a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

An exceptional November


The Liquidambar’s autumn colours say autumn.

I actually enjoy raking the colourful leaves and continue to mulch my front borders as I weed them and make plans for autumn replantings.

I am spending even more time in the garden as we are still confined to the house except for essential limited cases.

So things are different this year. The garden is different. It is warm and sunny here. The Cosmos sulphureus which have been wilting towards winter have started to reflower.

The coloured Cosmos which have finished weeks ago have started to grow from the seeds set this year and are now flowering.

The Salvia “Hot lips” is still going strong.

The Fuschia has fewer flowers but still putting on a good show.

My Abutilon are in their element and I am glad I attempted these plants that will not survive severe winters.

So we are still enjoying our coffee on the patio beside the Salvia leucantha in the sunshine.

The pollen sac on the white tailed bumble bee tells me she has decided to have a brood at the end of November. I hope her optimism is well founded.

After all the raspberries are still producing fruit.

The Mahonia bushes are full of bumble bees.

The Wall butterfly (Lasiommata megera) suns itself in the garden.

Our little green tree frog enjoys the sunshine behind the shutter. She appreciates the sunshine – confinment or conditions or covid – do not concern her.

Is she saying “Du calme, mes amis.” ?

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 “An exceptional November

  1. A wonderfully self contained frog! Stay well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It certainly doesn’t look like November, but it is wonderful that you can still enjoy time on your patio and still have so many flowers. I love your amber tress. We have just planted two young ones. 😃 We have had sunshine too, but temperatures are clearly a lot lower here. About 4°C today. But I still have bees on my Chrysanthemums.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am sure your Liquidambar trees will become firm favourites at this time of year for you. I am just getting to the stage in our garden to be able to start to plan to have interest in the places that matter throughout the year. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad to see that with your restrictions still in place, you’re able to enjoy such wonderful weather and still have so many flowers and insects. And frog. What a boost to the senses. I love Liquidambers, and your leaf collection. it’s a real regret that all 3 we planted here have failed, possibly because of the wet conditions at their roots? Best wishes

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lovely! Thank you for sharing . 🍀🌸🐝

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How charming to see so much color and lovely flowers – nice pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There you go again, I’m jealous of your November flowers. Our bees have been consoldiated to smaller, winter, hives and given quilt boxes to keep them warmer and drier through the deep winter. With our roller-coaster weather, we also loaded them up with mashed comb and honey (up top), so they’d save their frames of comb for the really cold weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We also have mahonia in flower now and honeybees seem to be the only customers at present. The weather has been very poor, though, damp and grey, so I am waiting for a sunny day which might tempt out the bumblebees.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Liquidambar was one of the first tree we planted hear, a must have tree for me.

    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 )

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