Spring is advancing very nicely here in the northern most part of the Indre, one of the departments that make up the Central region of France.
Yesterday the Cherries started flowering, adding a white haze to orchards and gardens, already warmed by pink peach blossom. This combination creates a subtly beautiful scene when compared to the vivid colours of Forsythia and Chaenomeles which have dominated garden planting thus far. Interestingly perhaps, only the white cherries are in flower – the pink are nowhere to be seen. Pears and Apples will not be far behind.
The progression of the season is noticeable near ground level as well. Tulips replace Daffodils; Cowslips in their thousands adorn the countryside and on a recent walk we found long lines of hairy, brown caterpillars crossing the forest paths.
Our own modest contribution to all this growth and flower comes in the form of recently planted shrubs, bulbs and herbaceous plants. In the front garden a yellow-leaved form of the flowering current, Ribes sanguinea is attracting attention while in the back our Magnolia stellata is full of flower. Other flowering highlights are the supermarket-bought Tulips and the self-seeded Cowslips.
Cowslips have become rare in the wild in the UK but are abundant here. Primroses however, we hardly see, except in gardens. I have no idea why that should be but I’m very grateful for one out of two!
Not to rest on our laurels, we have installed a propagator in the loft and are busily sowing seeds. There is a tale to tell about this recent purchase and if the seed company I bought it from do not deal promptly with my complaints, all will be revealed.
We are growing a range of vegetables and flowers in this device, which features a small plastic tunnel, a heat mat and a proper thermastatic control system. Its a miniature vesion of a commercial system and should give us great control over the germination environment allowing s to provide ideal temperatures and humidity. More on this later…….
At the Garden Design Academy one of our American students, who had to describe a number of gardens as part of her project work, introduced me to the stunnng Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon. I pass on this web address in case you might be interested too: http://www.japanesegarden.com/