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!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Very Happy Easter....

Of all those flowers in the garden that are reminders of Easter time is the reliable Daffodil.... with so many varieties available I wouldn't know where to start other than to say what a wonderful bright and cheerful display they make and enough to bring a smile to most people's faces especially on a day with the rain pounding at the windows as it is today!

"When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils"
from William Wordsworth's "Daffodils"

Over this past week we've infact had some lovely weather in between numerous showers but even in the rain these beautiful spring flowers still looking gorgeous.

Earlier in the week I cut the grass in our woodland area and it was lovely to see the primroses all in bloom on the bank where I first planted a few going back about 3 years now and they're really starting to multiply which is exactly what I had in mind.  Along with these beautiful spring flowers come the little cowslips which you don't find in the wild so much here - my Mum had grown these from seed which I brought on and planted out a couple of years ago - as well as the primroses they are more than happy in their new home and provide essential pollen for bees and insects at this time of year.

A view through the Cherry trees below the main garden - the bank of primroses are to the left.

Another of my spring favorites is the trusty Autumn Flowering Cherry - Prunus x subhirtilla "Autumnalis Rosea" - a beautiful tree bearing masses of pale pink blossom - ideal for those with a smallish garden too (not that we have a small garden!)

This is a view across the main area of our back garden - behind me as I'm taking this picture is the woodland to give you an idea of the layout... the garden always starts off with relatively little height other than the shrubs and trees but as the year progresses height increases with the mass of perennials and roses that we have.... watch this space!

This is Hamish my lovely black and white cat that came all the way from the UK with us - as you can see he's more than at home enjoying the warmth of the sunshine on his tummy - he's a huge character and is really quite a monkey... known for his acts of thieving food - his best was his attempt at fishing out my lamb chops from under the grill with his bear paws... caught in the act at the last minute I saved my supper!!!!  Butter wouldn't melt in this picture though!

This little gem of a polyanthus originated from my parents' garden in Cornwall.
These beautiful double Polyanthus were in the garden when we arrived - the previous owners loved their garden and I discovered these under a thick cover of Brambles and Ivy!

I know many of you enjoyed the previous posting with the Pulmonaria - this is another variety - Pulmonaria Opal - with a much paler blue flower but quite beautiful!

The Japanese Quince - Chaenomeles speciosa is another spring favorite - pruned back well in the early part of winter seems to be the secret in creating a spectacular show of flowers at this time of year - looks quite stunning when in full bloom - these flowers are followed by pretty leaves and fruits if you're lucky!

More favorites - these flowering currants I grew from hardwood cuttings a few years back and they've come on a treat since... the cuttings took easily so one to try perhaps?
The first Anenome has just appeared cheekily pushing it's head through the grasses!  I love these flowers which had some vibrant colour to borders.

This is the area I planted up only last year under the Oak tree to the front of our house - you can see the edge of our neighbour's house in the background - all the plants are coming on well - more photos of these to come in future postings!

This is a photo to the side of our property - the area of grass was sown only a few years back at the same time as I planted the shrubs which form a loose boundary with our neighbour - a good mix of shrubs offering a mix of colour and structure for much of the year round as well as a mix of berries and blooms for wildlife.

And to round off..
"For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inwood eye,
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
final verse from Daffodils - William Wordsworth

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter Weekend!


Anonymous said...

Dear Miranda, This has been a delightful tour of your garden, honing in from time to time on specific plants which, despite the weather you are having, are giving such colour and cheer. Like you, I do love all the early flowers of spring, so much more than the great mass of summer.

But, if I should be allowed to take away one thing, then I think that you know what it would be. Hamish, of course. He is lovely and could be assured of as many lamb chops each day as he has appetite for.

My warmest wishes to you for a very happy and peaceful Easter.

Midmarsh John said...

You have a lovely selection of Spring and Easter flowers there. I think mine have put everything on hold while we get through a spell of cold weather.

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Edith - thank you for your encouraging comments - so pleased you enjoyed your little jaunt around our garden - I didn't realise that you had a passion for cats - I'm very sorry but Hamish is not up for grabs.... he's a bit of a special friend - I've had him since I bought my first house and I could certainly write a few stories about him!! Have a lovely Easter Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Hi John - do hope your weather improves and that your spring flowers come along soon - lots of birdy activity going on around here at the moment with continued nestbuilding too - have a lovely Easter.. Miranda

Christine B. said...

The former residents of your house were kind to leave you such a lovely Primula. Nothing much going on here, unless you count the two feet of snow. At least their are some bits of bare ground showing;) The flower I associate most with Easter is a lily (I know, how cliche).

Christine in Alaska

Chris said...

Really enjoyed your post, Miranda :-) Have a great Easter weekend.

BrittanyGirl said...

Hello Miranda Loved the cat and the cowslips. I was just saying to my visitor from England last week that I have never seen cowslips here in Brittany, so lovely to see yours.
Sandra x

Cheryl said...

A beautiful Easter post Miranda....spring has most certainly sprung in your part of the world.

It is amazing how the garden changes as the seasons come and go. Always a great source of fascination to me.

Enjoy the rest of your Easter break......

Jan said...

You have some lovely flowers greeting you this Easter. Hope your day was wonderful.

Always Growing

A wildlife gardener said...

Happy Easter, Miranda :)

What a cornucopia of delights in your garden just now :)

I can see your temps are much higher than ours. When you visit you will only see snowdrops and aconites in mine...we had snow again last week :)

I love all your blooms, from the pretty Primroses to the naughty-but-nice Hamish (what a darling)to the purples of the Polyanthus and the amazing red of the Anemone :)

Love the house too, by the way... :)

The Early Birder said...

Enjoyed the wander around your garden Miranda with lots of beautiful spring colour. Compared to last year I think we are at least a week behind over here but the Prunus is finally in full flower and some specie Tulips are lifting their heads. Belated Happy Easter...FAB.

debsgarden said...

Miranda, i hope you had a wonderful Easter. I am late to see this post, and I am glad I didn't miss it! The views across your property really speak to my soul. Your spring flowers are fabulous. My daffodils are finishing up blooming now, though I have a few late bloomers just now flowering. I will miss them when they are gone. By the way, I spoke to a local nursery owner, and he promised me they will be getting in some pulmonaria. I am excited about that. Take care, and enjoy the lovely weather.

Gail said...

Miranda, I love your garden~especially the curving beds of grass and the woodlands...I can see how you fell for this land and the home~~The kitty is also delightful...I wish Coal could go out in the garden with me! gail

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Beautiful post Miranda! You have so many spring beauties in bloom. Your property is gorgeous, and your little Hamish does see quite at home! The rich colour of the Japanese Quince is lovely. :)

Rosie leavesnbloom said...

Miranda that was lovely to finally see your garden - now I have a benchmark to see it grow over the next few months. The opal pulmonaria was a new addition to my garden this year. You have such lovely little primroses especially that double one.

Little Hamish has beautiful surroundings to ramble in and what a huge lawn!

We had sunshine today and I never went near the river to check on it but I think as long as there isn't anymore heavy rain over the next day or so we should be ok - and hopefully most of the snow has melted and found its way into the river.

Babara said...

It's wonderful to discover little plant treasures from time to time from the former garden owner who loved gardening too:-) ! I wish you that there will still be a lot more "new" plants for you. When I look at your pictures then it is obvious that nature in your place where you live is far ahead (and the temperatures too). We always have some very cold days in between though Spring is here. So we have to move our delicate plants from the garden to sheltered places...at various times. That's garden gymnastic ;-) !
Enjoy your beautiful Spring garden!

Bangchik said...

It is a beautiful garden..., with pretty colorful blooms! ~bangchik

Miranda Bell said...

To Christine B, Chris, Brittany Girl, Cheryl, Jan, A Wildlife Gardener, Early Birder, Debs Garden, Gail, Rebecca, Rosie, Babara and Bangchik - firstly huge apologies for replying to you all together and also so long after some of you have commented. It's been an extremely busy time with work recently and I'd held off and held off hoping I'd get the chance to reply to you all individually to thank you so much for your lovely and encouraging comments but with the best will in the world time is just not of the essence at the moment so I hope you'll forgive me. I will endeavour to do my best to visit all your blogs in the next short while and will leave you a comment there.

I cannot believe how quickly everything is sprouting here in France - even saw and heard the first Cuckoo of the year today - I've never seen a Cuckoo before so v. exciting.

Do hope you all have a good week and look forward to being in touch properly v. soon - Miranda x

catmint said...

so-o-o spring and peaceful and sunny. love your garden and house. Although I love living in Australia, this post makes me feel a bit nostalgic for Europe.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Miranda, It's so nice to be back after my enforced absence!

What a lovely, colourful post and great photos. You have featured my favourite garden flower, the Daffodil and my favourite wild flower the Primrose.

I have Cowslips growing in my lawn every year and they are always a pleasure to look forward to. They were either seeded by the birds or came with the original turf, either way I consider myself lucky to have them.

I also have 'Autumnalis', a lovely little tree in my opinion. Also the Quince does well and has been here for years, I think it came from my late father-in-law's garden originally.

I must get some Pulmonaria, I love them every time I see them on other blogs but keep forgetting to get some.

The Wessex Reiver said...

Hi Miranda, just to say I've revambed all my blogs, into a new, completely different one. Hope to keep dipping into yours as and when time allows you to update. Take care and enjoy the summer, Andrew