a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Snow in the garden


An almost black and white view of the garden in the afternoon of 19 March 2018.

A different view of a patch of hellebore.

The Oleander was completely bent under the weight of the snow.

The hyacinth looked rather shocked by their surprise topping.

The hives are the most sheltered under the trees and I am glad we decided to insulate them this year.

The snow has all melted now and is nothing compared to what falls regularly in the winter in many parts of the world.  It is unusual though to have snow like this in March in this part of the world.

It is a snowfall to remember for us, the day before the spring equinox.

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.

33 thoughts on “Snow in the garden

  1. Oh, those Lombardy poplars in the background are so pretty. I put a row of six of them at the rear of my mother’s garden. She thinks they look so French because they are used to stabilize the banks of canals. I liked those six so much that I planted fourteen at my home. I know that they are not a ‘good’ tree, but I like them anyway, and they make good firewood (as long as it gets burned in the same year it gets processed).

    Liked by 1 person

    • They can look very elegant but not very good in high winds. We have three and a few years ago one lost its head in a bad storm. We did nothing about it and it has grown and almost caught up with the other two. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

      • Because they are popularly planted in swampy situations, they sometimes blow down too. They get worse as they age. I really like them anyway. I would like to plant more, but it is not easy to do. Situations in which I can plant them are so rare! I mean, where can one plant trees where there is nothing for them to fall or drop tops onto?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi from Scotland! It’s been a tough old winter hasn’t it? What’s that saying, out like a lion in like a lamb?! Fingers crossed for cracking summer. Lovely blog! Looking forward to following along.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have a lovely spring! Soon? Eventually?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is a shock to see so much snow in places not used to it – a surprise effect of climate change maybe; changing the temperatures in a downward direction because the poles are warming – terrifying!! My Oleanders were very damaged by the very cold winds when we had snow a couple of weeks ago; I hope they will survive as they are one of the few shrubs to be unaffected by the summer drought.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Glad it has quickly gone away now!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sorry to say that it looks just like here. I’m glad it didn’t last like ours has.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I try hard not to feel physically ill when my blooming spring garden in crushed by snow and to remember it will go too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So after very warm daytime sunshine and much colder overnight temps than normal, which is not the norm for here—we have snow in the forecast for tomorrow! Thought spring had arrived, but we need to be patient here in the Cascade foothills!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Glad to see you are taking care of your little ones so nicely. Snow be gone! Spring will indeed pick us up…and soon. Happy spring!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I really had no idea Oleander was hardy!
    they are an invasive species in many parts of southern US, but since they are growing there with ease, I always had assumed they were a ‘tropical’… live & learn!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would not go as far as calling Oleander “hardy”. I would say that once the plant was established in the garden that it will withstand short periods of frost. We get relatively mild winters here so it does not have to survive the cold for any extended periods. Amelia

      Liked by 2 people

  11. It’s a very odd year, we went for a country walk yesterday and were caught out by drifts of snow (two feet deep) in some places. Also very few spring bees around yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. A common occurrence until the end of May where we used to live. Not now, obviously.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Usually you are way ahead of us, seasonally speaking, Amelia! It felt positively balmy here in Surrey today, but they’re talking about another cold snap for Easter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This has been the most grey, rainy spring I have had here. The locals are finding it difficult but I have no sympathy and tell them it is like this in the U.K. every year (you did not know about my masochistic streak, did you ?). Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

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