a french garden

Garden visitors

21 Comments

The Hollyhocks are providing a lot of colour in the garden just now.  On the right of the Hollyhock is a Mullein or Verbascum.  Both plants self seed and we try to replant the seedlings in autumn where we feel they will best thrive.

This Lavatera was just a cutting potted up in the autumn.  So you can see how quickly it grows.

The flowers are beautiful and the leaves are a soft green.

The flowers attract all sorts of bees and pollinators for nectar.

The pollen is also sought after and I love to see the bees with this unusual colour of pollen.

The Hollyhocks are very popular with the bumble bees for nectar and pollen.

The bumble bees are the most amusing bees to watch.  They seem much more independent and get right in there if there is pollen to be collected.

Yellow Buddleia

I prefer this yellow buddleia to the more common variety with the lilac flowers.  This yellow buddleia attracts bees and other pollinators whereas I have only seen butterflies on the other one.

The blue perennial geranium is always covered with bees.  This is where we eat outside so all the potted plants provide us with plenty of visitors to watch.

The Liatris does not care whether it is in a pot or in the ground.

I think the most important item we provide in the garden, especially at the moment, is the water.  We have several dishes of water around the garden.

The birds drink the water and bathe in it and bring in their young.  We have been enjoying watching this young robin on a daily basis.

These boxes have been left in the hope that we might be able to use them to gather fruit in the autumn but when Kourosh attempted to tidy the outhouse, he found they had been put to good use.

When he lifted off the top box it revealed a perfect little nest, carefully lined with feathers.  It was a very tidy construction and perhaps it might even be the nest where our baby robin was raised.

It is good to see nature being renewed.

This young marbled newt (Triturus marmoratus) was happy under some tiles until Kourosh found him.  He still has his crest from the aquatic stage as he is born in the water.  Now he has come onto land and will eat most of the things you would expect to find under tiles, like slugs, snails, earthworms and any insect that might pass by.  They are very gentle creatures and do not move rapidly on land.  It is nice to think that they help to keep the garden free of the things gardeners do not want.

Another gardener’s friend crept up behind Kourosh when he was painting the garden gate the other day.

Kourosh was a bit concerned to find him near a road and brought him into the garden to check him out as it was surprising to find a hedgehog in the day time.

I think it may be a young one just starting out in life.  I just hope he remembers the garden and stays here or at least visits frequently.

We do try and look out for all the animals that pass through our garden but this tree frog had a bit of bad luck.  We usually cover our wooden table in the evening with a plastic cover.  The other day we bundled it up quickly in the morning at breakfast time and put it inside.

It was not until the evening that we found we had bundled up our tree frog inside the cover.

“Not good enough!” is what that face says.

 

 

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.

21 thoughts on “Garden visitors

  1. Seeing your visitors reminds me to slow down a little to enjoy ours. Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tree frogs! Newts! Herissons! Lucky you. We have had a herisson but don’t know if it lives here, and I saw a tree frog once. No newts as far as I know. We did have a perdrix walk around the garden one day.
    bonnie in the vaucluse

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  3. I love visiting your garden. Wish I could see it in person some day, but, alas, with the world in such a funny state, I’m not sure I have enough days left. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Lovely post…. interesting about your purple Bud… ours seems to attract bees, moths, hoverflies and butterflies.
    I have no idea of the variety, it was here when we arrived… but it was in a flowerbed. We do have another the other side of the house, but I haven’t observed that as closely…. must see if it’s capable of bee-attraction.

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  5. I’ve not seen a yellow buddelia before, I prefer it too. The newt is so sweet. Would even a young one like that manage to eat snails and worms?

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    • In truth, I do not know. They could concentrate on smaller prey but I am sure they would just take bites out of worms if the opportunity presented itself. Snails do not move very fast and I have seen one being demolished by a hungry glowworm larva. I think hunger must act as a hug incentive to creative hunting. Amelia

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  6. It is lovely to see you have so much wild life in your garden, and none of them are viewed as pests. 😃 The lavatera is really pretty, but rarely survives our winters. I might try and grow it as an annual one year. By the way, I noticed quite a few bumble bees on my buddleia just as it started opening…

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    • That is so interesting about the buddlleia! The bees seem to often favour what is the easiest available flower. Bumble bees can access longer flowers than honey bees. Bumble bees can take red and white clover but honeybees only the white. Never the less, I was making my remark about all sorts of bees so I will have to watch the buddleia more closely next year, as it is just finishing around us. Amelia

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  7. Another favorite flower Hollyhocks. Need to get planting next year. We bought a farmhouse in France this year and the land has no flowers or shrubs just Apple trees in one corner. We have managed to create a wild meadow which this year is full of butterflies and crickets. Next year we will help the pollinators and bees.

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    • You will have a busy autumn choosing some new plants and trees. Try and get some winter flowering species for the bumble bee queens that fly on the mild winter days. Amelia

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      • That’s a good idea. I want to try and cover the whole year. So far our butterflies are loving the unknown field. It changes almost daily as the weather changes and the seeds drop or the insects grow and fly away.

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  8. What a lovely selection of photos of your garden visitors! The lilac buddleia are in full flower here at present perfuming the air around them. I see bumblebees and honeybees but very few butterflies on them despite the fact that I grew up referring to them as “butterfly bushes”.

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  9. Lovely garden and full of wildlife.
    Lucky you !
    I’m pretty sure you are doing all that is necessary to attrack all these animals and taking time to observe them !
    A good idea to do a cutting of lavatera, i’ll try it this autumn.

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  10. I like your cute little frog and lizard. If they are living near my garden, they don’t show themselves. I often fantasize about building a tiny pond to bring more critters into the garden.

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    • I have shied away from having a pond because of the work it entails in building it and maintaining it. Anyone I have known with a pond has scoffed at this reticence and would never be without one in their garden. I have settled for a large aluminium basin that supports water lilies and is very popular with the bees in the summer. Ponds will definitely attract more wildlife into the garden and provide a constant source of amusement if you are happy to put a small amount of work into it every year. Amelia

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