About me

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.




48 thoughts on “About me

  1. Caught your query about the difference between making modifications to crops the “old” way and the newer Genetic Modifications made on the genetic level. Really there is not much difference. GM is faster and more certain to make a specific modification. The old method is more time and money consuming, and you are not sure you will produce something that will work as you want it to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just get tired when the whole GM issue gets discussed with no specificity as to what the actual problem being discussed is. It is used as a “dirty” word and assumed as deleterious without examining any specific problems in a case by case basis. I feel people should stop and ask themselves what exactly it is about a specific GM that is concerning them. I would just like people who are against all GM to stop and ask themselves – why.
      I think your explanation is succinct and I thank you for taking the time to contact me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Eleenie but I’m much too shy to enter into anything like that. I do love the blogging and meeting new people that like similar things. I love to hear what you are up to and I enjoy following your blog and sharing your dogs. I love dogs but I became allergic when I was 13. We have a few friends we meet on our walks regularly, all cupboard love for a “Markie” but I could never keep one.


  3. mjolln1r

    Hi, thanks for dropping by my blog 🙂 I was put off gardening for life by working on Grandfather’s allotment as a child, but I suppose I still see things in nature. No autumn yet in France I would imagine and as someone who lived briefly in Spain I can say Norway makes even Scotland look positively tropical! You have some lovely pics here. Keep up the good work 🙂


  4. France and Italy are two spots we occasionally speak of whenever we ponder living somewhere other than the US.

    The language is a barrier in France (not in Italy as I speak, read, and write Italian).

    We’ll see . . .


    1. I think the language is very important and the change in culture can never be underestimated. The problem with the States is that it is so far away from Europe. At least we can drive back to the U.K. allowing us to exchange all manner of unnecessary objects and bring back hard to find food stuffs (e.g. barley for my Scotch Broth). The flight Bordeaux-London is under one hour which means the family are happy to visit. The plus side for us is the weather here, we get a lot of sunshine even in the winter when air temperature is low. This is important for us as we enjoy walking and to a lesser extent cycling.


  5. If we move, wherever we move would be our new home. As for distance from family . . . Let’s just say I’m not opposed. Besides, with today’s infrastructure, one can practically converse every day for little or no cost.

    The language and culture . . . yes, those are both large considerations.


  6. Mjollnir

    Hi. I’ve just been awarded the liebster award (see post ‘Losing my Award Virginity’) and would like to nominate you for the same. Cheers!


    1. Mjollnir

      Hi again. No offence but I’ve just realised that these things are the blogging equivalent of chain letters so ignore the above comment. Sorry about that 🙂


  7. gtonthenet

    Thank you very much for your comment on my photo “Bees”. I contacted the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust as you suggested, and they agreed with your conclusion. They even asked if they could use the photo. I’m chuffed to bits – thank you.


  8. Thank you for sharing the beautiful space you have created… Settling in to a new place, especially a new country, and making a part of it your own, is always a slow and difficult task, but I hope your relatinship with the garden is now more love than hate.


  9. Thank you for dropping by my blog. I spent some time yesterday morning drinking tea, reading your bee posts and generally browsing around. Your photos are wonderful and I enjoyed reading about your garden. Looking forward to future posts.


    1. It’s nice to pop in and look at other peoples’ gardens, even though they are continents apart! I am trying very hard at the moment to learn about solitary bees and almost everything I plant and plan now has the bees in mind. I get a lot of bees in the garden and they give me so much pleasure.


  10. It was lovely to read about your home in France and your gardening adventures! France is one of my very favorite places. I look forward to visiting your blog often to see what’s growing in your French garden! ♡


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  12. The walled gardens of both Crathes and Drum are well worth visiting. We have a shorter growing season than down in England but I have found out through blogging that there are a few things we can grow that don’t do well further south. E.g. Blue Himalayan poppies.


  13. I think that is the interesting thing about gardening; to grow what is best in your climate and soil. I love the Blue Himalayan poppies and did try once to grow them from seed but with no success 😦 Amelia


  14. Hi, your blog looks fascinating and just the perfect blend of wildlife and gardening for me. I moved to France 7 years ago to fulfill a dream of having a garden after so long on the road. I started with a blank lawn and slowly it it coming to life. I just never realized it would take so long!


    1. I found the first years of gardening the open field more chore than pleasure. It was not until I noticed the bees that I realised how important a garden can be to wild life. Now the garden is my pleasure but it does take a long time. Amelia


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  16. Linda Nicholson

    Hi there i also live in france and I am under attact by the
    asian Hornets. Please could you tell where to get a hornet muzzle. I’m not even going into my local Co-op. It will be a wasted journey
    Linda Nicholson


  17. Hello! I came across your blog! My partner is from La Roche, and we plan to move near there or Nantes in the next couple years to farm/garden and get away from the busy San Francisco tech life we’ve had. I’d love to know more about all your adventures and “get to know” someone on the internet that has moved to French countryside.



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