a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France


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Walking in the Woods

A few days ago, our friends came over and picked us to go for a visit to the woods at Rioux about half an hour away from our home. Needless to say in the confinement of the car we all four wore our facemasks.

These special woods are covered with wild daffodils. Many of the daffodils were still in buds. Perhaps we arrived a few days early or as we saw later quite a few families had picked up bundles of flowers. That is why on arrival I did not notice the daffodils.

Walking actually into the woods, we did noticed hundredes of daffodils

There were also quite a lot of wild primroses

Another wild flower that I love to see in the woods around here is Asphodel. Now they are still shooting up.

This picture we took in previous years, of asphodels in flower. They are majestic – I feel.

I also love the flowers of Pulmonaria. They are favourite colour. The common English name is Lungwort, as the leaves somwhat reminds one of lungs.

I often see abandoned buildings in the countryside, like some archaeological site. I wonder about the family that must have lived in this one; the children that grew up and played in the forest.

All countrysides specially in remote rural areas look to me neglested and yet at the same time loved. An abandoned house or an old dead tree that perhaps the children used to climb or swing from it,

A little further and we came across a small farm. A beautiful horse lonely in a field

And a road sign that I must have missed when I learnt the highway code

First I noticed one lonely sheep, perhaps expecting a lamb,

And further along we saw the rest of the flock and one proud sheep with her lambs.

A most pleasant walk in the woods, despite the confinement.

Kourosh


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Planting bulbs the hard way

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This pot has lain since May of 2014 just to satisfy my curiosity.  I had noticed daffodils appearing in the garden where I thought they had not been planted but at the same time I doubted whether they would self-seed.

Bee approaches daffodil.jpg

I have read that bees are not attracted to daffodils but that will depend on the bees, the availability of other flowers and of course the variety of daffodil.

bee-in-daffodil

These pictures were taken in March of 2013, before we started keeping honey bees so I cannot answer for their tastes in nectar or pollen.

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I do find that some of the daffodils go to seed so in May of 2014 I decided to plant some of the seeds.

bumble-in-tulip

In addition, the bumble bees are attracted to the tulips although some of them make very inelegant exits from inside the tulips, like this red tailed queen bumble bee.  So I also had seeds of a pretty pink tulip to sow with the daffodils.

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Just to make up a threesome, I had noticed that the snakeskin fritillaria (Fritillaria meleagris) had masses of seeds so their seeds went in the pot too.

The fritillaria had been sown for the first time in the autumn of 2013 and flowered abundantly the following spring.  That was the last time I saw them.  I am not sure whether our hot, dry summers killed off the young plants or whether I had not loved them enough while they were flowering.

bulbs-revealed

The seeds in my pot from 2014 had produced green leaves last year but I felt they would need to be planted out this year.  So with a heave I upturned the pot to see what was happening.

bulb-close-up

You must have faith in me here, as the photo is not clear, but there were masses of fritillaria bulblets (top left), six long, thin but very well rooted tulip bulbs (eight seeds had been planted originally) and lots of little daffodil bulblets.

I don’t like planting bulbs but here I was now with lots of little fritillaria bulblets (that I am not particularly keen on) but now I feel totally obliged to give them at least a chance to grow in with the little daffodil bulbs in a patch at the bottom of the garden.

The six pink tulip bulbs have received a preferential treatment and been replaced with new soil in the pot.

So why do I do it?  Just to be sure?  It is so much easier to pick up a bag of bulbs all ready to go.