Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Jardin en Fete - Neuvic

Venues rarely get better than this. The annual garden fete,  Jardin en fête, at the Chateau de Neuvic is always a great day out. Karen and I spent a few hours last Sunday wandering around the magnificent grounds trying to avoid making impulse purchases (never easy) and generally just appreciating the the whole event.

I think this is a Banks' rose, and where better to grow one than up the side of your chateau - right?

Below is the view out of the cavernous, vaulted dining room where we had lunch. I didn't get a good internal shot so this one will have to do.

We were on a mission however.

Like the Vulture above?  We love the sculptures created by Bill Carter. All are made from either old farm or garden implements and they look superb.

So we bought a Rooster. How cool is he?  Head from secateurs, keys for a chin, axe head for a chest, scythe blades for a feathery tail. We love him standing guard down by the river here at Le Banquet.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

April's rhythm

 Any day now there will be a green explosion. The other side of the valley hums with just a suggestion of vert - next week it'll be cloaked. Today's 30 degree heat just upped the pace a little, it's all change.

The cardoon's romping away and I fear it's going to be too big for its space. It's leaves have doubled in size over the last week or so.

The meadow area is ready. I borrowed a friend's rotovator to till the soil. So much easier than with a spade as last year. Seeds were broadcast last Thursday, hopefully an even distribution, and already there is evidence of germination with just a tinge of green  starting to appear. My only concern are some patches of bindweed to which I can do only so much to control.

Almost daily, the 'rosettes' of Scotch thistle, onopordum acanthium enlarge. They're going to be big and with an impressive vertical extent. Thistly brutes with the best purple thistle heads. 

Fattening 'fingers' of delosperma and the swelling foliage of sedum are filling out at a pace.  Summer is poised.

To be continued...

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Feu de Printemps

A perfectly apt name for the rougest of rouge sempervivum. And 'Fire of Spring' is certainly that, positively enraged. It's the cool mornings which help the colour, well maybe, it's certainly true of the reddened tips of Sedum palmeri, so I filled my boots - literally.

I also tucked in a couple of the Crassula family. 'Moonstones' on the left and possibly 'Mother of Pearl' on the right, I'm not too sure, it was never labelled, though it's a good guess.

Anyway, it's nice to be outside and doing garden things. My recent garden and blogging hiatus is a result of me getting everything ready for the Summer holiday season. It's always a busy time, though this year is a little manic as there are loads of loose ends that need tying up.

I picked up a few pots of Opuntia humifusa at the Monsieur Willy de Wilde's really pretty perfect Pepiniere Lac du Joncs.  Perhaps not everybody's cup of tea, but I like the prickly pear. I see them occasionally when out and about, often growing across the top of a stone wall or other such inhospitable environments.

So, after six weeks or so of neglect, the focus is back on Le Jardin and there's plenty to do, so onwards.

PS. The sempervivum pictured left of 'Feu de Printemps' is called 'Othello'. Another cracking name!