a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Sunny November


We are still in autumn. The Koelreuteria tree in the front garden has lost its leaves but other trees are still holding onto theirs. When a breeze disturbs them, a snow of dead leaves floats down.

The weather has been fine with plenty of opportunities for walking.

We keep waiting for winter to set in and on Wednesday we had lunch outside on the terrace of our favourite restaurant by the sea. The sun was shining and people were sitting in the sun in T-shirts. We have had several “last” lunches outside this year!

Wednesday brought so much sunshine that this small copper butterfly settled on our Mme. Isaac Pereire rose in complete denial of the calendar date.

During the day the blue skies warm up the garden with strong sunshine.

However, the nights with clear skies bring low temperatures and we have found ice on the birds’ water dish in the morning.

I have decided to coddle my abutilons this year. I swore I would never keep fragile plants in the garden. The abutilons have been with us for years, their leaves freezing in winter and then shooting again in late spring. Now I feel they have been so courageous to survive that they are going to get some help.

We have also got a Salvia leucantha that will need protection soon.

I just cannot manage to do justice to this beautiful flower when I take a photograph. It too will get special attention.

The lemon tree is still outside. It will go into the spare bedroom with gro-lights during the day but I could not deprive it of the beautiful sunshine we have been having lately. We do protect it with a fleece at night if the skies are clear.

Today is cloudy and more autumnal.

I hope nevertheless to be able to still enjoy some more days sitting in the garden drinking our tisane, See who joined us on Wednesday morning.

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.

10 thoughts on “Sunny November

  1. I envy you, we have slid very quickly into cold weather and snow is even forecast for next week. Lovely roses!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just as I have been extolling our sunshine, we have passed into a very cloudy period. The clouds keep the night temperatures higher so I do not have to cover my tender plants. We have not had much snow in recent years so perhaps some is heading our way. Amelia


  2. Your lemon is wonderful, and the butterfly on the rose is perfect. We enjoyed a long, warm (for Minnesota) autumn, with roses reblooming, especially the shrub rose “Sunrise Sunset. and abundant scabiosa and purple asters feeding the bees. They are all finally coated with our first snow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. November seems more like October this year. We haven’t had much frost and the trees are still hanging on to the foliage. The dahlias are still bloooming too which is an unexpected treat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t envy you having to carry the lemon tree up into the spare bedroom!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Are the bumblebees still about in this mild weather?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I;ve seen fewer bumblebees this year. The carpenter bees come to the Salvia on the sunny days and I have only seen one queen white tail bumblebee trying to get the nectar from the winter heather which has not started to bloom fully yet. Now we have passed into a colder spell it is very quiet on the bee side of things. Amelia


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