a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

A Week of Flowers, Day 4

6 Comments

Manuka flowers, 5.5.21

We bought some Manuka bushes as a present for our honey bees and to see if we might get some interesting flavours in the honey. Well, so far it has worked in the reverse. We love the pink flowers but the honey bees have so far ignored them. At least some of the solitary wild bees appreciate them.

Hypericum, 9.6.21

My Hypericum has been grown from seed given to me by a friend who did not know the variety. It is probably “Hidcote” which is a very popular variety. The seeds were amazingly fruitful and the seedlings extremely sturdy, so I have a large reservoir of Hypericum plants I can pop into needy places in the garden. They reward you with prolific yellow flowers in the summer and require little care and attention.

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.

6 thoughts on “A Week of Flowers, Day 4

  1. A beautiful photo of your Manuka flowers Amelia. I had heard of Manuka honey, but had no idea what the flowers look like. Do you get a lot of wild bees in your garden? It is nice that your Hypericum seeds around for you. The wild one does here, and can be seen in the countryside everywhere around us from June onwards. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We get a lot of wild bees in the garden and I try to grow as many flowers for them as possible. They are not necessarily the same ones as the honeybees prefer. I’m not sure if my Hypericum is self seeding. I have so many plants because I planted so many seeds in the first place! We do not get the bush type of Hypericum growing here in the wild but we do get Hypericum officianalis. Amelia

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the Manuka, although I know it as leptospermum. They would die here with the heavy clay and winter cold. A lovely picture – and there is, in fact, a bee on the flower!

    Liked by 1 person

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