La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Garden Impressions


It looks like everything in the garden needs seeing to, all at once.  And I have been trying to keep up.
Turning the attention to the vegetable garden.  it certainly looks like a blank canvas now, but I have been sowing lettuces, chard, peas (mainly for pea shoots), carrots, parsnip, radishes, beetroot, runner beans ......

 In a couple of months time the soil won't look so bare and our raised beds will hopefully be choc-a-block full of greens.
The  greenhouse is doing it's job nicely, even if it is standing halfway down the woods.


 I harvested the rather slender leeks, but left a few to go to seed.  The flowers are beautiful and the seeds will be collected for the year after.
When we first moved here, just over 2 years ago, this garden had plenty  of high beech hedges, some azalea and a few rhododendrons.  That is not a lot to provide colour or to attract beneficial insects.
This has already changed, as one of the first things we did was cut back the monotonous drone that were the hedges.  Not all, just the ones that were most oppressive.
Now there are lots of other plants growing in between, like honeysuckle, broom, rowan and I even discovered some hawthorn. 
They can all stay as it will be more pleasing to the eye, says I.

We also stocked up a border with herbaceous plants.  It might look a little bleak still, but come summer it will be ablaze with colour.
Gardens full of colour are not fashionable at the moment, here in Belgium. The trend is to grow only white flowers and everything green needs to be trimmed into a regimented shape......


.....Not in this girl's garden. I love a good variety of structural plants and colourful flowers.  An abudance, a jungle like feel .....
My favourite vistas in the garden. 
Above : a collection of different shapes  and colours of leaves and flowers.  The rowan blooms will turn into bright orange berries later in the season.
Below : an azalea that I uncovered last year, a young American oak (which I should be cutting down, but I don't want to), willows (salix) and rhododendron together, looking very dramatic.


Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed being led up the garden path.


Patricia xxx...x
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