a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

First flowers for the Eucryphia!


The little stick on the right hand side is my Eucryphia nymansensis.  I planted it in November 2015 and I have been nurturing it with attention ever since.  It is one of the favoured plants that gets watered.  It is privileged with extra water because I can’t imagine that it is that happy finding itself in sandy soil that dries out quickly.  The Nepeta stalks covers most of its base and the Gaura does its best to protect it too.

That was why I was surprised to see what I thought could be a flower.  When I saw the brown tip I thought I had missed the flower and it had already started to dry up.  But no, the bud seems to burst its cap to flower.

As the flower opens the cap falls off.  I would have been disappointed to miss my first flowers.

I was very excited to see my first flower open and smell the perfume.  I was not disappointed.

We even had some rain and it did not destroy the flowers which dipped and let the rain run off.

Perhaps this is another reason that the bees love the Eucryphia flowers.  They can act as natural umbrellas.

Apart from the beauty of the flowers and their perfume, the flowers also attract bees.  This year I only had four flowers on my tree but I could see that it was going to be popular with the bees.  I hope it does some growing next spring and produces some more flowers next summer.

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.

27 thoughts on “First flowers for the Eucryphia!

  1. Four flowers and it’s done? That seems strange, but then I don’t know the plant.


    • It’s a measly little specimen but I have great hopes for it. They do grow and become covered in these beautiful, perfumed white flowers. I am just getting excited in anticipation. You can see I am easy to please 🙂 Amelia


  2. Hello Amelia,
    We too love this tree, and planted one a few years ago, and we love its bee friendly flowers, and particularly the time of year they appear. What’s great as well is that unlike many trees they seem to flower very early in their life, as you’ve found. And this year we’ve even got a few seed pods forming – though these seem to take nearly a year to develop. So I’m sure it will delight in years to come. One thought though…if you get strong winds maybe keep an eye on it, ‘cos ours has been badly rocked – I think it’s root system isn’t maybe the strongest,
    best wishes


    • It is good to hear from someone with a mature plant. I am just imagining what it could look like when it is a bit bigger. Thank you for the tip about the roots. I have read that they like to be a bit sheltered and have the roots moist which tallies with a light root system. Luckily we do not get a lot of wind, however, when there are storms in France they tend to of a force that knock down trees and telegraph poles! Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How wonderful! The care and nurturing well rewarded and the tree clearly intending to thrive. I love the notion of a natural new umbrella! 🐝☔


  4. Looks like this tree will be a wonderful addition to your garden. I am pondering if I could find a place for one in my garden, now that you have introduced me to it.


  5. They are beautiful flowers, Amelia. A mature tree must be stunning – hope it does well for you next year too!


  6. Such a pretty flower, and fragrance too?…. !


  7. I used to have this tree in my garden in England. I also saw lots of them at The Garden House in Devon when I was there in July, they were in full flower. I’m sure you’ll be very pleased with your choice.


  8. I’ve never heard of it but it has pretty flowers.


  9. There are few pleasures in life to rival watching the first flower of plant you have nurtured unfold. Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Once again you introduce me to something new. Thanks.


  11. Looks stunning, I hope it prospers, and its good for the bees.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We love this tree must try and get one never heard of it before it’s beautiful would it thrive in Berkshire?


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