Few places are as beautiful as England when the sun shines as it does this week – it’s that dazzling green. There are so many occasions of exaltation and gratitude that I feel dizzy.

Walking accross the field to go to town, yesterday, I thought I would love to have a blog section called : “Ce que j’ai vu de plus beau aujourd’hui” – “The most beautiful thing seen today”. How and what to choose ? In spite of the flowers, I think I would have to give the prize to that tender-green haze floating around the poplars’ crowns as they start to leaf out. It is so thin, almost intangible, barely perceptible against the bright blue sky, and yet, the sign of an unstoppable force.

All is not perfect, even in my protected little corner of the world. I found the baby blackbird on my lawn. It was laying there, uneaten, its eyes open. I suspect the magpie, as the neighbours’ cat is a lazy, floppy thing only apt to soil the flower beds. Since then, I haven’t seen Mrs Black go back to her nest to feed any other chick… She is still going about in the garden, though, and Mr Black has reappeared. They may be moving from the ivy into the firethorn, which undoutedly provides better protection, but competition is fierce, if the sparrows’ indignant cries are to be believed. However, Mr or Mrs Little Red is still living in the pouch nest offered by Grandma, and I keep my fingers crossed for baby robins !

I have been spending whole days in the garden, planting out Orleya grandiflora seedlings which were trying to root through the capillary mat, sowing white cosmos (my favourite flower of all) and Californian poppies, mulching with horse manure (before the poppy seeds were thrown in, but after the cosmos had been sown – I know I am stupid, but hey, they are tough). I have also dug up a fuchsia and moved it under the boxwood (yes, the poor plant I tried to niwaki-prune last autumn). I expect the displaced fuchsia will be sulking forever. My unsuspecting walk in town ended up with a few additions to the plantations : Astilbe Vision in Pink, another bleeding heart (“les boutons, on dirait des poires avec des têtes de nounours”, dixit my son), a yellow lupin and, more importantly, a dark blue delphinium. Honestly, how was I to know it was market day, and there would be a wonderful stall of cheap yet healthy plants ? By the way, butterflies are about !

And today, and it sums it all up : I hanged the laundry to dry outside. Tada !

A few pictures :

Photo 16-04-2018 15 21 26

From the Norway maple (érable plane) at my son’s school.

Photo 17-04-2018 15 13 40

Claire’s cherry tree. Claire died aged 19 many years ago. People used to hang shiny ribbons from the memorial tree’s branches, but don’t seem to do it anymore.

Now, in my garden :

Photo 18-04-2018 09 35 33

With dew, this time, Aldor ! 🙂

Photo 18-04-2018 09 39 12

My beloved Hepatica transsylvanica.


Under the snake’s head lilies’ skirts.

Photo 18-04-2018 09 38 51

Primula Belarina Pink Ice, ready for a wedding !

Photo 18-04-2018 09 39 29

Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost, the plant I wouldn’t be without. The picture doesn’t do justice to its amazing blue.

Photo 18-04-2018 09 32 22

Jewel ! Centaurea montana Purple Heart.

Photo 18-04-2018 09 37 17

Cornus praying.

Photo 18-04-2018 09 42 06

Acer palmatum Osakazuki leafing out. It looks like it is taking its elegant rose gloves off, doesn’t it ?

Photo 18-04-2018 09 42 45

Acer palmatum Katsura means business this year (was put in the ground last autumn) and is already out. My son likes to shake its little hands (yes, we are odd).

That’s it for today ! Enjoy the sun while it lasts !

19 thoughts on “May it last !

    1. Merci ! Le cerisier n’est pas dans mon jardin, mais dans le champ à côté. C’est le « fameux » cerisier de Claire. Mon jardin est petit mais j’essaie d’y mettre autant de plantes que possible sans que ca ne devienne la foire d’empoigne. 😂 tout est en retard cette année. Tu es toujours débordée ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oui le cerisier de Claire est superbe aussi! Ton petit jardin fait rêver!
        Toujours débordée ( et plus que je ne l’ai jms été) malgré les vacances mais j’ai espoir que ça se calme un peu, apres la fin des corrections du brevet blanc qui me pourrissent la semaine. Cependant j’ai pu écrire un poil hier soir, chose qui ne m’était pas arrivée depuis fort longtemps… 🙂
        Et toi, comment vas-tu ?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oui, c’est la période des examens… je vais bien. 🙂 Avec le soleil, je vis ds le jardin et n’écris pas tellement bien que j’aie qqs idées vagues.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Is Norway maple more commonly known as a plane or sycamore? We know it only as a maple. Sycamores are specie of Platanus. Norway maple is an invasive exotic in much of Eastern North America, but happens to be one of my favorite old street trees for San Jose.

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    1. In France, its common name is érable (which means maple) plane. I believe the English call it maple ?
      About the tree we (the French) call “platane”, which as you know is ubiquitous in France, along roads and elsewhere, especially in the South, I don’t understand if it is London Plane or not. I am really not knowledgeable…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Platane’ is probably a plane tree of some sort, which we know more as sycamore. The Latin name for it is ‘Platanus’. It is named after Plato. I can not keep the English names straight. I think the Norway maple is known as a sycamore (instead of a maple), and the plane is known as a maple (instead of a sycamore), but other maples are known as maples. I really don’t know. We know all maples as maples, and all sycamores or planes as sycamores or planes. The name ‘maple plane’ would be correct too because the Latin name for the London plane is Platanus X acerifolia, which means ‘Sycamore or plane with foliage of a maple’.

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        1. I don’t think platanus are named after Plato but after a greek word meaning large. It seems the French « platane » is a hybrid between two platanus types. In French we call « sycomore » Ficus sycomorus and Acer pseudoplatanus, about which the English gardeners I know are often complaining.

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          1. Now this is getting really confusing. The London plane, Platanus X acerifolia, does happen to be a hybrid between two different specie of sycamore, and does happen to be known as sycamore and ficus sycamore. However, Acer pseudoplatanus is a maple. The name means ‘maple false-sycamore’.

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  2. What a wonderfully uplifting post, Frog. I’m totally with you on that “joyfully skipping mood” and the feeling you should have a “most beautiful thing I saw today” section on the blog – and the agony of deciding what to choose if you introduced it. Your pictures are very beautiful (I have a specially soft spot for the hepatica one but the praying Cornus is perhaps the most eye-catching) and was intrigued to find yet two more shared loves: white Cosmos and Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’! As for the “favourite sight”: to me there is little that matches unfurling beech tree or hornbeam leaves.
    Good job you indulged in so much planting (and plant buying 🙂 ! ) while the weather invited you out. After the hottest April Day in almost 70 years, we’re now back to lovely British weather, of course: today the forecast is for 5 (!!!) degrees Celsius and the “promised” relentless rain is there even though the wind is not as fierce as the weather warning had implied. Ah well… It means that a least some currently flowering favourites will be around for a little longer than it seemed during the mini-heatwave.
    My deepest sympathy for the loss of the Blackbird chick 😦 but cross fingers for the remaining ones in your garden! I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned in a comment before we had the same despair and heartache thanks to cats and foxes? Especially sad for the children to take, though of course it teaches them a hard nature lesson. Don’t want to push my own blog, so wont include a link here but if you are curious search for “Blackbirds at dawn”…
    Oh, and while I’m not sure how you “shake hands” with an acer, I’m weird enough too to pat a tree or blow it kisses 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Stefanie ! How strange, I was just thinking recently that I needed to go on your blog to see if you had posted new articles ! I am pleased to read you !
      I remember your post about your fight to have cosmos in your garden, it really touched me. This year, my seedlings don’t seem to be taking well, even borage (all leggy and weak) – but maybe it is just me being too much in a hurry. I talk about seedlings as if I had a lot, but there are only a few.
      I can’t believe you mention unfurling beech leaves. I completely share your feeling (again) ! They are one of the most beautiful things, for sure. The texture, the colours, the moiré effect… I was actually thinking of trying to write something about them.
      You should not hesitate to add the link. Your blog is amazing, elegantly written, illustrated with beautiful photos, and so informative – much better than mine which is only about me pottering in my little patch. I have felt like sharing some of your post several times but hadn’t got round to ask you the permission.
      I will read your post about the blackbird, of course. We have recently installed a feeding pole, and have now 7 feeders (in a very small garden). My in-laws are birdwatchers and they are keen to share their passion with my kids, especially my son. In our garden, the variety of birds is nothing remarkable but the numbers have definitely increased. And we have 3 robin chicks in a little roosting pouch ! 🙂
      Haha, I too pat trees and of course talk to them, but haven’t blown them kisses yet ! 🙂 As for shaking hands with maples, the way you do it depends on the size of the leaves ! 😀 Katsura is a small-leaved sort, so my son only uses two fingers. 🙂
      The rain had been pouring down for hours down here too. Oh well, saves us from watering !


      1. Wait, wait, wait, Frog – you are doing it all wrong: this is where you should RECEIVE praise, not praise others so they are blushing a deep shade of crimson whilst having nowhere to hide!

        Though I do not feel they are deserved, thank you all the same for your very kind words. And don’t put your own blog down – your posts/ thoughts/ musings are just as enjoyable to others! Also, why would I object if someone wants to promote/ link to mine :-)? So you are very welcome if you feel something there is worth sharing.
        Will try shaking hands with an acer next time I pass by one :-).

        As for birds: I share your joy and pride (as any gardeners would, I’m sure). My partner is a keen bird watcher, too. Not of the totally committed kind who will spend days and nights in a hide etc., waiting for an elusive guest to put in an appearance. But he happily goes to all sorts of places with binoculars to see what he’ll come across whilst there. The rest of us often join him.
        And I’m mightily pleased to have welcomed not just the regulars – blackbirds, great tits, blue tits, wren and robin as well as wood pigeons – but long-tailed tits, gold finches, chiffchaff, some other warbler, firecrest and other finches over the years. (Less welcome were/ are the jays, magpies and rooks.) For an inner-city London plot of about 50 sqm, most of this paved (though covered with pots, of course 🙂 ) and with little in the way of neighbouring gardens, this list is longer than I once would have dared to hope. Feeders certainly help! (Though I have learned to either not put them in a planted-up area or else not put anything too precious underneath: It’s not even the mess that’s the problem – but the big, fat pigeons which will trample anything into obliteration as they scavenge for the seeds the song birds have dropped. The soil underneath ours is so compacted, no tulip or perennial has made it though…)
        Cheerio, wishing you a very nice bank holiday weekend – the forecast is certainly promising!


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