Wednesday, 29 May 2013

 I have been busy trying to do springlike things. As you may know the rain has been deterring many of us from normal routines. I have benefited from my little plastic greenhouse. It's been cold, even in the day, we are still burning wood. The night temperatures are only just hovering above freezing. I have been able to keep the courgettes, aubergines, tomatoes and seedlings alive just. I lost a few purple basil and a couple of other things have given up trying. I took a few photos over the weekend because we had a lovely warm day. The water meadows around us are largely unworked except for a few grazing cows that are usually there only a few weeks of the year. The warm weather brought a flurry of activity around us though, hedgerows were being tidied up and bits burnt. I mow some areas in the hope of creating more of a garden with a few small trees and fruit bushes. I have overgrown my garden beside George's shed. It's become full of things as well as blackcurrants, gooseberries, rhubarb and more flowers. I put a layer of paint on the metal table after scraping off some of the peeling white paint. I'm not a fan of painting everything white so at this stage I just wanted to hide the white. So the table is a dusty pink, all I could find while the sun was out. I am trying to work out how to fit wooden broken slats on old cafe chairs. They have metal studs normally, these rust solid and the wooden slats break off. I also need to find suitable wood to use, they original wood looks like it could be oak. I went to one brocante on Sunday, we had a lovely cross country drive to arrive. I came back a new way and we came across this wonderful, old 2CV. The farm house with the 2 towers is a traditional style.
The lower images are of the exhibition, the light was difficult to take many photos. The work shown is not mine. Mine were in quite dull light so I couldn't really capture them.

Home made cold frame, I must remember to remove the lid when the sun shines it soon overheats.

Bugle, very good plant here, the geese leave it alone and it provides beautiful foliage all year  round, doesn't mind long periods of frost and the flowers are intensely blue. It can be pulled up, split and planted elsewhere to cover dull ground areas. I am beginning to collect different varieties so I can start a small collection. It's related to mint and grows wild here.

I've been playing with the buttons on the camera, I still don't really understand what does what. I like these 2 impressionistic style.
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I'm worried about bees, I have been trying to take photos of all the different kinds, easier in theory especially when my camera seems slower than the bee.
Below are a few photographs from  Differences, the exhibition I took part in. There were many more artists involved too.
Robert Pommery, not very good photo sorry. Do look him up though for better images.

Still Life or Nature Mortes by a dutch artist, I need to check who. J. Makkinga

Bronze Torsos on marble plinths by Anneke Oosterkamp. She works nearby in a tiny hamlet. 

Tiles hand painted. I love the idea of handmade tiles. There was some lovely ones again I need to check who made them.

The view from the school house where the exhibition  was held. Normally  people hang around after the preview chatting in the garden but it was like this all weekend. I was still surprised by the numbers of visitors.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The summer is looking like a distant memory so far. There are holidays this weekend here and it's been constant rain. I have tried to get to a few brocantes but because of the weather some are cancelled or otherwise they a have been very small. I went to one at Cercy La Tour and bought the table above. I will paint it when it dries out a bright colour or layer of different contrasting/ clashing orange and pink. Something that will flake. It has a hole for a parasol for those barmy days and bit of rust around the edges. 15 euros was a very good buy. Otherwise I am looking out for hanging baskets, I bought hats and a wall mounted light for the cottage. Yesterday I saw some great things at the rugby Stade but I walked away. I'm not even sure why I did. I saw a wonderful enamelled coffee pot for 4 euros, they are normally about 25 or 30 here when you see them, not often. It was very pretty too with gold and light blue. I saw a miniature Armoire for 8 and a woodstove for 40. The woodstove was a very pretty green. I think I just couldn't face the idea of carrying it, very heavy things. I only bought a sweet yellow Le Creusot pot and lid. Old jam jars, very safe, brackets for a shelf and 2 traditional soup bowls with handles sticking out the sides. Will add photos.

I found this half drunk bottle of table wine in the cellar. It's old maybe at least 20 years old. The wooden tray is full or pealets. I'm big into container gardening this year. I find digging and weeding just too time consuming. The compost I buy is so cheap it seems a better use of time. Otherwise I am off to collect my paintings from down the road. There was an exhibition in the local old school building this weekend. I went to the preview and the only comment I managed to hear was the style is very English!! I'm not sure what this means. I think the preview was a bit more of a social. There was lots of people mostly in the bar area. I did meet some people whose gardens I have been admiring now for a while. They have peacocks, chickens,donkeys dogs and cats! A small zoo. I'm also excited because I was invited to call by. 

A little village sale near Maux

pot garden

Evening light across the village showing one of my neighbours trees. We have  lots of blossom, few bees  though to pollinate the fruit. My strawberry plants are in full flow and there seems to be many flowers. We need a lot more sun though.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

We set off to try and find a washing Machine. Our present one has died. It's actually quite difficult finding one. We had to drive to Nevers and although a very pleasant journey across the countryside it was a bit disapointing. We found the shop and walked around a bit. The electromenagement department has shrunk and there was only one machine suitable. We waited around a bit and then had to go back to the front desk the lady phoned back to the washing machine dept. We walked back and waited for Vincent. He arrived and when we said we wanted the machine he said we'd have to order it and return to take it away ourselves in a few days time. No deliveries to our village or any village. We drove home and I stopped to take photographs in Tamnay en Bazois. I love the way this Lilac is being wrestled by a splendid Wisteria. I also like things in pots at the moment. You can just see someone has hooked long plant filled containers on ladders.

Washing Machine ad on a wall. 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Reposes vos Roues

Here is a link to the garden on display at The RHS Malvern Spring Garden show in my home town Malvern also famous for Elgar, Morgan cars, bottled water and Hills.

For those of you who missed this program, not sure if it's possible to watch in all countries.

Do let me know if not. It's a very short clip.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The greenhouse brought back from my travels. Funny how I have photographed it sitting upright while the reality of this image is that only the greenhouse is lop sided.

I saw Gardener's World last night filmed from The Malverns', my hometown.I recognised the pub The King's Arms at Hanley Castle and the designer of the garden Boathouse N09. Mark Eveleigh. He used an old boathouse from Cleveloade as his central theme and had a decaying boat hull. Planting included stinging nettles among other things with a view to gentle reclamtion by nature. I haven't been able to find any really good images yet but I'm sure they will be appearing. Otherwise there is another sweet garden on display, Deposes vos Roues. It includes café tables and old cycles again, spot mine above. Then old buckets and the like for herbs, lavender. Again I am there. The other thing the French styled garden had was a knarled Olive. I'm a bit high up for one of these in the mountains. The company Vilaggio Verde, based again within a cycle ride to my childhood home, Martley buys trees destined for the fire as the land owners are offered newer, more productive trees. Again the trees can be kept in a big pot. I suggested my sister might like one in her little Bristol garden.

Not exactly a boat shed but still. I have been trying to organise my new shed arriving, it is taking some time. It has wheels.

These Gogets were hung from the belt with water in. The water was used to dip a grinding stone in to sharpen the sickle. 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Goget Coffin

I have been wondering what this object might be for quite a while now. I have discovered what it was used for so I wondered if any body else wonders too. I will give you the answer shortly.

Monday, 6 May 2013

May 1st Fete. They have these Green iridescent black Indian Running Ducks each year. 

Unfortunately it was very stormy here and after an hour or so there was a big storm that concluded the fete early. I bought a few plants including a Chaenomales in vibrant pink/orange. They are everywhere here so I know they are hardy. 

Permaculture open garden above Autun. I bought a few tomato plants for my new greenhouse, Aubergines and courgettes and squash. 


The view towards Autun.