Thursday, September 24, 2009

Autumn? Summer? Autumn?.. Plus my giveaway winner!

On Monday and Tuesday it continued raining - the first rain the garden has enjoyed since we were away camping in late July. The washing machine stayed off and I anxiously watched the weather forecasts for the next drying day. Thus it was that I had a load of summer clothes ready to go out on this rather autumnal line yesterday morning... The forecasts promised sunny weather, but the early-morning garden seemed in full autumn-mode, so I took the camera for a tour. The last bunch of grapes remains netted on the vine, waiting for Ben to get back from the UK - I want to share it with him! He's the one who found the vine sprawling across the ground when we moved in, and cleared it from the patio stones below, building this pergola for it all to grow over. He deserves a share of the last bunch of the season.
His lines of vegetables have seen a few tumbles due to high winds, but they are still very fruitful.
The purple beans are far better than green ones, in that they have a much longer period of being edible. Sadly, they turn green when cooked, but they look stunning in a salad! And look what's lurking below... Away from the potager, Ben planted some decorative gourds over the stump of our poor old acacia. This is a Crown of Thorns gourd, although the French call it a Devil's Crown, which I don't much like...The same pack of seeds has produced this plant with a green Crown of Thorns, too. The gourds will be great for creating some autumn displays around the garden - who's seen October Country Living?
The fuchcia was here when we moved in too, but it was completely crammed against the wall by a large and inappropriately-placed bush. We hauled the bush out of the ground after some heavy rain a few years ago, and replanted it successfully. Now the fuchia has free-rein in my shady garden, even thriving amongst the scaffolding!This is the part of the garden where the workmen are, how shall we put it, busy? No, busy would be too much. There are frenetic periods of activity and then a lot of nothing, but somehow it's all getting done...This is what they've been replacing - the old, rotting timbers of our front patio roof have been replaced by an artisan-made frame with brick pillars. How's that for buying handmade, folks? More photos to follow...All my pots have been gathered up away from the patio and pillars, and are clustered between the hedge and the swimming pool. That's 'grass' they're sitting on. It's what a lawn looks like in the south of France if you're not prepared to use a sprinkler. We have plans for more environmentally sensitive alternatives...
Round at the front fence, built and planted to screen the pool by Ben and the boys this springtime, the cosmos is producing seeds. Elizabethd has a veritable menagerie eating her cosmos seeds up in Brittany, but, try as we might, we're not seeing anything coming to ours...In Somerset, Ben grew up with blackberry season at the same time as his birthday - on Monday this year. Over here, the blackberries are ripe in early July and at their best, so long as they're near water, in mid August. This rather welcome interloper in our garden shows you what they look like now - either shrivelled or gone. It does seem optimistic to still be producing flowers!This is what happened to our poor acacia tree. It does look good with all the lichen though, doesn't it? I feel it's just about ready for a County Living photoshoot, if only we add a wholesome young lady or a few artfully placed berries and gourds...Artfully-placed berries? Country Living photos? Can I have been influenced? Our little downstairs loo is very autumnal in colour, and seeing as the resident fern barely survived the summer, I am building up a display of vintage bottles and berries to match the tiles.The handthrown vase from Ele at a Bit of Pink Heaven sits very snuggly among them all, I think. Tune in tomorrow to see if I have a bit of luck with some French Vintage Apothecary's bottles, by the way. I am not teasing, Liz, I am just in the dark myself - the Troc Shop refused to sell them to me today, because the vendor hadn't set a price! Mustn't think about it too much... Won't sleep...Some of them have hand-written labels, you know...
g
Stop! Moving swiftly on, I was inspired to put on this lovely, looks -like-handmade-but-actually-cost-1-euro-in-a-Clare's-Accessories-deal, autumn necklace. Well, I won't be doing any more of THAT kind of shopping for a year!
So there it was, autumn. Today it was 30 degrees and this evening we were so hot and sticky that it wasn't pleasant to touch (it doesn't help having stinky boys, of course).
And on that delicate note, the winner of my two French homes and gardens magazines is Sharie, from Sharie's View to the Hill. Do pop on over and see why these two are going to a good home!

21 comments:

Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

Your pumpkins and gourds are WONDERFUL! What a lovely garden you have! =)))

lou said...

I loved every one of your autumn pictures! You are lucky; it is my dream too live in France.

Love Lou xxx

Sarah said...

You are sooo going to look gorgeous in your loo with that necklace on Floss!!! I would want to spend a great deal of time in there. I thought it was a photo from one of your mags at first. Very nice indeed! You know all this computer work? isn't getting my sewing done now is it? I'm terrible!!

Manka said...

I enjoyed watching your nice pictures, Floss.

Catherine said...

I love the necklace BUT I"M NOT ALLOWED TO BUY IT! (sounds of loud wailing!!)
I love your harvest photos especially your pumpkins

Michela said...

Oh I've just realized where the October CL pictures have been taken! Your garden looks so lovely, French,random and chic!
I think we're at the same latitude,here the weather is very hot too and yesterday morning it was very misty as in Toulouse (well...near Toulose...and near Venice!)

Lucy Pursglove-Jones said...

Oh my goodness Floss, what wonderful pictures! It looks beautiful where you are. The necklace is great. x

Itch2stitch.com said...

I love the look of your garden and your veggies look a bit more successful than mine! Looks fab where you live! Suzie. xxx

The Curious Cat said...

Oh! Your garden looks great and I am so jealous of your pretty orange pumpkin lurking below! Wish I'd told my mum to grow pumpkins this year now! Still...the US beckons in 4 weeks where there will be pumpkins galore!!!! xxx

Ashley said...

I love your garden! It looks great even as it is winding down for Autumn. My garden didn't get much love from me this year but luckily my 2 huge trees look beautiful anyway.
I also love that necklace.

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

I do like Autumn being in the air! Your vegetables are looking good.
I really like your display of branches with the different bottles! Very nicely done.
I recognise those magazines, I sometimes buy them when I visit my relatives.
Have a lovely weekend
Bye for now from an overcast and nippy Mendip Hills in Somerset!
Isabelle x

Rose Charles said...

Hi Floss,

Your garden is looking lovely, full of ready to harvest goodies! It has been really warm here in the UK the last few days (and is supposed to continue in to the weekend). Makes a change for autumn weather to be better than summer!

Have a great weekend :-)

Rose XXX

6p00e54eef7a1e8834 said...

Good luck with the Apothecary Bottles! They sound like real treasures! (I have a huge weakness for old bottles.) And, thank you for your suggestions on my blog. I may play around with it again today when I have a moment. :)

~ Jennifer

Serenata said...

Love the gourds - I used to grow those in NZ and make maracca's out of them! We had a swimming pool like yours as well, the boys loved it, but didn't want to help with the maintenance of it - typical! Thank you for your lovely comments about my blanket. :-)

Lululiz said...

Yeah right, sure, not teasing at all, waah, APOTHECARY BOTTLES!!!With handwritten labels and all. You are cruel. I was going to say that I love your garden piccies, but I am not going to now.

PS - I suppose I will keep my fingers crossed for you though. Firmly. I might even try the toes, too.

Jennifer Juniper said...

I'm feeling very guilty about my poor neglected garden after viewing your photos!

Florence and Mary said...

Have a great weekend!

Victoria xx

Kate said...

Hi Floss
I've just noticed how much blue you have on your blog, you must really really love blue lol.
I've been busy collecting lovely things for you, and just to let you know I re launched my blog today if you'd like a little look.
sewpatchwork@blogspot.com
speak soon
Kate x

Duchess of Tea said...

Hello darling and thank you so much for visiting me and for the kind words you left behind, much appreciated. Luv, I am not shocked that you never had a chance to visit Betty’s , I do hope ; however, that the opportunity will arise for you in the future to visit it. It’s my favourite place to take tea. Everything at Betty’s is delicious and the tea is to die for. I usually buy packages and take them home to last me for several months. I am so glad you stopped by and I am looking forward to tea and talk with you in the future. I have already joined your followers and now I am going to add your blog to my blog list.

Love & Hugs
Duchess

Melanie said...

The berries in the bottles look so pretty, what a great idea! xxx

Sonja said...

Greetings, Floss! Many thanks for stopping by my spot. Your blog is so lovely, I will be checking in often. That little necklace would be soooo hard for me to pass up on this challenge! I'd ask my hub to buy it and call it a gift. Oh, but I guess that's cheating? :) Have a wonderful day.