Monday, 18 June 2012

Around the Garden - May and June

Before June comes to an end, I thought I should find time for a few garden photos.  The weather here this winter and spring has not been good for plant life, so apart from the odd flower or three which are blooming, we have not been blessed with what I would call a mass of colour! The flowers are starting to pick up, as you can see in the pictures below.

As far as garden produce is concerned, the bad winter, plus the late frost when we were in the UK in May, has set everything well back.   A handful of cherries this year meant no jam or fresh fruit, BUT, I do still have one drawer full of frozen cherries from last year, so clafoutis is still on the menu :-)  Of our four plum trees, only the one which is protected by a large oak tree seems to have fruit on at the moment.  The two fig trees were badly burnt by frost and are only just beginning to recover; only time will tell whether we will get any fruit this year. Not one quince on the quince tree; last year, it was so laden with fruit that the weight broke a large branch off.  The medlar tree has fruit on it, but we have yet to try this unusual fruit, as we have never been here at the right time of  year to harvest it.   The hazelnut tree is loaded and obviously the cold weather suited that, if nothing else. Now we just have to hope that the nuts are not wormy!!

After yet another disappointing year for the asparagus, we bit the bullet and dug up two of the three rows. The last row now looks hardly worth keeping, so that will no doubt go as well!  The removal has created much needed space for more productive species!

As for the tomatoes, peppers etc, the plants are still small and have a long way to go. The onions do not look too bad and we are digging our first potatoes.  We will be able to dig the garlic soon and see just how good that is.  Some chard planted in a flower bed near the house also seems to be quite happy and we are picking leaves from that.

A few green cherries in May before the final frost took its toll.
Rhododendron above and below.

The peonies seemed unaffected by the weather changes
I moved this lily from the garden in the UK.  I didn't plant it originally, so I am not sure which variety it is.  I am glad that it has moved over to France and it is still happy.  See the little fly on the right petal?

I am told this is Michaelmas daisy; it is one that just appeared from the mixed seed packet that I threw into the bed last year.
This is a climbing rose that a friend gave us earlier this year.  So far it has done little climbing, but it is at least flowering!

 These English marigolds seem to be completely different from the marigolds that I know here in France and South Africa, which have a very strong smell.  The latter are good planted between tomato plants to keep the greenfly away.
I have no idea what the Christmas cactus is doing flowering again now indoors, but I was more than happy to see its lovely flowers.
Love-in-a-mist; these have just reseeded from last year's crop.
The lavender is only just coming out; I hope the butterflies will soon be here now.  Can you see the little 'hopper' ?  10 o'clock from the © copyright logo!
The hydrangea flowers are just coming out.
Sedum anglicum; this is a succulent and a ground cover that I just love at this time of the year. 
I cut back the three sage bushes after heavy damage during the cold winter and they now seem to be bigger than ever, with these lovely blue flowers.
Last but not least,  Forget Me Not.


You might also like My Life Before the Charente  updated 18 June 2012.

104 comments:

  1. Wow! These are some amazing flowers! Our backyard doesn't look anything like this. I'll show my kids when they wake up as they could use some inspiration for their flower beds.

    ANd thanks for stopping by earlier! Have a great week.

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  2. You do still have a lot of colour in your garden Diane, despite the adverse conditions .... i love the pinkish lily you brought from the UK.

    ... errmmm what is 'clafoutis'?

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  3. All your flowers are beautiful and no doubt the rain has helped them grow even if it hasn't been as good for other plants. Thanks for sharing your beautiful flowers in all the wonderful colours!

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  4. Graham I also like the Lily, I am glad it made the move OK.

    Cherry clafoutis is a French dessert of cherries suspended in a thickish like batter, generally served hot straight from the oven, it is delicious. Pop over and I will make some for you ;) Diane

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  5. All things considered, your garden looks great Diane and your photos are fantastic.

    Here in the mountains this winter we hardly had a winter at all. It felt like spring started in January. It's interesting the flowers we have in common - rhododendron & hydrangeas for sure. I could have taken those photos in my own garden(smile).
    Sam

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  6. Joyful I agree there is colour there but not in mass like I am used to. Never the less one bed is starting to look a bit more summery and there are lots of buds on the roses so...... Take care Diane

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  7. Stephen I answered your comment earlier but I have just noticed that it has gone AWOL!!

    Glad that you like my flowers and I am looking forward to reading your book. I will certainly give it a review when I have done so. Thanks for making available on kindle. Diane

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  8. Sam you are lucky to have had summer start so early, we could not drive out the garage in February the snow and weather was so bad!! The flowers are there, but sparse by comparison to this time last year. As I type this, I look out of the window and the snowball bush, camelia and rhododendron are finished and apart from the one lily, from here all I can see is green. I need to move the chair to another spot I think :) Keep well Diane

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  9. Hi Diane, thanks for sharing all the beautiful flowers from your garden.

    All the flowers are really gorgeous and excellent especially the Love-in-a-mist and forget me not. Lovely blue color!

    Have a nice day, regards.

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  10. Amelia I was surprised the blue flowers came out so well, I usually seem to lose colour on a photo. Have a great day also Diane

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  11. Leon I just wish there was a few more of them :) Just spoke to a friend in Sydney, he had three layers on, must be chilly over there! Diane

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  12. Hello Diane:
    Generally speaking it really does seem to have been something of a disappointing season over large parts of Europe. We are particularly sorry to read that your cherries have not done well as we have, for the last week or so, been enjoying the most wonderful ones here. And next week Tímea will make the very traditional cold cherry soup.

    But notwithstanding, the pictures you show of the plants flowering in your garden suggest that it must all be looking very pretty.

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  13. Jane and lance I am glad to hear that you have cherries there. I have never made cherry soup, but I have just looked up a recipe for Hungarian cherry soup that looks delicious. I see no reason why my frozen cherries will not work :) We just need a warm day to enjoy it!

    What flowers are out are pretty, but we need more to make a good display. Have a good day Diane

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  14. Hi Diane!
    Judging but these great photos, your garden must be blooming indeed!
    And it will keep looking better as the seasons evolve!
    I can only imagine the work that you've into it!!
    Well done, cheers!

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  15. Noushka I certainly hope it improves as the seasons evolve, it has to get warmer does it not!! I enjoy working in the garden and so long as I get results I am happy :) Diane xx

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  16. I feel like I just had a lovely retreat in your French garden! Love all these photos, I think if I were you, I'd sit int the garden all day!

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  17. The Café Sucré Farine, glad you enjoyed your little retreat. Sitting in the garden all day would be great, unfortunately nothing would ever get done..... Diane

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  18. Looks like you have quite a few flowers blooming. Bummer about the edibles being frosted.

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  19. Gaelyn you are right it is going to be a while before we are eating vegetables other than potatoes or chard from the garden. I just hope we don't get an early winter!! Diane

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  20. Hello Diane, despite the weather and adversities your garden seems to be doing well. Sorry about the quince but you'll have plenty next year. Have a wonderful summer.

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  21. Some beautiful flower photographs, Diane. At least if you are not picking, preparing or cooking the fruit you gave more time for the vegetables!

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  22. despite that you didnt get a good harvest, the flowers are all so pretty..and hope your hazelnuts are good! i just love seeing the hydrangea and the lavenders, they always look so romantic to me!

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  23. Your garden photos are always so lovely Diane.

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  24. MARCO PASHA I hope that there will be quinces next year, I probably have enough jelly and jam to see me thorough if we do not over do it. The same goes for the frozen cherries. We should be OK for vegetables in a couple of months so long as winter does not come early!! Meanwhile I will enjoy the flowers that are going from strength to strength. Have a good week Diane

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  25. Un jardin magnifique. Tes fleurs sont très belles.
    A bientôt

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  26. Gaynor the kitchen is remarkably quiet for this time of the year. The other advantage is we have more time for cycling to try and get off the weight we put on over winter!!! Diane

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  27. lena I am particularly fond of lavender, I have put in another 3 plants this year. They really attract the butterflies and the humming bird moths which I love. I also hope the hazel nuts are good, we love them and they look quite promising at the moment. Diane

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  28. Pam thanks, I just wish there were a few more vegetables this year! Diane

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  29. Nadji, merci pour le commentaire. Les fleurs sont bonnes, mais les légumes ..... :( Bonne journée. Diane

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  30. You have gorgeous flowers in your garden Diane! I just bought a new white Hydrangea so I hope it does well:) Have a lovely week!
    ~Anne

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  31. Anne I hope it stays white as they seem to change with the type of soil! Hope that you have a great week also. Diane

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  32. It has been lovely to see your post and all the beautiful photos of the flowers in your garden. What a fabulous place to live! It's a shame about the asparagus but I think it is eminently sensible to give up after a while and plant something more productive as you have done.

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  33. You certainly have a fine range of flowers -- and wonderful colours. My husband says none of our fruit trees have any fruit -- apparently it was the late frost after the March hot spell that has really put a dent in the fruit trees in the Lot. We don't even have any apples this year -- and we have always had apples. So far this summer, England is very slow in blooming...

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  34. I almost died when I saw those peonies...they cannot grow here due to the heat..how sad. Beautiful garden and I am in love with all the flowers :)

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  35. Boy....they weather all over is so weird now....that one never knows what will grown and bloom or what won't.

    Your flowers are looking very lovely I might add....and I 'm pleased you were able to retrieve a few veges.

    Jo

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  36. Hi Diane,

    It has been a while since my last visit.. 2 weeks off from blogging..

    Really admire your photos..

    Hey, the Rhododendron... we have those also in Malaysia.. We call it Bunga Senduduk.. the Hydrangea is Bunga Kembang 3 Bulan..

    Bunga is Flower..

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  37. You do have a lot of colour in your garden. I can match the peonies, but my day lilies aren;t even in bud yet or my hydranga. I have searched high and low for some forget me knots this year to put in the garden. Yours is looking good. xx

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  38. Froggy the asparagus was really a dead loss. It just took up to much room, the crop was not that much and only for a short time of the year. The area is now much more productive as I have beans in there now, also spinach and pumpkins :) Diane xx

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  39. The Broad, we do have a few apples but that is pretty much it. I have lots of spare time this year - no jam or bottling to make or do!! When do you expect to join your husband? Diane

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  40. M.Kate the peonies seem to do well every year no matter what the weather does, they are amazing. Keep well Diane

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  41. Jo I wonder what is going on with the weather. I guess there has always been changes over the years but we seem to have a very sudden change! Take care Diane

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  42. ogyep yummy mellow thanks for the visit and giving me the name of the flowers in your part of the world. Interesting to know the different names. Keep well Diane

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  43. Ola, thanks for the visit and the comment. Take care diane

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  44. Karen I have not seen Forget me nots in packets this year, I am lucky they have just reseeded from last year. The gardens are all very late it seems this year with the odd weather, I only hope we do not get an early winter!! Diane

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  45. What gorgeous bloom shots!

    Diane, my computer automatically blocks pop up windows, so I don´t see what you referred on your last comment. Why don't you try blocking that URL? Maybe it would help. I imagine how annoying this might be... Sorry.

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  46. JM thanks for the comment. I have tried adding addblock to Chrome which is what I use most and I hope it will solve the problem! Diane

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  47. Gorgeous flowers and photos, Diane! The love-in-a-mist is so delicate looking and pretty. I've never heard of that one. My hydrangeas are blooming now also and one side of one bush has blue flowers and the other side has pink flowers--guess the soil is a little different for some reason. We desperately need rain though as it's so very hot here now. I just planted butterfly bushes and Chinesespice bushes so need some rain for them! Too bad about your cherries and asparagus. Gardening is full of mysteries sometimes but the rewards are wonderful when everything "grows good."

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  48. I love your new blog design especially the header!

    Your garden must be full of bees buzzing around with those beautiful blooms!

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  49. Still lots of colors...Fingers crossed for you that you will soon experience the bounty of summer.

    Velva

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  50. so beautiful
    you should come and see (and enjoy yourself creating something from scratch) our yard !
    obviously you have never seen any pictures !!
    I prefer driving the car around or walking in town with my camera (ha ha)
    anni

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  51. Pam you are so right the rewards are well worth the effort when things go right. I am disappointed this year though as it is Nigel's first full year here and the garden is nothing like what it usually is!! Diane

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  52. chubskulit Thanks for the kind comments. We have one shrub that is full of very tiny flowers which is humming. We saw very few bees when the fruit trees were in flower, it was too cold! Diane

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  53. Velva I am hoping that the vegetable garden will pick up but the fruit trees mainly have just no fruit. One plum has a few and there are a few apples, that is it! Diane

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  54. This is Belgium I started this garden from scratch and if you were not quite so far away I would be happy to sort your yard out for you :) Keep well Diane

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  55. Compared to Ireland you are months ahead :)

    Oh how I love lavender which always makes me think of la belle France. X

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  56. Dolly I can imagine, I could see that England was behind us when we were there. The weather seems to have messed everything up this year!!

    I also love lavender it attracts some of the most beautiful butterflies which to me is a gift on its own. Diane x

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  57. Amazing photographs! Your garden is weeks ahead of mine. I think that we shall have to hope for an Indian Summer.

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  58. Wow, you have some amazing flowers in your garden - lots of wonderful colours. It is a shame about all of your fruit and veg - maybe they will just be a wee bit late this year.

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  59. Dear Diane I love tour garden and in this time look georgeous all these flowers beautiful.
    My garden is sad now we are in winter, I know I have to wait but I miss the roses and others:)
    Love your header too!

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  60. lovely pictures, sorry about the frost hope the other veggies pick up

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  61. The weather has been a bother everywhere this year. The flowers you do have in bloom are lovely. With all that you do, I hope you can steal a bit of time to enjoy them. Have a wonderful day, Diane. Blessings...Mary

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  62. oh your flowers are so glorious! my goodness, the colors are fabulous! good for you!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

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  63. Exquisite photos, each and every one of them. My favourite is the one of the Forget Me Not. They are so delicate and I simply love the colour. Enjoy the beauty of your garden! Martine

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  64. cheshire wife your right we really do need an Indian summer. My vegetable garden has never been this late! Diane

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  65. Ellie the vegetables may be a bit late but there is no chance for the fruit, very disappointing for Nigel's first year here! Diane

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  66. Gloria it always seems funny that you are in winter while we are in summer, but having lived in Africa for 50 years I should be used to it!! Have a good day Diane

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  67. Rebecca I thing the vegetables will be OK eventually we must just hope for a late winter also. Diane

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  68. Mary there is always a problem in finding time to enjoy the garden and I hate picking flowers to bring them in to enjoy. They last so much longer in their own environment. Take care Diane

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  69. raisingahappyfamily-momof8, thanks for your visit and comment, also for following.

    The flowers are looking better all the time I just need the vegetables to catch up! Keep well Diane

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  70. Martine I was just looking at the Forget me nots yesterday and they really are the most beautiful blue. The camera does not really do them justice. Hope all well, take care Diane

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  71. At last I am calling by to compare gardens which I know we always both enjoy doing. Interesting that although summer was also late arriving here this year, that we are ahead of you this season. Our cherries were also disappointing,loads of them but not even fit for jam making or freezing as they tasted mouldy. The other variety was ok to eat off the tree but not enough to freeze. You may feel you do not have many flowers but you have still shared some beautiful colour with us, love the blues.

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  72. The fruits and veggies in your garden may not be doing well but the flowers are absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

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  73. Linda the fruit really is a disaster this year, apart form the hazel nuts and one plum tree which has a few plums there is nothing, oh yes, a few apples but they do not look very good.

    All those flowers are what have re-seeded from last year, and I see now that the cosmos are coming out. The zinnias are just coming into bud. Give it another few weeks and I should have one very colourful bed. Diane

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  74. Michel the flowers are improving daily, more and more are coming out so I am happy. Even the tomatoes in the last week have perked up, but the chillies and peppers are taking their time! Diane

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  75. Your garden must be amazing with all of these beautiful flowers! And you have peonies! I love peonies! :)

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  76. you really have a green thumb - so enjoyed the trip around the garden - simply beautiful
    Mary x

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  77. Sara Louise I also love peonies, sad that they do nor last for longer! Thanks for the comment and the visit. Diane

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  78. Mary Mum's Kitchen, my green thumb is not as green this year as usual. The weather does not suit it at the moment :) Diane

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  79. Your garden is a real dream. I always look through the posts about the plants that you've grown, with so much interest.

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  80. Your garden displays the fruits of your labor with its array of delightful flowers (and tomatoes to come!) Our gardens are filled now with annuals, caladiums, red salvia, begonias and lots of hydrangeas... love the garden!

    Bises,
    Genie

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  81. These pictures are stunning! look really beautiful!

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  82. Olga I love my garden but sometimes I feel it is a lot of hard work. The results this year have been slow, but I am sure the weather and the plants will improve :) Diane

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  83. Genie I love salvia, I must look for some seed next year. I have in fact very little red in the garden! I have at last got flowers on the tomato plants but all is very slow this year. Bises Diane

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  84. Sonia thanks for the comment and the visit. Keep well Diane

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  85. Je ne me lasse jamais de voir ces belles fleurs si bien photographiées.Le jardin est toujours un enchantement!
    Bonne fin de semaine à vous!

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  86. Lucie Merci pour le commentaire, j'aime mon jardin. Bon week-end a vous aussi. Diane

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  87. Hi Diane .. the weather is really strange - the asparagus over here has been poor this year .. and I hate to think what they're going to do about strawberries for Wimbledon!!

    Actually a great deal of stuff is now being grown under plastic - so perhaps all will be well .. but mildew in abundance is around ..

    Beautiful photos .. the cherry one is spectacular .. I am getting some American cherries - for some reason I prefer their taste ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  88. Hilary our asparagus was in its 6th year and has never done well. Ours was bought here, friends who bought theirs in the UK at the same time have had masses. I think ours was just a bad lot. Whatever, in a small garden they take up too much room so they are better out of the way!! Thanks goodness I still have frozen cherries from last year. Have a good weekend Diane

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  89. Your garden blooms are just lovely. I need to get some marigolds planted in the tomato garden...totally forgot. Thanks for the reminder.

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  90. backroadjournal I have some French marigolds growing in pots which I plan on moving some to the tomatoes. Hope yours grow quickly. Diane

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  91. Csodálatos amit láttam!!!Köszönöm!!!

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  92. Wow, your garden looks full of colour Diane. I do love flowers, they cheer you up even on a grey rainy day x

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  93. mellissina2 Köszönöm a látogatást és a hozzászólást.
    Have a good day Diane

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  94. Kerry it looks like we have a week of no rain ahead, so yes we can enjoy the garden and some cycling. I took it easy yesterday and only did 23 kms going to get some oysters at La Roch but Nigel did 40kms in the afternoon.
    Keep well Diane xx

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  95. I love looking at your garden, and beautiful flowers Diane. I would like to see them from a distance in your yard too. Enjoy your weather. We've had a lot of rain from TS Debby...just sat out in the Gulf of Mexico raining on us. She did take care of our drought though!

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  96. Lyndsey I am back to watering the garden here again, but I really do not mind as I am only too happy to see the sunshine which we seem to have been lacking this year :) Diane

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  97. GRACIAS DIANE!!!
    Saludos amistosos.
    Conxita :)

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  98. Te de Ternura. Es un placer. Buen día. Diane

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  99. Hi Diane, have missed quite a number of your post. Gosh, what a spring! And thanks so much for showing me the green cherry. I have seen the red & black ones but not the green.
    Kristy

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  100. Kristy there was a big frost the week we were in the UK and when we got home there was no fruit left on any of the trees!! Diane

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  101. Merci pour vos commentaires sur mon blog. Salutations charentaises.

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  102. Alrom Niverno . C'est un plaisir. J'aime vos photos beaucoup. Diane

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