Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Christmas lights in Sarlat

and shoes made of chocolate

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Nu Shooze - Sedum Palmeri

Can't say that I've actually paid any attention to anything in the garden this last month or so. Too busy tied up in one of a million DIY projects that need to be sorted out. Currently I'm re-fitting two bathrooms, so deep joy.

Anyway, driving through the jaw droppingly beautiful village of Beynac a while back I stopped off to visit a little shop which sells all manner of weird and wonderful metal objects, all handmade, all from re-cycled material. I had to have these boots for planters. Too Ted Hughes 'The Iron Man' to pass up.

I reckon they'll look great stuffed with sedum palmeri. I love this plant, sprawling and with an exotic twang it even seems happy in a frost, the leaves colouring up and tinged with red as the temperature drops.

It roots just for fun. Break a piece off and stick it in the ground, easy. You can have lots of it - fill your boots so as to speak.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Le Lactaire Délicieux

I bought these at Sarlat market this morning.  Lactarius deliciosus, the Saffron Milkcap which sounds infinitely better in French as Lactaire Délicieux. And delicious they are too.

Dinner tonight - roast chicken with a mushroom pilaf and the most chickeny, buttery gravy possible.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Les Cepes du Périgord

There seems to be a glut of the much fêted boletus edulis this Autumn.

They arrived late. August and September were hot, droughty, dusty. Not at all ideal mushroom weather. October has changed all that.

Misty mornings, humid southerlies and heavy downpours..... et voila!

Nearly done for another day, she'll pick more in the morning.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

"Les Automnales" des Jardins de la Brande

Lots of bulbs at these Autumn plant fairs - clever displaying the dried allium flower heads so you can see the size and shape.

Karen and I spent last Sunday afternoon at the Jardins de la Brande, a beautiful nursery which hosts two Fête des Plantes annually.

Lots of interesting characters at these events. I think the two above are brothers, they had stalls displaying every type of sedum and sempervivum imaginable. Suffice to say I think their 'clubbing' days are over however.

More bulbs. The saffron crocus seems to be the thing at the moment. Autumn flowering, it's beautiful for sure, but as for harvesting the stigma, well if you've time, patience and a steady hand then go for it. Pound for pound worth more than gold.

Like a Starfish, the spidery roots of the foxtail lily. I bought five roots of the white himalayan eremurus at 25 euro for the lot.

They like apples and pears down here in Aquitaine. It could be Normandy but with better weather. This carefully arranged table lovingly displayed just about every 'old' or 'heirloom' variety grown in the region, plus apple juice and of course eau de vie!

Insect houses are works of art in themselves. If I was an insect I'd move in - it's compact and bijou.

Finally, more irresistable than an insect house, I had to buy sedum palmerii. I'm a little dubious as to how hardy it is, despite being informed that it can take the fost in this corner of the Perigord. Hmmm?

Monday, 17 September 2012

Box and Yew - Tremolat

Someone is doing a good job of clipping perfect spheres. I love the 'green' in the garden at Le Vieux Logis, a grand old hotel in Tremolat, Dordogne.

Very calm.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Les Merveilles du Jardin de Cadiot

Karen and I spent yesterday afternoon at the gardens of Cadiot. We've not visited this late in the season before and certainly not following two months without any significant rain and temperatures which at times have spiked to the upper end of the 30's.

Just before I was about to publish, I came across this TV clip from Télévision Française, TF1 which shows Cadiot earlier in the year - worth a play!