a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Green grows the grass


I had to take this photograph from upstairs to show the grass still green in the middle of July. Usually this space is more brown than green at this time of year, certainly last year we had had no rain for a long time and the grass was brown. This year the grass has been so wet that it could not be cut.

So many plants had made their home in the grass. The wild mint and Achillea make it perfumed to walk on but it has all been cut now to let me move in the garden without wearing wellington boots. The plants are doing well outside in the wild spaces and the side of the roads.

The bees are spoiled by the abundance of clover and other flowers that are blooming just now. The rain has stopped here and we are promised sunshine. At the moment the clouds are still plentiful but they are white ones and they let the blue sky through.

With the grass cut and fair weather in sight it is time to get to work in the garden again. That often means weeding and of course the weeds have been growing too.

I’ll be looking for places for some of the new plants that I have started off in patio pots. I have only the one colour of Fuschia in the garden and although it has done very well and we have split and replanted it throughout the garden, I am hoping this “Blue Sarah” Fuschia will prove as hardy.

The Carpenter bee has already given it her seal of approval even if she is “stealing” the nectar by boring into the source rather than bothering to go in by the conventional entrance. The hole she has opened will stay and be used by smaller, short-tongued bees, like some of the bumbles and honey bees, to give them easy access to the nectar.

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.

16 thoughts on “Green grows the grass

  1. OK Guys, please send us some gentle rain!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The flowers are loving all this rain . The rain in Germany and up the Rhin though is catastrophic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • For months I have been laughing that all the rain seems to go north-east across France and miss our region most of the time. I was often jealous of their rainfall. I had no way of knowing if they really had been getting all that rain but it seems they had and the soil had been turned to mud even before they were hit with the catastrophic downpour. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be confronted with all that force of water. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is awful and puts my moaning about hail and rain into perspective. Better weather is forecast .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The grass remains green here, south-east Ireland, also but is on the cusp of turning.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Here things are drying out rapidly in the hot weather we are experiencing. I would love to see carpenter bees but very few make it to the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your” Ajuga” is actually Self-heal [Prunella vulgaris] another Labiate and beloved by the bees and hoverflies…
    The difference is, bugle spikes up from a rosette with the flowers opening in spaced rings of four… interleaved with leaves
    Self-heal throws up a flowerspike with a pair of leaves at the base, then what you’ve photographed, a rather box-shaped flowerhead.
    Lovely set of pictures….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is so refreshing to see so much green! My eyes are yearning for it! It’s very very brown and crispy dry here in western U.S. Sigh. It’s soothing to see your beautiful garden there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your garden and enjoyed all of the photos. We are in Saskatchewan, Canada. Our cucumbers and tomatoes are producing really well this year. Much better than the last couple of years.

    Liked by 1 person

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