Monday, 19 April 2010

Hectic stuff

We're busy people at the moment. The season's fast approaching and there's a million and one things to do, the 'mother' of all snagging lists!

The Thyme is fast filling out in the wall.

Decided to plant strawberries in the large urn. The fruit should look great as it trails down. This is an old French variety calles Anais, taste test to follow.

Pots of Bacopa. Kinda into white flowers at the moment, that includes the strawberry blooms.

240,000 Cosmos seedlings potted on. Well it felt like it. The varieties are Picotee and Rose.

Below is a masterclass in loafing. Growing in the large planter is Convolvulus mauritanicus.

Divisions of Pheasant grass, Stipa calamagrostis. This grass multiplies like crazy.

Deep, almost burgundy red Perlagonium. I wasn't convinced I'd grow any this year but I fell for the colour. Come high summer this plant will be overflowing with blooms just below the barn window

So that's a quick reccy of this and that. The alarm's set for an early start tomorrow.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


I think it's fair to say that the French take pride in the appearance of their railway stations. Often they're beautiful 19th century buildings with a slightly grand feel about them even when situated at quieter outposts such as my local station here in Les Eyzies.

I'd kept meaning to post this photograph taken a few summers back, and by the same token had intended to photo a lot of the local stations to me as they're all so well dressed and who can argue? It's not a bad view that, looking back over the tracks through blue Russian sage Perovskia, together with blooming Crepe Myrtle which the French call 'Lilas des Indes'.

The French railways, SNCF are currently re-laying large areas of new track. The landscaper's dream material, sleepers, are available everywhere and I kid you not, I picked up thirty for an absolute song.

The land pictured below is behind La Grande Maison and was at one time completely overgrown with brambles, nettles and horsetail. A few years back Karen and I cleared it, together with a further two areas which are effectively terraces which lead down to the river. Sadly, as we painstakingly revealed and cleaned the stone wall a large area on the right collapsed and we had to 'earth' it up to secure it. The plan is to cut steps into it using the sleepers as risers and treads which will give an easy descent down to the river.

When we'd finished clearing the area I simply grass seeded all the levels. This was the quick option and the lawn rapidly smothered many weeds which coupled with weekly mowing has weakened the horsetail and brambles to the point they've practically given up.

Eventually we may create a garden here, but in truth it's natural beauty is garden enough.