Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Slaves to two gardens (2)

...on our return to England I found my azaleas and rhododendrons (in pots here because of the chalky natural soil)  out in colourful splendour, and perhaps best of all a wistaria also in flower along the wall of the garage. This plant was taken some years ago as a cutting from an enormous wistaria that adorned the back wall of my late parents' house. There are new owners there now and they may well have chopped the wistaria down - it demanded considerable maintenance. But happily it lives on.

Slaves to two gardens

We left our garden in France neatly mowed (well, neatly-ish), weeded, and strimmed, the second fallen tree chopped up for firewood, and a huge mound of garden stuff burnt on a bonfire. Many of the azaleas and rhododendrons were in flower, as were red hot pokers, the flowering crab, irises and lilac.

We even had one wild orchid, which we carefully avoided when mowing.

But then we had to leave it, knowing that when we get back nature will have made great inroads into our efforts. But on our return to England I had a pleasant surprise...

Domestic harmony?

For those readers who are interested in wildlife, here's an update on the residents of our water-meter pit in France, at the top of our long garden under a concrete slab. I first discovered the fire salamanders some time ago, but since then they have multiplied. It seems that the first called to the second, of the opposite gender, and between them they produced a third. They coexist without apparent discord (or at least without eating each other), with two toads. Here two of the salamanders and the two toads were photographed piled on top of the water meter, and on top of each other.