around the garden, botanical inspiration, color inspiration

Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki'

Salix integra (aka "dappled willow" in English) is a specie of willow native to China, Japan & Korea. The cultivar 'Hakuro Nishiki' (the one I have purchased & that you can see here) is grown for its variegated foliage, the leaves strongly mottled with patches & blotches of white and pale pink. For this reason, in French it is called "shrimp willow" ("saule crevette" en français).

How could I resist such a lovely foliage, seriously ?! I was very happy to bring it back home this past Monday !

Do you have a garden ? Have you planted a tree or flowers that you had never before ? I'd love to know !

ox

Sonia

around the garden, botanical inspiration, Japanese culture

Acer palmatum Deshojo

If you know me a little, it's no secret that I am interested in lots of areas of Japanese culture. And so is my husband. (did he have any choice, ahah ?!) Japanese maple is one of the symbols of Japan that I have always enjoyed (more than cherry blossoms I think), and bringing at long last a Japanese maple in our garden has been a highlight of this spring !

It is an Acer palmatum Deshojo. It is turning to green at the end of spring (right now here), then will turn bright red in autumn and finally dark red through winter & spring. We installed it in a large, deep blue (making me think of indigo dyeing) ceramic pot, and I love to sit underneath to see the light going through the leaves, and to see the contrast with the sky.

It is a v.e.r.y. soothing sight.

I know this blog has been turning into a gardening blog, which I understand is not for everyone. I have been wanting for a house with a garden for two decades & I'm trying to make up for all the time lost. I am sorry (not sorry) if you think there's an overload of plant & flower & gardening posts. I am pretty sure they are gardening & nature lovers amongst the few readers (left) of my old little blog.

The next few posts will be AGAIN gardening/garden oriented, you've been warned ! ;-) Thanks a lot for visiting !

Oh, by the way, we purchased it at the Bambouseraie, along with bamboos, which will be the theme of a coming post.

ox

Sonia

around the garden, nature

kiss-me-quick

That's a pretty funny title for a post dedicated to a pretty lovely flower I have decided to include in our brand new flower bed !

"Kiss-me-quick" actually are Centranthus ruber (Valériane rouge en français), a plant that is native of the Mediterranean region, and which can grow from walls, therefore pretty much everywhere. I love their height, their structure & their color. I hope they'll prosper in our garden !

I wish you all a delightful weekend ahead ! We'll be voting for our new president here in France.

ox

Sonia

around the garden, nature

a garden as a gift to yourself

A really strong & cold wind is blowing from the north on this day I turn a year older. It is really sunny but oh so much colder than a couple of days ago when it was almost summer ! The reason why I haven't blogged at all these last three weeks is that I (along with hubby & my mom) have been working in the garden most everyday ever since.

I told you about this useless corner of our garden, with a tiny pond & ugly waterfall (which, I know, "sounds" romantic ! but was not), that the previous owners (& the ones before) had completely neglected & overlooked, since it is actually a corner that is in the shade all year round (including summer, which is important here !)

We worked our butts off (I swear it was intense) to destroy it, move those huge & super heavy stones (we managed to trade them with their free removal !), move around tons of soil, remove tons of stubborn ivy roots & ever present rocks & stones. Then we made it a level, smooth surface. We finally bought sand, lots of it, to make the base for all the smooth, rounded marble gravel (a bit like this one) we also bought & added onto it. (we also used geotextile between sand & gravel) We installed wooden to create a long flowerbed between this new corner & the rest of the grass near the swimming pool. (grass that we are also trying to restore)

We have added bamboos in three wooden boxes, to make up for the holes in the hedge (with our neighbours) left by the previous corner. (avoiding the trees in the hedge to grow !). We have added wicker fences for making of this corner a more private one. And we have sanded & repainted an old bench in grey. And of course we have planted flowers & shrubs in the flower bed, after adding a lot of fertile soil. This is not the best photo, but at least you get an idea of what it looks as of today.

Of course more flowers will be added, this current ones will take more space soon as well. We will add solar powered fairy lights soon, and some shade flower pots in the corner, as well. It will be cozier & well lived in no time I hope !

Alas, I have absolutely NO "before" or "DURING" photos to share with you, simply because I didn't think about it & because I was too darn busy working on it.

During this time I didn't blog, I have also sown cherry tomatoes, red pepper, radishes & also morning glory seeds. Everything has grown, some cherry tomatoes are already into place, as well as morning glory, which I hope will soon start to cover walls & hedges ! Our first batch of radishes are almost ready to be picked & savored ! What a joy & reward to grow your own food, even small things such as radishes !

I will post more photos very soon, I didn't want to flood you with them today. We finished this corner just in time for my birthday. I will always remember this as my gift for celebrating my birthday for the first time in our new home.

xo

Sonia

daily life

almost 39

I'll turn 39 on the 20th of this month. Accepting my flaws. I'm not perfect, no-one is, anyway. Loving my life, and trying everyday to make the most of it, & to make it even better.

Here I am, if you haven't seen my silly face in a while ... ah ah !

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I treated myself with a (very) early birthday present. I stumbled upon Kei & Molly Textiles & fell in love with their designs ! I could have bought everything if non for the shipping fees ! These screen printed flour sack towels are made in New Mexico, USA.

I know I haven't been much around lately. Two posts in February, two in March ... I've been neglecting this beloved little corner of mine.

The outdoor has been keeping me busy, we've completely removed everything in one of the corners of our garden (see previous post for explanation). It was hard work (physically) and we even managed to find people to come get all of our huge rocks for free. (a pure exchange of good & service) We now have to plan what to exactly do in this corner, as most of it will be in the shade always. It's a real job to think of it all. But I'm soooooo looking forward to sit in the natural shade as soon as the heat will strike. (in the matter of a big month now) We have several other home & garden projects that are (or will be) keeping us very much busy. Happily busy though.

Happy April, dear readers, whoever you are & wherever you read me from. Thanks.

ox

Sonia