Roger and Michèle

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Voilà, a nice video that our dear friends, Roger and Michèle, from Martigue (Cote Azur, France) sent us in order to celebrate a very late spring.

En fin c’est le printemps !!!

 As you can see they have a very nice garden and they love nature as we do. They also love the sea and the ocean as their son is a world sailing champion…flower and sea…what a extraordinary combination!!

Red as Passion

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Red roses are rare in my garden. I always found them a bit too much “classical” and obvious so that I have not planted them since a few years ago. And the reason why was that when we moved here I discovered an old  beatiful red rose  that alone was enough representative the whole category of red roses by itself. Petals are velvety, colour is resistent and stay untill they fade, flower can arrive up to 20 cm of diameter. The scent is also an experience: lemon accent on musk backround…It has no copious flowering, just lonely beautiful red roses. I do not know the name and any help is welcome. Her nick name is “Red Beauty”.

So the following year I have been filling my garden with yellow, pink and white roses. My husband was protesting as only red roses have a meaning for him. The others (pink, white, yellow) are only pale copy of the “queen of the garden”. So, after his protesting, I decided to add red roses but far from the “Red Beauty” and with different characteristics for not competing.

I added a “Crimson Glory”, a climber by Kordes (1935). Roses start deep red and turn purple when they fade.  This rose is now on the iron arch and we are waiting to cover it all.

Both roses are so scented: you can also use for prepare a delicate aromatic tea.

Here a simple RECIPE: boil water and fresh scented petals in a jug untill the petals became dark. Filter the tea and add honey or sugar if you prefer sweeter. It can be served hot with biscuits or cold as refreshment.

More pictures on our Flickr Page

Pierre and Annie

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Voilà de Paris!!

We are happy to show these nice pictures coming from Paris. Annie and Pierre live in the suburb of Paris and they have a wonderful garden with lemon trees, vegetable garden, pbeutiful peonias and …..vines. I could not believe they can grow grapes as a such latitude in a private garden. This means that Pierre is really talented and grapes love him. They also make wine out of it and they offered us a bottle of their white wine for special occasions. We decided to open the bottle in occasion of our first barbecue in the garden with friends. We have now a table (someone have pictures of me painting the table in the barn….), a barbecue….just waiting for proper chair to match the iron legs of the table. Big deal…..

We thank you Annie and Pierre in advance for the wine and this the nice message they wrote to us.

“Bonjour Laura et Filippo,

Nous sommes de retour à Paris depuis 10 jours , nous vous remercions encore pour votre chaleureux accueil, nous sommes occupés à trier toutes les photos que nous avons faites en Toscane pour garder en mémoire le plus possible de souvenirs de cette belle région; nous avons consulté votre site internet qui est très bien fait ! Bravo !!
A notre retour à Vitry , nous avons trouvé le jardin bien avancé et très sec, il a fait chaud quelques jours mais depuis le 1ier mai il fait un froid de canard !!!  mais il ne pleut pas ; par contre il neige dans les Alpes et les Pyrénées . Vous verrez sur les photos notre vigne, notre citronnier et nos petits oliviers qui poussent bien malgré la latitude. 
 
Nous vous souhaitons une très bonne continuation pour les mois à venir .
Bien cordialement .  Annie et Pierre Mercadié”

Whreath & Vines

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What to do when your husband is pruning? Prepare some nice wreaths!!!

This is what I have been doing in the last weeks as Filippo was pruning the vineyard and the olive trees. Fruit trees turned out also to be suitable for wreaths and very nice colours.

Usually Filippo starts to prune in wintertime. This year it has been particulary cold and rainy weather and he could not start pruning untill the climate changed a bit. Especially for the new planted vines the risk was to cut and have a cold night that could effect badly the plant and make it suffer or die.

The olive trees are pruned after the vines as they are evergreen. That is why they cannot bear a very cold or freezing night with a fresh cut. The coming fruit can be damaged or the tree it self.

As soon as I saw the big bunch of olive pruning my first desire was…..to jump in it! What a nice sensation to be supported by the soft branches!!! Afterwards I started to select the best and suitable branches for the wreath. I thought it was easier and it took a while to understand the best technique. I had only a pair of garden scissors.

When the wreaths were ready I started to decorate with lavander sachets….so good smelling! It has been a pleasure to tie all the ribbons in different colours and combine with the right style of sachets. Every wreath is different and has its own style: the classical blue lavander with blue and purple ribbons; spring inspiration for the pale green and light blue with vivid blue ribbons and the elegant country olive weath with leaves and brown ribbons.

Look also the other innovative version I found at my dear friend Sabine, with iron decoration and shells. What a good idea!! Thank you!!

Making wreath has been a pure joy: surrounded by kids happy and jumping in the high grass full of wild flowers and the sunset we had in the end was the most touching reward.

More pictures go to our Flickr Page

Swallows are back

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Every year, in spring time, our dear swallows come back to their nest and our garden welcome them blossoming.

They made a nest under our stairs, above Maya’s house a few years ago. Their singing follow us all day long and sometimes they fly so low that we can clash. Usually they entertain guests while they have breakfast on the terrace with their loud singing stopping on the phone wire for a while. They fly like a crazy, swift and low when a storm is approching and expecially at sunset they celebrate the end of the day by flying in circle on the lawn in front of the house cheasing insects.

When the windows of our apartment are all open, they love to cross the apartment flying in the living room and the kidss bedroom and get out through the opposite window. Sometimes they do not know how to fly away nd fly in circle in the room. Today I tried to take a picture of they but I failed: they all have been very clever. 

Italian swallows spend their winter in South Africa: they travel through western France, across the Pyrenees, down eastern Spain into Morocco, and across the Sahara. Some birds follow the west coast of Africa avoiding the Sahara, and others travel further east and down the Nile Valley.

Migrating swallows cover 200 miles a day, mainly during daylight, at speeds of 17-22 miles per hour. The maximum flight speed is 35 mph. Swallows arrive in Italy in April returning to their wintering grounds in November.

More pictures on our Flickr Page