Foxglove and Aquilegia are springing up everywhere

Something I alway try to do whenever I can, is sprinkle seeds. Flowers always make thousands of them. So at the end of their season in my garden or in anyone else’s, I take whatever I can and just go around in my garden or in the woods, in the kind of places I want things to grow, and sprinkle them around. (Fabrice usually helps because the mood’s joyful and it’s a lovely thing to do.)

The year after, or even the year after that, there are usually some surprises. Like these two lovely plants (in the photograph above) just in front of the step of our tiny caravan. I almost dug them out because they were in the way, but everyone (even the dogs) have managed to step round them, thanks to two well-placed sticks.

The nice thing about spreading seeds around is that once the seeds have grown into established plants they set their own seed you get even more surprises !

Path through the garden to the chicken house

potager, hardworkinghippy, organicThis part of the potager is ready now for summer veg. I’ve run out of space here (I keep planting pretty inedible things – I can’t help it !) so I’ve started moving the potager out a bit toward’s Peggy’s park. I might even claim her first park and we’ll make her another big one further into the woods for Autumn and she can eat the acorns and chestnuts. (Peggy’s our pig and although we’d never suggest keeping only one pig, it turned out that way when she lost her litter of piglets.)

That’s the plan. But… we’ve got so much to do at the moment that it’s difficult to do important things when so many things are urgent. Our follies are on hold, which is a shame because at this time of the year creativity for planting and deciding about where to put/make things is at it’s height.

I’ve grown a lot of things from seed, but I was very late starting to plant them. So to get early vegetables, I’ve decided to buy some plants from a friend. He grows good varieties, he’s Bio (Organic) and sells bread and a few plants in Vergt market every Friday. More details (Advertising even!) will appear on the right side of the blog when I get a minute to sort that out.

We’ve another potager down at the cabin with loads of space and running water where we grow Peggy’s food and lots of things for bottling, but I do like being able to just pop out for half an hour or so in this garden, to do a wee bit here and and a wee bit there when I’m going to get something or when I’m collecting eggs. (Usually on the way back, when I’ve got a jumperfull…!!)

Lady Banks rose (Rosa banksiae lutea) in flower

Rosa banksiae lutea, rose, climbing rose, hardworkinghippy, BourrouI know this is not really supposed to be a gardening blog, but one of the most important things in my life is growing things and I have to show you what this rose (planted only four years ago) looks like when it’s in full bloom.

The idea for planting the rose on this bank was Andrew’s, a friend of Fabrice’s, who is a professional gardener in the UK and visits us regularly. I was looking for this rose for ages, then finally Yan (The spice man) sourced it for me from Issigeac Market.

The rose doesn’t have much perfume, and only blooms once a year, but that’s compensated for by it’s lovely shiny, almost evergreen leaves, spreading habit and thornless stems. The Lady Banks rose is usually very long-lived. There’s a white one in Arizona which was Planted in 1885 with cuttings from a”Lady Banksia Rose” that had been sent from Scotland, the tree was first declared the “world’s largest” in the late 1930’s and has only continued to grow since then.

The canopy of this bush-cum-tree now covers nearly 5,000 feet of space and is elevated from the ground by a series of wooden and steel supports. You can see a video of the rose in this link here :  the largest Rose in the world  It has a spread of 740m², and a trunk circumference of over 4m.

If you click on the photograph, you’ll see more pics of our rose’s development.

Chez nous it’s Wisteria week !

The photographs in this post are of the Wisterias we’ve planted at the new house over the past five years. I think they are one of the essential ingredients in a romantic garden.

All of ours come from the same mother plant which I brought as a cutting from the UK 16 years ago and which is now entwined around our original gloriette at the cabin. Here’s an interior view of the amazing trunk (Pleated when it was young enough to be supple.) which I imagine is now holding up the whole wooden structure.


Unfortunately, the original lost all her flower buds to a bad frost in the valley a couple of weeks ago, but these cuttings, growing in the milder area up the hill at the new house are a joy to behold – the perfume is really intoxicating.

The goat shed is covered in it Wisteria everywhere!
The chicken shed too Wisteria on the chicken shed 2007A misty morning in April with Wisteria

The trees are full of it Wisteria flowering after three years

The chickens love it.Garden wisteria near the home-made goat house

…and this up and coming four year-old specimen will grace the exterior of our new terrace one day. Here’s hoping the chestnut uprights (planned for the job) are strong enough to support it in it’s glorious maturity.

Wisteria close up

First flowers of Lady Banks rose

Everything’s moving in the garden.

The weather’s been wonderful and we’re having a lot of surprises and seeing old friends coming to life to welcome spring. This rose is one of my favourites. It was planted just three years ago and it has spread to almost cover the bank leading up to the gloriette. There are thousands of buds and they’ll be open next week. I can hardly wait for the show!

As Peggy (our sow) has been cleaning up the land at the back of the house, we’ve been finding roots which are too lovely to burn, so we’ve used them to line the paths leading down to the little caravan.

In between planting, cleaning up the garden and building, we’ve been looking aound at how things are shaping up in the garden. The Kerria Japonica there is in full bloom this week. The flowers have lasted for ages, probably because they’re in the shade for much of the day. There are hundreds of foxgloves pushing up ready for the early summer show. They shed millions of seeds and I spread them in the woods and all around the back of our garden in between the trees.

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