a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Open doors


We have specially planted our garden to welcome any creatures to share our space.

We put water out for the birds and bees.

We are entranced with the variety of wildlife that descend on the flowers.

…even though I have a preference for the bees.

However, yesterday morning while we were having breakfast with the doors open – a border collie bounced into the room. I immediately got up and shut the doors, expecting the owner to follow straight after. However, no one came.

She was not in the slightest disturbed to stay with us and eventually Kourosh went in search of the owner in the neighbouring hamlets and talked to as many of the nearby “doggy” people he could find. After that it was the Mairie and the gendarmerie without result.

By this time we were firm friends and she had completely trained us to give her plenty of cuddles. However, delightful as she was, in the afternoon we took her to the local vet who read her tag and was surprised that she had an appointment for a vaccination in one hour’s time!

So her owner was telephoned and turned up to claim her. Her owner lives in a hamlet two kilometres away. We discovered our little collie was called Stella.

It was rather difficult parting with her and I wonder if she will ever visit us again.

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 “Open doors

  1. Stella looks like a sweetie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Amelia,
    How lovely and what a strange coincidence – last week we had 3 garden visitors, and as they were half way round the garden, I heard yapping from the tyre garden and 2 young labradors bounded into view. No collars/leads. Thinking they might belong to guests staying with our neighbours who have dogs, Fiona took them down the hill. They didn’t recognise them either, and after keeping them in overnight, via a message on social media the owner was located – about a mile and a half away. This has never happened before here in all our years living here. I must consult the stars…
    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely story! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely story! I am so glad you found his home, but I am sure it was hard to leave him as border collies are so intelligent and personable !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely story ! Maybe she ran away to avoid her vaccination !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Stella did not want to get jabbed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A charming story but I also liked your pictures of the birds and insects, especially the swallowtail.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh that doggie is so adorable! How lovely to have her to visit and feel so comfortable in your home.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. How lovely…. BCs are lovely dogs…. I trained mine so that it wouldn’t interupt a photo…. by bounding across as I was trying to take it!
    I recognise those expressions…. I now have this mental picture of a BC if you got one trying to herd your tortoises.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fabulous photos, especially that first one.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a friendly collie! Maybe she sensed a vet visit and decided to find sanctuary quickly!


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