a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Into June in the garden


From May the garden seems to explode with flowers.  The roses fight to take pride of place.  The Veilchenblau is a favourite with the bees.

The Étoile de Hollande and I have a difficult relationship.  The perfume is superb but I call her a bit of a thug but she retorts that I have never given her a proper  space and room to grow the way she likes.  She has a point.

The New Dawn stays cornered at the bottom of the garden but has got more light this year, but not more attention.

I’ve managed to move my peonies into better positions and I have been rewarded by finding out that the bees will take their pollen.  However, it seems that when I move a peony that I unwittingly leave some root behind and another one pops up, which was not my aim.

The garden has taken up a lot of time lately.  There has been such a lot to plant and then the broad beans had to be gathered and shelled – a long process.  The poppies are too pretty to entirely remove.

When the first of the pink poppies of Troy open they are surrounded by all types of bees.

There are plenty of red field poppies but it is the big pink poppies that are the favourites.

It is really a time of abundance for the bees in the garden as the cotoneasters are in flower.

They are loved by all the bees and the bigger the bush the more noise of bees there is.

Every year is different but this year has brought a lot of these little beetles in everyone’s garden here.  They look like little beetles that eat pollen.

I often see things and mean to find out about them but I am too slow.  All winter a strange assembly of sticks, like a caddis fly larva pouch, has hung on the garage door.  I have meant to check on it until one day I saw a chrysalis protruding from the end.  Too late I thought!

Luckily, we were just in time to see the emerging moth.  I think it is Canephora hirsuta, or Hairy Sweep, a type of bag moth.  It is a male because the females have no wings.  This is the first time I have seen it here.

The bees have been busy in the Persimum or Kaki tree.  This year the tree has produced a record number of flowers.

Despite the ground being scattered with the excess small fruits it looks like a lot of fruit has set.

We have been having strawberries for a while now and our first raspberries are coming through too.  These yellow ones are ready before the pink ones and are sweeter with a good flavour.

The first flowers have just opened up in the lime tree so the bees will be in for a busy time in the next few days and we will enjoy a perfume fest.

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.

24 thoughts on “Into June in the garden

  1. Your garden is a magnificent haven for wildlife. It makes me happy knowing that it exists 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely as ever Amelia. We had the best rhododendron and azalea show we have ever had despite all the snow this winter, and some forgotten dahlia overwintered, thanks to a snow blanket. Our mason bees have outdone themselves. I will have lot’s of cocoons to share next spring 🙂 I will miss them buzzing around when they are done—any day now.
    The old apple tree is loaded—thank you bees. Even have a few smaller leaf cutter bees using the boxes.

    Roses are deer food here, so I am down to one, but it is going to be pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roses are not my favourite flower. I prefer the flowers without sharp thorns. I had less leaf cutters last year using the boxes, I don’t know why. I like them very much. Amelia


  3. So much loveliness everywhere. No wonder the bees, and beetles, and humans are happy in the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Are the fruit of the lime tree useful for anything?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I never know quite what to call some of the plants. The usage of names is quite regional and I do not want to add too long a list. Of course the bees love the linden flowers but we do also. I feel quite guilty but I take my share of the flowers too (we have two trees). The linden flowers make a lovely herbal tea or infusion or what they call here a tisane. A lot of people over here prefer a tisane after dinner in the evening rather than coffee (even decaf.). I dry other herbs and the homemade tisanes taste nothing like those little bags of herbal teas you can buy. Amelia


  6. What a glorious garden, and it’s lovley to see so many happy insects. I am slightly envious of your persimmon tree, especially if you’re going to have lots of fruit. I rather like Rosa New Dawn, such a soft and gentle colour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Persimmon tree is such an easy tree. It requires no care (rather it gets none from us). The best part is that the fruits ripen in the winter when you do not usually have fresh fruit to eat. We bring them in unripe to avoid getting them damaged and they very obligingly ripen a few at a time. Amelia


  7. Yes, poppies are hard to remove, they look so pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, they are not so hard to remove. You just have to give them a chug but if you let them flower then you will have lots reseeding for future years. There is always a bit of friction between my husband and I over how many poppies are left, especially in the vegetable part. He is a big poppy fan and the garden would be covered with them if it were left to him :). Amelia


      • Yes, I pull them up no problem. I’ve found unfortunately that even if they don’t flower, somehow there will be seed heads in the compost but I’m loath to waste the biomass. I have been pulling them out earlier this year to try to avoid the buds forming at all but I do like poppies so much, it is a hard decision whether to pull them up!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. A fine moth – now I’ll have to look it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think they are a pollen beetle Amelia. When the Oil Seed Rape finishes flowering they go after anything yellow. When our daughters were children one of them was wearing a yellow tea shirt one summer, It was covered in them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. How beautiful. I love visiting your garden!

    Liked by 1 person

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