Our little farm and garden was a bit left on its own in May but despite the drought, then bad frost for 3 nights and another periode of dryness, almost everything looks good again now. However, my old horse gets very slow and looks in pain and the vet came for to give her some injections. I hope she can last for a bit longer.
We could bring the hay harvest in - perfectly dry and the whole house smells now of fresh hay. Some hours later, rain started and we have had plenty of heavy rainfalls since EG has left for his business trip to Egypt. Due to the last two days of thunder and lightning, the chocolate dog ran out of hiding places and could not stop shivering.
Today seems to be a lot cooler and quieter though and it is time for a G.I.T. (Garden Inspection Tour). Come and see:
For the first time, this tree peony has been able to develop its buds. We had 8 stunning magenta flowers!
The first roses appeared in the front garden, top left Louise Odier, top right Pax, bottom left Sombreuil and bottom right Home Sweet Home.
Once the foxgloves are in bloom, the garden is overwhelmed by all kind of flying insects. Hélas, no honey bees could arrive yet and the project had to be postponed.
This agapanthus was rescued by EG from a compost heap in Madeira, travelled home with us in the suitcase and turns out to be .... white :-0.
The "grotto hill" gives us plenty of joy as there are so many different perennials developping there.
I am not the only one loving Lychnis. The voles, these *number-one-ennemies* of the garden, did pull all of them down which were growing in the 'northern embankment'. I suppose it is because they are evergreen and nice and juicy in winter. Obviously, no vole lives actually in the grotto hill.
One variety the voles do not touch are hardy geraniums. At last, the garden is now populated with all kind of different cranesbill. I lost count now, how many of them grow here.
In the same way as the bees are inspecting every hatch of the foxgloves I will never get tired to make pictures of them.
On top above is one of my best pair in the front garden: Hebe's lip and Philadelphus. Not only they flower at the same time, they also welcome everybody at the entrance gate with fantastic fragrance.
The pink one below might be Comte de Chambord with a very nice perfume and my ever preferred fragrance (together with Mme. Isaac Pereire) is of Sombreuil, the white rose on the bottom right.
When going for a G.I.T., the wee cat and the dog will join.
I often break one of the fragrant rose in full bloom and have a sniff on it every minute - or so. There are no better drugs in this world :-).
If you wonder what is the flower on the bottom right picture, it is Thalictrum 'Black Stockings'. Thalictrums are growing easily in our garden and are perfect because they are tall, stay upright even on the embankment, are very hardy and flower beautifully and attract bees. The best is, that voles don't have them on their diet :-).
The blue on top is one of my Penstemons which have survived the hard winter conditions. All species from the UK have almost no chance here.
For the very first time EG showed me this visitor: the Purple Emperor. I did not even know its name in any other language because I had never seen such a beauty before. Btw. the bumble bee is visiting a geranium thurstonianum.
This brand new beauty is geranium Midnight Clouds. The leaves are dark and well shaped and it looks very good even when not flowering.
Here is a first geranium selection - top left to right Sherwood, Striatum or Apfelblüte, Wargrave Pink, bottom left to right Trevor's White, Striatum or Apfelblüte and the last is an oxonianum but I must look up its label, sorry.
This is one of my favourite combinations in the 'south embankment'. The rose was bought as "quatre saisons" but it is of this dark magenta whilst "quatre saisons" is pale. Behind is Lysimachea Firecracker. I love the dark foliage but I cut off the yellow flowers when they open as it disturbs my camera's eye ;-).
Top left to right: This is behind the grilli kota Geranium t'Stich with foxgloves and linaria, then home grown Canterbury Bell, Geranium Splish Splash, bottom left Geranium Phaeum (mourning widow) and on the right rose Souvenir de Madame Auguste Charles.
Top left: Geranium Patricia, Thurstonianum (without bee :-)) and Splish Splash again.
Please sit down with me at the end of the tour and enjoy the view and sniff again on that rose which accompanied our walk around. (Abraham Darby)
P.S. Debbie, you are in my mind.
lundi 6 juin 2011
My beautiful, lovely lady, my wonderful mother-in-law is gone.
I was blessed to know her and I was honoured to stay some of her last days and nights with her. She showed me then her very first "lettre sentimentale" she had received from a smart French young man in 1940 when she was 16 years old, it was the year when her own mother died. His name was Prosper and amongst the lines was this sentence: "vous étiez si mignonne dans votre uniforme et j'adore votre sourire. Je me réjouis de vous revoir samedi prochain".
She certainly never lost that beautiful smile she had first given to him.
R.I.P. ma chère Lilian. Tu me manques.