Posts filtered by tags: Garden Flowers Plants[x]



I think this is a variety of hellebore, but I'm not sure. I didn't plant them, they come up in our neighbor's garden across the road. When they're not at their vacation house, Ken and I will often walk through their grassy property with Tasha, partly to keep an eye on things and partly to vary our route, especially when the vineyard road is a muddy mess. Hellebores are "hellébores" in French. That makes it easy to remember. But there's no mud to speak of right now. A week of dry weather, with ...
Tags: Travel, Ken, WCS, Tasha, Our Neighborhood, Garden Flowers Plants


These red tulips pop up on the south-facing end of our house every year. They were already here when we moved in almost seventeen years ago. We didn't see them until spring of 2004, though. So here they are this year, looking pretty healthy. I have a special affinity for tulips. My home town was a Dutch colony, founded way back in 1609 when Henry Hudson sailed up the river. Before that it was part of Mohican (as in "Last of the...") territory. Since 1948, the city has held an annual Tulip Festiv...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Henry Hudson, Garden Flowers Plants

More primroses

Our morning low temperatures are flirting with zero (freezing) right now. So far, we've stayed above freezing. I've seen no evidence of the grape growers putting out smudge pots or burning hay bales to fight against a freeze. Yesterday, I heard the helicopter-like sound of big fans blowing in the distance, but not many vineyards around us are so equipped. Purple primevères in a neighbor's yard. Meanwhile, we're still enjoying the spring bloom. Trees, shrubs, and bulbs are putting on their annu...
Tags: Travel, Weather, WCS, Our Neighborhood, Garden Flowers Plants


One of our neighbors has a nice little flower bed in her garden near the road. Right now, these daffodils are blooming. They're a multiple-head variety that, from what I can find on the internet, are called "bride." I think they're quite striking and I'm tempted to look for some next fall. If I can remember. Bride daffodils (I think) in a neighbor's garden. We've been keeping Bert closed up indoors for two nights now, closing off the access to the garage for the other neighborhood cats that ar...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Bert, Our Neighborhood, Garden Flowers Plants


These are the catkins and tiny new leaves on one of our birch trees. The few days of warm, sunny weather we had helped a lot of the neighborhood trees to start leafing out. The red maples out front are covered with fat buds and are actually beginning to flower now. Fruit trees all around are in bloom, and our apples blossoms are starting as well. Catkins and tiny fresh birch leaves. I see that the forecast is calling for light morning freezes on Tuesday and Wednesday. I wonder if the grape gr...
Tags: Travel, Weather, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

Muscari patch

Our patch of muscari (grape hyacinth) out by the driveway is looking nice right now. This hastily snapped photo doesn't really do it justice. There are a few daffs out there, too. You can see Tasha's worn path on the lower right. Grape hyacinth, daffodils, and some tulips that haven't flowered yet. Around one o'clock this morning, Bert got up went downstairs as he often does. For some reason I got up and followed him. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I was surprised to see two black cats...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Bertie, Bert, Tasha, Garden Flowers Plants, Muscari

An abundance of chervil

The chervil patch is happy. It reseeded itself last fall when the plants bolted and now it has come back again. It seems to do this twice a year, when the weather is cool and wet. We're not using as much as we should, so we need to make an effort. Chervil has a subtle anise taste, similar to tarragon but not as strong. In my opinion, it's best raw, in salads or as a garnish. Chervil, or cerfeuil in French, looks a little like parsley and tastes a little like tarragon. Yesterday we decided to c...
Tags: Travel, France, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

Hi ya, hyacinth!

These are some hyacinths that I transplanted many, many years ago to this location. I think it might have been between 2006 and 2008. They have filled in and are looking good. On the other side of the shrub there are daffodils. Some of them were in this spot when we arrived, others I've transplanted. The daffs are not as numerous as they used to be, so maybe some fresh bulbs this fall will help. Hyacinth, yes, but not Boo-Kay. More and more things are getting postponed or cancelled all around ...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Bert, Tasha, Garden Flowers Plants


Our forsythia is on the left and a neighbor's is on the right. I'm sure there are more somewhere in the hamlet, but they're not easily seen from the road. The forsythia add some bright spots of color to the neighborhood this time of year. So, we're self-quarantining. Well, not really. We've just decided to minimize contact with the outside for a while. Not difficult for me, as I've only gone out of the neighborhood twice in a month. We've been to the grocery store, have a well-stocked pantry, ...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Macron, Tasha, Our Neighborhood, Garden Flowers Plants

Red Russian

That's the variety of kale that Ken planted in the vegetable garden last spring. It grew beautifully but, just before we could harvest, it was attacked by flea beetles. The leaves were more or less destroyed and we were both really disappointed. We decided to leave the plants in the ground and keep watering them, hopeful for a fall crop. Red Russian kale in the garden, just before it was harvested. Well, it wasn't until fall that we saw a glimmer of life from the plants. They started sending u...
Tags: Travel, Ken, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


As promised, here is another photo of our forsythia in bloom. Thursday morning was overcast with some light mist coming down, but I decided to take the camera out anyway. I think this is the peak for the forsythia bush. I want to trim this back after the flowers are gone. I do that every few years. We're a few degrees above freezing this morning. The days are mild, though. Our high temperatures are hitting 15ºC (around 60ºF) and slightly above, and that's the trend for the next few days. Sprin...
Tags: Travel, Weather, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Another spring favorite, the forsythia is starting to bloom. It's farther along now; this photo is a few days old. I'm still not taking the camera out much right now, preferring to wait for better weather. This morning it's breezy, but relatively warm. I'll try to get a better shot soon. I had the wrong lens on the camera for this one. I ventured out again (in the car) yesterday, the second time since I returned from my trip about four weeks ago. Except, of course, for dog walking. I loaded up...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

Am I blue?

These are muscari (grape hyacinth) that grow just outside our front door. They've taken over a plot of ground next to our driveway after I transplanted some a number of years ago. There are also some very old tulips and a few daffodils in this plot. The muscari have really thrived there. Soon it will look like a carpet of blue. These are the early flowers, so not yet as dense as they can be. The annual blue wave of muscari is building. The flowers will die back before summer. We also have a ro...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Bert, Tasha, Callie, Garden Flowers Plants


Daffodils are blooming all over the area right now. They're among the first signs of spring. I'm always tempted to cut them and bring them into the house, but I don't have enough for that. I like seeing them in the garden. Makes me think I should plant some more next fall. Jonquilles (daffodils) out by the driveway. There are other spring blooms around as well and, while they're not blooming yet, this year's iris crop looks promising. [Author: wcs]
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

One ring to rule them all

Since we had the spruce tree removed, I've been looking at the stump and thinking, "I should count those rings and find out how old that tree was." Yesterday was the day. I verified how to count tree rings on the internet (start in the center and count the thin dark rings, don't count the bark) and went out to count. I counted twice, on opposite sides, just be sure. The center rings are not easy to see because of the way the tree broke, so my count could be a little high or a little low, but o...
Tags: Travel, WCS, France PARIS, Garden Flowers Plants

The garden's a mess

It always is this time of year. Winter rains and winds do a number on the yard and vegetable garden. The ground is littered with sticks and twigs, the weeds are thriving, and there is still some trimming to do. I've also got a small collection of junk that needs to go to the dump. You can see the stump of the tall spruce that was just cut down to the right of center in this photo. But I'm looking forward to spring. With four trees now gone, we're going to have a lot more sunlight in places tha...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


It's that time of year when the naturalized primevères (primroses) in our yard bloom. I don't think they're as numerous this year as other years, but it could be that they're a little early and there will be more in the coming weeks. It could also be that, because they grow near the big spruce tree we had cut down a couple of weeks ago, many got trampled. Primroses sending up flowers, a sure sign of spring. These white ones seem to be to most common color so far. There are also purple, red, ye...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


As they do every winter, the artichokes are sending up fresh new leaves. They may wilt or even die back in a freeze, but they'll regrow if that happens. Blue-green artichoke leaves. It's time to start thinking about the yard and garden again. I've got some winter pruning to do now. Roses, hydrangea, and a lilac need to be cut back. The plot of daisies, my rosemary patch, and the bed of Jerusalem artichokes need to be cut and cleared of last year's growth. A few mild, dry days will be welcomed....
Tags: Travel, Jerusalem, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Here's a close-up of the plum blossoms that I talked about yesterday. This tree makes small red fruit that's best for cooking. It will be interesting to see if we get plums this year should there be a freeze before spring. I've also noticed buds on our fragile fig tree, but that's normal for this time of year. Plum blossoms. The fig usually has small leaves by April which have, in recent years, been killed by early spring frosts. The tree leafs out again in late spring, but produces little t...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Plum trees around the hamlet, including ours, have started blossoming. It's very early, at least by a few weeks. I also see a couple of weeping willows that are budding out. I'm not sure if it's early for them or not. Ken planted this plum tree from a pit many years ago. This morning it's clear and chilly. When I opened the shade on one of the loft windows this morning I could clearly see the Big Dipper in the sky above. I like when that happens. [Author: wcs]
Tags: Travel, Ken, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

Warm and wet

It's the middle of winter and the yard is a mess. That's normal. Winter winds bring down a lot of small branches that litter the yard. Rain and warm temperatures make the grass and weeds grow. This year we've had an explosion of cyclamen, and the primroses are starting to pop up as well. Cyclamens in the North 40. This is the tree we've scheduled to be removed this winter. It's too wet, of course, to get the mower out to cut the grass. Besides, it's nice to see the cyclamen and primroses. Hyac...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


These are two of the three remaining fir trees in our yard. The healthy one on the right is very tall; we can see it from across the river, marking the location of our house on the southern bank. The tree on the left is dying. The lower third is nearly devoid of needles and the upper branches have many fewer than they used to. The tree looks bare all year round. A few of its silver-blue needles survive, but not for long. So, the jig is up. The guy who does our hedges and removed our apple tree...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

Barenaked maples

It's official. All the leaves have fallen from the twin red maples out front. If you read Ken's blog, you will know that we finally got it together to rake them up on Wednesday. They had dried out enough to move and, now, most of them are out in the vegetable garden plot. Last year we raked up the leaves on November 24, so we're not too far behind. It's just been so wet. Some birches around the 'hood are still golden, and the hedge around our yard will stay green through winter. But the maple...
Tags: Travel, Ken, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants, Saint Aignan

Piles of leaves

The leaves from the twin maples are now piled in the vegetable garden plot. The goal is to spread them around (like we do every year) and cover them with a tarp for the winter. The rain returned before we got to that. Frosty piles of leaves. There is still work to be done! Covering the garden plot helps to keep the weeds from taking over which makes tilling in the spring easier. We used to do it with just the leaves, but discovered last year that adding a tarp works much better. The leaves dec...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

Fruitless plum

This is the ornamental plum tree in our back yard, a variety of fruitless prunus. In addition to beautiful pink blossoms in spring, we get a show of orange and yellow in the fall. The color is a bit past its prime in this photo because I usually don't take the camera out in the rain, and it's been raining a lot lately. The flowering plum. Some of the cut apple wood is visible on the right. Even so, we've had some sun in the last two days. I got outside with the chainsaw on Wednesday to cut up ...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

Mushroom city

This has been an amazing fall for mushrooms. We had such a dry and hot summer; by contrast, fall has been very wet. Mushrooms are popping up all over. These came up under one of the fir trees in our yard. A few days ago, they looked just like champignons de Paris (white button mushrooms), but I have no idea what they actually are. I wouldn't dare eat a wild mushroom unless it was picked by someone who really knows what he's doing. I certainly don't. A woman in our region died last week from eati...
Tags: Travel, Wildflowers, Paris, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

Clean up

The hedge guys arrived on Tuesday morning as scheduled. There were four of them. Two started right away on the back hedge while the boss and another guy started cutting up the fallen apple tree. I took some photos in mid-morning, but don't have any more yet. At this stage they were cutting the small branches off for mulching and beginning to cut the larger branches and stacking them for firewood. These two apples, the big one and the smaller one in the background, are now history. All the work...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

I don't give a fig

Or, more accurately, I don't get a fig. This is our sorry little fig tree that doesn't produce figs. You may already know the sad story: we planted the fig in 2006, it froze to the ground in 2012, re-sprouted and grew again, and almost every year since, has suffered a spring freeze and lost its leaves. I've tried covering it with garden fabric, but the leaf buds are just too sensitive. I think we got about a half-dozen figs from this tree one year. One. Year. At least it's pretty in the fall. ...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

Let's not forget the hedges

The tree removal is certainly a big change in our yard, but it certainly isn't the first. When we first moved in, back in 2003, two other trees needed to be removed. One was the twin of the tilleul (linden). They stood on either side of the path that connects the house to the back gate. It was sickly (someone told us it had once been struck by lightning) and needed to come down. The other was a Christmas tree planted by the former owners when their granddaughter was a child. It was very tall and...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

Late bloomer

These campanules (bellflower) grow outside our front door and flower through the summer. Provided they get enough water, that is. During this year's hot and dry summer, keeping them watered was not easy because we were (and maybe still are) under watering restrictions. Ken and I save water from the kitchen for watering potted plants around the house and on the deck (especially the herbs), but sometimes there isn't enough to go around. So this year the campanules suffered a little. The spikey p...
Tags: Travel, Ken, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants

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