Marqueyssac

Marqueyssac is a truly inspiring garden. Found on a dramatic rocky hill it is definitely worth a visit and is a very popular stop on our garden tours.

 

Japanese Influence

It is possibly the French love of order and topiary that draws them to Japanese styled gardens. They certainly lend an air of peace and look good  all year.

Squash Season

At this time of year squashes in all their forms are very popular and are repeatedly used in both savoury and sweet dishes. We love the wonderful shapes, sizes and colours as well as appreciating their versatility.

Garden Gate


There are delightful rustic gates to be found in some of the gardens. They cause the visitor to stop and wonder at what lies behind and then entice us to wander through.

 

Dordogne Valley in May

The Dordogne valley is a beautiful place to visit in May. The countryside is lush, the flower markets are in full swing and the sun is warm enough to enjoy outdoor living.

 

Topiary +

Jardin d'Abelaide also makes good use of the buxus plant creating topiary on the steepest of slopes.

 

Topiary

We have arrived at the time of year when the buxus plant comes into its own. After a long dry summer the flower gaden is looking somewhat faded but the buxus still looks good. At the Jardin de Beauchamp it gives shape and form to the garden.

 

Jardin de Beauchamp

We have discovered a very good garden and nursery in nearby Lot et Garonne called the Jardin de Beauchamp. Loosely based on an oriental  design it was a wonderfully peaceful way to spend an autumn afternoon.

 

Potager in central Cahors

I love the way the French will plant a potager whenever and wherever possible. There is one to be found in cenrel Cahors outside one of buildings that must have been connected to the church.

 

Star of Zanzibar

The beautiful 'Star of Zanzibar' tropical water-lily we bought  from the famed Latour-Marliac nursery has flowered wondefully this summer. Now in its second year it has made good growth in the new larger tub so hopefully next year will be ready to move into the newly puchased water-trough.

Parched Earth

The glorious summer continues but unfortunately with very little rain. The ground is very parched but with the occassional use of the hosepipe we are managing to keep the flower beds blooming.

 

A road island potager

When we were in Bergerac this week we were delighted to come across a small 'road'island' that was planted as a potager. The vegetables looked very healthy and tempting to eat and were watered by a gentle cascade coming from a grass umbrella! Truly novel.

 

An inspiring 'Potager'.

As part of our determination to seek-out new gardens and places of interest we visited the Jardins de Pouthet near Eymet in the Dordogne which is classified as a "Jardin Remarquable". Like many houses of importance in France Pouthet was not easy to find but, having ignored the Private sign, we drove up the house to be met by the owner who was charming and only too happy to show us her 'Potager' or vegetable garden which she lovingly created in 1996.

The garden is structured around four squares ( carres in French ) each with a different colour and containing a mix of vegetables and flowers which provides balance and interest. There is also a separate herb garden which is on raised beds and built in a medieval style.


The house which is a "chartreuse" with lateral towers is stunning and dates from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Documents show that the Pouthet family, who were probably protestants, owned a house on the site back in the sixteenth century. One of thewings was burned down and the ‘new’ ancient tower replicates the Chateau in Eymet.

The Flower Market season arrives

May is a month of great excitement for us gardeners as villages across the area hold special flower markets where nurserymen exhibit their wonderful plants. Very much an occassion, friends gather to chat and share plant knowledge leaving with bags and boxes of flowers and plants. Exotic plants such as bouganvillea and oleander stand with the favourite geraniums and fuschias and glorious scented roses complete a colourful scene. The beautiful ancient stone buildings are a perfect backdrop and complete the picture.

The very dry and warm spring has meant many of the plants are ahead in terms of flowering and the cherry trees are laden with the best fruit since 2006. Farmers are worried that there may not be enough rain for the famed plums but at the moment we are enjoying the scent from the roses and the tilia trees.


FGA - February Blog

Goodness, just as we were anticipating an early spring the arctic winds have arrived bringing snow and -12c temperatures at night. The picture shows our small lake. How do our wild ducks survive these conditions? The snow may provide a dramatic landscape with brilliant sunshine during the day but many of our plants and bulbs were beginning to bud. We had started to transplant some plants but wait to see what damage there is when conditions improve. Gardening and planting in our immediate area is difficult at the best of times because of the poor soil and nature is not always kind. Good thing we have the warmth of logs fires and a couple of glasses of red wine in the evening. We are also busy planning our garden tours for this year and looking forward to the warmth of spring and long summer days.