to see it when out and about… they are a countryside bird…
          but they do come near isolated houses.
          That is part of the reason they are in trouble…
          land use has changed and both nesting sites and food are much depleted….
          whereas the Collared Dove is much more adaptable and happy around houses in very built-up areas.
          But once you hear that purring call….
          and log it in the little grey cells….
          you’ll not miss it!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your picture of the chilly blue-and-yellow banded bird – what kind is she? My bird identification skills are very poor! The ring doves are adorable.

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