Monday, 30 July 2012


 The Cardoon Cynara cardunculus 'Porto Spineless', is putting out luminous thistle flowers now.  I could eat the leaf stems if I wanted, the Italians love 'em, deep fried, cardi fritti. However, it's too handsome a plant to deconstuct and cook. Same applies to the artichoke below.

The buds of Violette de Provence are opening up. I've watched bees taking off with unfeasibly large pollen sacs, like a weightlifter's legs, after a pollen collecting frenzy from this flower.

Monday, 23 July 2012

High Summer

There's a 'fullness' to everything at this time of year. The Gaura has just taken off with spreading wands nigh on a metre long. I didn't realise how readily it self seeds. After losing a few plants, it's still managed to replace itself.

The sea holly has 'blued' up completely.  In fact there's a lot of blue and mauve in the garden at the moment, best of all a deep blue sky which hasn't made an appearance with the regularity I hoped, expected for the first two weeks of July.

The Feather Reed grass, calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster'  looks great and doesn't 'wash' out in the summer sun. I like it mixed with bronze fennel and the first blooms of aster frikartii 'monch' making an appearance.

Stipa calamagrostis has probably the finest colour in grass. It's there, above, in all it's tawnyness behind the pennisetum 'Karley rose'.

The artichoke buds are starting to open up completely, so flowering isn't far away. In some ways it's almost a shame as they've lost their culinary significance at this stage.

 Another shot of S. calamagrostis, I couldn't get a sharp image as the inflorescences were constantly moving in the light breeze.

 Globe thistle and the thin, bristly flowerheads of  pennisetum macrourum. The pennisetum is in it's first season so it'll need a year or two before reaching a good size.

 Russian sage and buddleja lindleyana 'lochinch'

More globe thistle with echinacea purpurea. Again, I was suprised at how easily the coneflower self seeds.

Finally, the best three euro I spent this Summer. Back in March, I picked up three small plants of blue bacopa at a euro each. They seem to be perfectly happy in their current position and have bulked out at some speed. I much prefer the lavender blue to the white.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Pictorial Meadow Gold

Coreopsis is really ringing the changes as the meadowy area takes on a golden hue. There are seemingly millions of buds about to break open which, with forcast higher temperatures and warm sunshine, should burst out fully by the end of this week.

I think the yellow and mahogany mixed with the white umbels of Ammi majus, the bishop's flower,  gives a warm and cheery feel to the whole area. I prefer this stage than earlier in the season and just hope it lasts a good while.

The gold and yellow looked particularly intense in this morning's light. The only mild dissapointment is that something has eaten all the red orache, but in fairness, with no shortage of 'wee beasties' on hand, I consider that the orache is a small price to pay in the whole scheme of things.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Scotch Thistle

I saw this thistle,  onopodium acanthium, growing in all its magnificence at Pepiniere Lac du Joncs today.

 I've a pot full of seedlings of this plant tucked away in a corner of my terrace, grown from seed sowed back in March. For months it has just sat there, ignored, until today that is, when, with some inspiration I've decided to plant out just two in the garden to the front of La Grande Maison.

Hopefully next year, it'll ascend with all it's architectural spikyness like the one above!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

What's With The Green Roof?

I've somehow always associated 'green' roofs as something to be found in more urban spaces. In fact it always struck me that they were often the preserve of the public sector or wealthy corporations, certainly not the sort of thing I'd expect to come across in a village such as Belvès, pictured above. I just didn't think that it would be something to persue here in the rural Perigord, perhaps not yet....

You can imagine my suprise when Karin, our local Vet, who has just moved into a new building tells me to check out the green roof.

Voila, who'd have thought, beautiful Belvès complete with a Toit Vert.