I obviously hope you enjoy browsing through the postings on here - do feel free to leave comments as it's always good to see who's visiting and to hear about other people's experiences - after all you never stop learning do you?

If you've any gardening questions or you live in Brittany and are looking for some gardening help - be it design work, planting or general gardening or you simply would like some advice, please don't hesitate to CONTACT ME or call me on 0033 661 77 23 89 (from UK) or 0661 77 23 89 (from France).

Happy gardening!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Wonderful autumn days...

What an amazing fortnight we've had here in Brittany with temperatures topping 21 degrees this week and so many flowers still around too. It's been an opportunity too good to throw away for getting all those hedge cutting and pruning jobs underway before the wet and stormy weather arrives on Sunday...

It's a very satisfying feeling at the end of an exhausting week with all my clients' gardens with their grass cut and many of the seasonal jobs well underway too... and after completing our own grass late afternoon and finally coming in just as it was starting to get dark for a very welcome mug of tea and a Mars Bar :-)

After a good soak in the bath this evening, I must admit I felt a bit like a child wandering out into our garden clad in pyjamas and fleece top, in search of our resident Hedgehog and any other wildlife that happened to be lurking... well it didn't take long before I could hear that typical snorting and sniffling noise that the hedgehog makes before I found him or her foraging for a welcome snack! Earlier this week I found it's hiding place amongst my hardy geraniums - a well woven nest about the size of a rugby ball made of thin layers of vegetation and dry leaves normally - the dying leaves of Crocosmia are also a favorite - as they arch over they provide a natural canopy of protection over the winter months... so do take care when clearing beds for the winter, not disturb a very welcome garden resident! There really is something magical seeing this little creature wandering in the garden and the woodland... something that always causes me to smile at the end of an exhausting day - it makes all the hard work worth it really!

Over the past week I've loved seeing the quantity of butterflies in our garden and in the surrounding fields and species that I've not spotted before either, which is always great to see. The late flowering Asters seem to be a real favorite with them, as well as flowering Ivy, Sedums and the Sunflowers which are just going over now... quite amazing for this time of year when so much normally would be frosted.

Butterflies: photo 1 - Brown Argus, photos 2 & 3 Common Blue, photos 4, 5 & 6 is a Small Copper.
Last weekend we had the second of our two annual plant swaps in a nearby village - organised for the Sunday morning of the weekend when the clocks change - that way they can never be forgotten.... this one is always the easiest to get to what with gaining an hour! No money ever changes hands - just the chance to meet up with like minded people and take plants that you have excess of in your own garden and you end up coming away with a whole array of things you've not got - just great!

On a seasonal note - I'd be interested to hear of other people's experiences but we have had the most amazing crops of fruit and nuts this year - I've never seen so many walnuts on our one tree, the acorn numbers have been more than ever as well as the brambles, apples and I could go on...

Hope you all have an enjoyable rest of the weekend....

Friday, 16 October 2009

An insect repellent that actually works....

On a trip to Cornwall earlier in the year I found myself indulging in some new hand cream and a citronella cream which vouched for warding off all those horrible biting insects us gardeners get plagued with... I seem to be a sitting target! Well from personal experience I can honestly say it is BRILLIANT (and smells nice... no more horrible chemical sprays!).

The products were SO good, I just had to do a posting to let the rest of you know - I couldn't recommend this stuff more and with Christmas coming up would make a wonderful pressie for someone. The company, B natural skincare is a small family run business, based in Cornwall - all their products are hand made and 100% natural as their name suggests.

They sell a whole range of creams - take a look at their website by clicking on the company name above - the ones I have myself are from the Beeswax range - I love the hand and foot cream - great for dry hands after gardening and not greasy like some products can be.

Chris Pearce, the owner could not have been more helpful, and if you contact them direct are happy to mail the products to France - obviously postage is a little more but the items I ordered arrived quickly and beautifully packaged and came in plastic jars as opposed to the glass ones which made them much lighter to send .... go on why don't you treat yourself or someone else!

If you do try some.... why not post your comments on here.... ENJOY!