Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Le Jardinage Francais

That's French gardening, to you and me.

Another 4-day weekend, this time I decided to visit my sister in the suburbs of Paris.

They have a lovely house, with a lovely garden, and since I seem to be the "expert" in the family, I expected to do some gardening. I could escape the wedding, but not the weekend gardening. Pas de probleme.

First stop, on Saturday, (after a lovely lunch on the barbeque, thanks to Pascal) a garden centre. I go to Paris, and get excited by a garden centre? Yes. I've never seen such a selection of geraniums.

A beautiful place, with a beautiful shop full of home-y things attached, "Le Fleuriage" in Croissy. Highly recommended. I'd like to drive there some time, and fill the boot of the car with flowering plants. This picture cannot convey the huge selection of geraniums on offer, colours I have never seen. Makes what I planted the weekend previous look pale in comparison.

So she purchased a selection of geraniums, but that wasn't the total gardening plan.

No, we needed to re-site the vegetable patch. Where it was, after the neighbour planted up a hedge and some plants on his side of the fence, was causing too much shade. Besides, they say you need to re-site your tomatoes every few years or so. This is four years since they planted up the tomato patch, and last year was a dull crop. I understand their concern, so needs must.

(All these brilliant action shots to follow are thanks to the lovely Laura!)

We moved across the road, as it were. Away from the fence, now next to the wall. Had to completely dig up a huge patch of Iris

And then chop up the soil. Not an easy task. When she texted me on Wednesday before I left and asked if I was "up for some gardening" I wasn't entirely prepared! But we got stuck in.

Haaaaaa, hahaha, like I did any of the hard work with the pick-axe. No, I'm afraid I left it to the boys.

At top is Pascal, at the bottom is the neighbour, Ivanov. Next to him is his wife, Marie, who is wondering what the heck he's doing working so hard in someone else's garden. Amazing, what he did. They are very neighbourly, in her neighbourhood. He did most of it, I just went back and picked out the rocks. Both sides.

Here is the final product:

On top, by the way, is ash. As in, ash from your fireplace or whatnot (that was a contribution from the neighbours as well. Lovely people.) Keeps away slugs/snails. I certainly learned something from that. A few bags of compost, and a bag of manure at my recommendation, and that patch is ready for some lovely tomato plants. Can't wait to see the results!

Ah. One final note. When I said, in my bad French, "I speak French very badly" (or rather, "je parle le francais tres mal"), I heard a chorus, from the French around me, "ah, non, non, tu parle tres bien"; I think they were being very nice. But it was quite gratifying.

I only go to France to speak bad French, and visit my sister. :-)


  1. Oooohhhh lucky you having a sister living in Paris ! I love it there (only been the once though) well done you on helping out with the garden, they must love your visits !
    I was in Lewisham a couple of weeks ago ( I noticed your Lewisham weather forecast) my sister lives in Forest Hill, as did we before moving to Hampshire many years ago.

  2. Your gardening attire is quite fetching.

  3. Thank you. It was a warm day. Any excuse, really.

  4. Sunny with a chance of cleavage.