a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Week of Flowers, Day One


Winter flowering Honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima 17.1.21

I decided to start my week of flowers by looking back to the beginning of the year. The Winter Honeysuckle is a perfumed star of our winter garden.

Early flowering plum tree, 25.2.21

The plum tree opens its flowers with its own special perfume in February.

Thank you Cathy for hosting, “A Week of Flowers, 2021”.

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.

9 thoughts on “Week of Flowers, Day One

  1. Beautiful photos. I wish we could fast forward a month or two! The honeysuckle must smell wonderful, but the plum blossom must smell good to the bees too. (Do bees ‘smell’?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bees do not have a nose but a much, much more sensitive sense of smell than us. Their antenna can detect very low concentrations of molecules that will lead them towards pollen and nectar. Remember, they live inside their hives in the dark so their sensitive eyes are not working whilst they are in the hives tending the larvae and storing pollen and making honey – all done by smell and touch. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So lovely to see that the bees are once again the stars of the show!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Early signals of spring–so lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Winter honeysuckle is just starting here, currently the bee flower star is mahonia.

    Liked by 1 person

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