The Cocktail Drinker’s Guide to Gardening

In a series of articles, writer James Clay combines two delightful past-times Gardening and Cocktail Drinking. This month, with his usual comedy and charm, he tells us how to make the ultimate festive drink Mulled Wine, offers some Christmas gift suggestions, and explains why gardeners like manure so much!…

The Cocktail Drinker’s Guide to Gardening

Writer James Clay combines two delightful past-times Gardening and Cocktail Drinking. He tells us about his favourite autumn drink, ‘The Algonquin’, which he says “is very simple and really wonderful on cooler October evenings.”…

‘The French love English roses!’

Despite no professional horticultural experience, Charles and Charlotte Liddell moved to France and opened a nursery selling David Austin roses. Here, Charlotte tells the story of their first year – and gives their tips for growing roses successfully

April Gardening Observations

Although it doesn’t seem possible, it is a year to the day since I posted the first of my garden meanderings and I would like to thank the folk out there who have read them…

The Celtic Herbalist – April Update

Welcome to another monthly update from The Celtic Herbalist. These monthly bulletins cover the development of the Celtic Herbalist’s gardens based on a four and a half acres farmstead on the Causses …

The Celtic Herbalist’s Gardens

Image not found.The Celtic Herbalist’s gardens are developing on the four and a half acres around a farmstead upon one of the limestone plateaux (or causses) in the Midi, near Toulouse, in S.W. France.

The Celtic Herbalist – March Update

Image not found.Welcome to an update of the work in progress at The Celtic Herbalist’s gardens which are developing on a four and a half acre site on the Causses (limestone plateaux), near Toulouse, in S.W. France.

Gardens in the Lot

The Gardens of the Grand Convent in Gramat, the medieval gardens at Chateau Colombier and the charming Garden of the Senses in Castelfranc…

Burgundy’s parks and gardens

Looking for a breath of fresh air? French Entrée takes a stroll around the many parks and gardens available in the Yonne.

January Ramblings from a New Quercy Garden

A new year and a new start – just what do you do in the garden in January? The answer is probably not a lot, certainly when it is wet underfoot. That’s the time for reviewing what went on last year, what worked and what didn’t…

February/March Ramblings from the Garden

Nearly the end of February already, so I hope that the kind folk who read my meanderings will take this entry for this month and for March! Yes, we can finally claim that we are gardening again – one of the reasons that I am late this month is that we have been gardening rather than writing about it….

September Ramblings from a Quercy Garden

Has summer finally arrived? September may be a bit late, but the sunshine is more than welcome. Peace is settling back on the Lot, the main bulk of the summer visitors have gone, and the traffic has become a bit saner. Time to look hard at the woodpile in readiness for chilly evenings to come…

Breeding Alpacas in the Lot et Garonne

With two new baby Alpacas (Crias), things seemed to be going well for Deborah and her smallholding. But then there was the mass breakout by the animals and the latest set back is a bad case of “fly-strike”…

August Gardening

Image not found.With the latest bout of wet weather we’ve been experiencing there are endless jobs to do in the garden as well as keeping the copious weed population down! …

Self Sufficiency in South West France

Moving to France, buying a farm and breeding Alpacas, could be a dream come true? Lot et Garonne resident Deborah shares some experiences from her first few months on the road to self sufficiency in France…

Gardening Observations for June

June has got to be the month of the rose. Everywhere you go now there are roses in full bloom, some of the most delightful peering over the tops of old stone walls. Roses are resilient plants – we know of abandoned houses that are almost ruins …

Gardening Observations for July

“Summer time and the living is easy”. July is the month when you can reap the benefits of all the hard work that you have put in May and June. With the heat the grass isn’t growing, so the mower only needs to come out once every week or ten days to top the weeds…

Gardening Observations for June

June has got to be the month of the rose. Everywhere you go now there are roses in full bloom, some of the most delightful peering over the tops of old stone walls. Roses are resilient plants – we know of abandoned houses that are almost ruins …

Gardening Observations for July

“Summer time and the living is easy”. July is the month when you can reap the benefits of all the hard work that you have put in May and June. With the heat the grass isn’t growing, so the mower only needs to come out once every week or ten days to top the weeds…

Gardening Observations from South West France

Why is it that a day spent in the garden is so satisfying? When I came in I was dirty, tired, bloody but unbowed – and now, after a shower and with a glass of the red stuff – Cahors bien sûr – by my side I feel the glow of a job well done.

Gardening Observations from South West France

Why is it that a day spent in the garden is so satisfying? When I came in I was dirty, tired, bloody but unbowed – and now, after a shower and with a glass of the red stuff – Cahors bien sûr – by my side I feel the glow of a job well done.

Large gardens and old apple trees

In your previous home you had a garden the size of a postage stamp and here you are with a couple of acres in France. Here are a few suggestions on what to do, plus advice on cleaning up old apple trees

Giant Pumpkin Competition – Part 2

Image not found.Sarah Weston continues the tale of the mighty pumpkins..
For the final weigh-in around Halloween, we decided that everybody would bring their pumpkin to our house to be weighed and have an aperitif. We would then make our way to a local restaurant at the top of our road.

Full of Eastern Promise

Image not found.Camelias really cannot fail to add a touch of class to any garden at this time of year. It was the monks in rich Buddhist and Daoist monasteries …

Winter colour in the garden

Image not found. Cyclamen hederifolium are one of the hardiest and easiest cyclamens to grow. They are the most reliably hardy of all the cyclamen species and easily survive …

Need some more plants?

Image not found.One of the joys of gardening is seeing your garden grow in sheer numbers of plants that you have produced yourself. Obviously there is always the time and …

Hornets – A Limousin Pest?

As Summer approaches more and more hornets are seen flying around. FrenchEntrée-Limousin decided to find out a little more about these creatures which are at the centre of so many myths. The majority of people consider hornets highly dangerous. There is quite a significant hornet population in the Limousin and myths abound such as “Seven hornet stings kill a horse, three an adult and two a child”….

Problems with Weeds?

Image not found.A perpetual problem in Brittany (and everywhere I reckon!) being surrounded by farmland certainly doesn’t help! I’ve never seen weeds like it here – 8 years of a garden …

Sweet Peas and Nasturtiums

Image not found.Sweet Peas – Les Pois de Senteurs These are one of my favourites to grow in the garden – they smell gorgeous, are easy to grow, and are …

Gardening in the Quercy Part 1

Lindsay Nixon relates her experiences of creating a beautiful and productive garden amongst the stones and weeds of the Causses du Quercy. In the first of two articles she describes the slow transformation of a wilderness into finely tilled soil ready for planting.

Gardening in the Quercy Part 2

In the second of two articles, Lindsay Nixon takes up the tale of her garden with the selection of flowers and vegetables that will be able to grow in the unpromising soil and harsh climate of the Causses du Quercy.