We have been confined now for one week in the new second general confinement in France. We are allowed to go food shopping and attend medical appointments. Travelling to work is permitted when it is impossible to fulfill the job by staying connected on the Internet at home. When you do leave home, even for a walk of no longer than 1 kilometer, you should have an “attestation” indicating when you left home and for what reason.
As the cafes and restaurants are closed and visiting is not allowed, it only leaves me gardening and walking.
I have started weeding the front gardens and mulching with the fallen leaves from the garden.
The Persimmon tree leaves are a beautiful colour for the mulch but I have brought barrow loads of leaves from the Liriodendron and other trees in the back garden to fill up the border.
The Ash tree leaves are not so pretty and go in the back borders or the compost.
My three small heathers that I potted up for some winter colour on the patio have already started flowering.
As soon as the flowers open the bees find them. It looks like being a good investment for colour and entertainment.
The Carpenter bees visit the potted lemon tree on the patio and
also visit the Salvia uliginosa which has just about finished flowering in a nearby pot.
The Salvia leucantha has just started opening its white flowers in a big pot on the patio and also in the front garden. Its country of origin is Mexico and I have read that it is not frost hardy but it has survived in the pot that I brought indoors last winter. It has also survived outdoors in the front border where it is flowering now. I gave a division of my plant last autumn to my neighbour Annie, who planted it in her garden in a sunny spot and hers is a now a much larger specimen and is full of flowers.
My yellow buddeleia is still flowering. Attracting butterflies like this Peacock.
And this rather old Red Admiral.
I was given the original cutting by a beekeeper friend who assured me that the bees would be attracted to it. He was right! I prefer it to the lilac buddeleia.
This is what the Kaki or Persimmon flowers look like in May. They are very discrete flowers and you really have to look for them.
It is difficult to imagine that large red or yellow fruit the size of large tomatoes could be difficult to see in a tree – but it is true! Kourosh started his Kaki predictions this year by saying that he was surprised that it was going to be such a poor year as the summer had been warm. Later he changed his mind and announced we would be having enough to have a taste. Then he decided that there was more than he thought.
To cut a long story short, we have been collecting boxes of them. They have been being handed out to friends as they have been gradually harvested and I only wish we had weighed how much the tree has given us this year. Everytime more leaves fell we saw more fruit. Now the tree is bare except for some that we have left for the birds share.
They do not ripen all at once and ripen more slowly in a cool place. This year I have frozen some of the ripe flesh without the skin. I have never done this before but seemingly it is possible.
Our other November fruit is the olives. They can be left for a few days yet but then it will be up to Kourosh to prepare them.