a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France


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Garden and owl update

Back garden

This is the first year I feel the garden is beginning to take shape.  The willows are now sheltering a seating area in the back garden.

TableThe plants are taking on a more mature look.

Lupin

I’ve actually managed to grow lupins.  Well, four plants from a packet of seed.  But only two of them have flowered so far, but it is an improvement over zero.

Front garden

The front garden managed to fill itself up with a lot of self seeded flowers but they disguised the weeds wonderfully.

Nigella and bee

I must confess the Nigella did get a bit out of hand but I had not realised how much the honey bees liked the pollen so they were allowed to run free.

Poppy (2)

Likewise the poppies are always welcome.  They can change their colours and this one brings back memories of the holiday when we originally brought the seed head home with us.

Kaki

Best of all at the moment is the noise of the bumble bees in the Kaki or Persimmon tree which is in flower.

Cotoneaster

There is a good competition volume wise from the cotoneasters.   Luckily we have several different sorts so the flowering period and buzzing is extended.  The honey bees like these flowers too but this year the garden seems to have even more bumble bees than usual.

IMG_4574

The Phacelia is a magnet for the pollinators and full of bumble bees.

Sedum (1)

I had planted a bright yellow sedum in a small stone container in the front garden as I felt it would be able to stand getting dried out.  I am pleased that the yellow flowers are attracting the bees, especially a small halictus bee.Compost border

I had sown some seeds in the front garden border but when we came back from a visit to the U.K. I found that they had been completely smothered by tomatoes and lettuce from our compost.  We ate the lettuce but I had to weed out all the tomatoes which looked healthier than the ones I had planted much earlier from seed.  I did let the lettuce go to seed last year to see if any bees liked the seed heads (they did not.)  However, I thought the composting process would generate enough natural heat to kill any seeds.  Is there any way to avoid this?  I have always had the odd tomato pop up but nothing like this before.

Atelier

Kourosh decided he had not seen the owls for a while.  He has fixed up an owl box in the workshop (see New home for an old trunk) subsequently the owl brought back its mate Is It Spring yet?).  So today he set up his ladder and took a photograph of inside the box.

Owl box

It looks as if they have been busy but we feel a bit cheated.  We felt that if they were ever to have chicks we might see them.

Owl eggs (1)

All we can see is some egg shells stuffed in the corner.  Have they done it?  Have they raised any chicks?