a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Would you?


It is 7.15 in the evening. Time for me to collect the saffron. A bumblebee has fallen asleep, head first in the saffron crocus.

Would you wake her up to get at the saffron strands?

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.

30 thoughts on “Would you?

  1. No, I’d just put off the harvest until tomorrow morning.
    bonnie in provence

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No, and not just because I’m allergic to bee stings. The poor thing needs its sleep!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s how I feel. You should not worry about bumblebees. The vet that looks after our local bee association says that there have been no reports of bumblebee stings in France. Bumblebees are not aggressive and only some types might possibly sting if you tried to dig out a large nest. Honeybees are not usually aggressive but they will sting if upset or if you go near their hive. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How many crocus do you grow? Is for your own use only( I know the harvest is minute)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Saffron can wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bumble Bee wins on cuteness alone… It’s obviously had a hard day at work, and can’ go another buzz further – I think that we can all relate to that 😉
    Growing your own saffron crocus is such a reward, isn’t it, and this little creature has just added another layer.
    Thank you so much for sharing nature at its best🌸💕🌸

    Liked by 2 people

    • I find the bumblebees so cute and fluffy! I often find them asleep in the saffron and that is one of the pleasures of growing saffron for me. That and the perfume of the petals. It always makes me think of spring (wrong season but still very pleasant.) Amelia


  6. No. There must be other saffron to pluck, and you can get that one when you return for more tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I never thought of harvesting my own saffron but what a good idea as it is so expensive. I know from experience that bumble bees sting if you sit on them. But who can blame then for that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there are some of life’s experiences that we would like to learn from others second hand rather than experience ourselves :). The saffron flowers have to be gathered daily and mine can flower over two weeks at least. It could be considered a bit of a bind but it does not take long. I leave the pistils to air dry so you have to put a couple of plates out of the way somewhere. Amelia


  8. Ha! 😍 So adorable!! Great quiz. I would leave the cute bumblebee in its deep stupor. Regarding the saffron… I’m glad that you shared that you grow it…. I only just planted some this fall and hope to harvest it in future years. I have to grow them in containers due to our gopher population. Do you have tips on growing and harvesting? If you wrote about it in a previous blog, please link so I can enjoy and learn. Thank you for that darling photo of the sleeping bumblebee. 🐝

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wouldn’t disturb the bumble either, perhaps she has trust so great that the flower will protect her from harm.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Let sleeping bees sleep. It’s a lovely photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t think I could wake her…too cute!

    Liked by 1 person

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