a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Confinement continues in the garden


The Wisteria is starting to flower in the garden.  A very special time as the perfume greets you whenever you step outside.

(We have Wisteria in the front garden,too.)

We are going into our fourth week in confinement.  President Macron made his announcement and explained the measures to be taken on Monday night, 16 March.  We had realised France would follow Italy’s advice and we had started our voluntary confinement the previous weekend.  In keeping with the spirit of the confinement we have only made rare trips to the supermarket for provisions during this period.

We content ourselves in the garden.  The Victoria plum tree is in flower, or it was sold as a Victoria plum but the plums are not like the U.K. Victorias.

The large plum tree has already set a considerable amount of fruit.  The mild weather was favourable both for the flowering and fruit setting time.

I saw this white butterfly on some Honesty.  I thought at first a Cabbage White but seemingly the veined wings point to a Green-Veined White, even the veins are not green.

It makes a pleasing contrast with the Honesty for a photograph.

I was pleased to see clumps of this dark-leaved variety appearing, I received the seeds from a reader.  They suite the garden well and I let them self-seed so I will never be without them now.

This fumitory has found a corner in the garden and will also do a bit of self-seeding.  I hope I do not regret removing it because it looks so pretty.

The Bluebells have started flowering at the bottom of the garden, taking over from the Muscari which is just starting to set seed.  The Stitchwort is very welcome as a wild flower that blends in well with my intentional plantings.

The bee fly is not so welcomed by me.  It is on Thyme here and can forage for nectar in a large variety of flowers as it has a long proboscis and a perfect landing technique.

These little furry flies from the Bombylius are parasites of solitary bees and as I have mining bees in different parts of the garden, I know they will be on the look out for the bees nests to  lay their eggs.

The garden is getting more attention than it ever has and we are having more coffee breaks than usual.

It never leaves our minds, though, of the people who are flat-out caring for others at the risk of their lives.  We salute them and support them by adhering to the rules set out to protect all of us.

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.

14 thoughts on “Confinement continues in the garden

  1. I can smell and hear your garden just from the pictures (even a faint whiff of coffee). I’m meant to move to my new garden in France the first week of May. Who knows, maybe I still will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope the confinements will be relaxed by then or soon after but I have no idea when they will allow passage for “non priority” movement over international borders. Surely, you will see your new garden this summer. Amelia


  2. Ah, white wisteria. I grew American wisteria a while back because I wanted it to be docile. It is actually a bit too docile, and climbs only a few feet annually. It was very well behaved for the small arbor it was planted on. However, the floral trusses are short and stout, and do not hang pendulously like wisteria bloom should. I would grow it again where I want a small vine like that, but it is not substitute for Chinese wisteria. Japanese wisteria can be even more impressive . . . in the right situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did not know about American Wisteria. I can see it being very useful as the Chinese Wisteria needs a lot of cutting back every year to keep it under control. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, it is certainly useful, and I happen to be very fond of it. It just has a very different personality. It is like instant coffee. It can be quite good if appreciated for its own merits, and not expected to be a substitute for the real thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely photos Amelia and like us you’re very fortunate to have such a peaceful place to be confined to.
    But I must disagree over the Beefly – I just think they’re the most extraordinary insects – even if they are parasites! I always look forward to seeing our first of the season – almost as much as the first swallows which arrived here this morning – so nature’s carrying on regardless…

    Best wishes to you both,


    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love the honey smell of wisteria! We dont have any but it always reminds me of a flat in Cheltenham that had masses of it growing around the huge Georgian window and we pulled up the great sash and just sat and were flooded by the perfume and sunshine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The perfume of Wisteria is wonderful. We have two slightly different purple ones and a white one. Our white one has the strongest fragrance. There are so many different varieties to choose from nowadays, even the flowering time can be offset according to the variety. My neighbour has a Wisteria that is more pink with longer blooms that flowers after mine. Amelia


  5. I am with Julian on the bee fly, they are very impressive and unusual insects. Also, in the long term they wont prosper unless the mining bee colony is strong so perhaps it’s a good sign to see them. The same will be true about the Nomada.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My garden is also getting a lot more attention than it normally does this time of year. I just spent the morning pulling out the first springs of Creeping Charlie, my least favorite weed. I’m very fond of plums, though not familiar with Victoria plums. I especially like the really tart plums cooked in jam or galettes.


  7. I hate it as well even though the pollinators appreciate it. Have you noticed it has a funny smell when you pull it out? I find the smell very unpleasant. We don’t have any tart plums although Kourosh eats the very tart plums raw that you get on the wild plum trees. Too acid for me. Amelia


  8. The garden looks wonderful Amelia and we are having some wonderful weather to enjoy it, it is a pity though that we are all in this situation of confinement .

    Liked by 1 person

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