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.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

One Bright Spark !

Yes, one bright spark in the garden.  And it is this lovely peony.

It certainly makes up for the lack of flowers in this year's spring garden with it's diameter of 25 cm.
This star takes no prisoners. It doesn't stand for competition of plebeian flowers.  It stands proud and in solitude, if you don't take into account the million forget-me-nots that have surrounded this beauty like groupies in awe of their pop idol. 

Aye, this year's spring was not like previous years.  Whilst last spring the weather was like a very hot and dry summer with all the problems that come with it - uhuh, problems - this spring has been 'april showers' all the way, without much sunshine and a bit nippy.  So everything is much later to germinate, flower... What does grow like nobody's business is the grass and everything 'green' (hedges, shrubs, nettles, ground elder, chickweed, ...)

At least with all this unsuitable weather to work in the garden, we had time to bring the house in order to put it on the market.  The estate agent came last Friday and we signed the contract.  It will take a couple of weeks before it will appear on the main Belgian property website, but I will keep you posted, of course. 
In the meantime you can visit the album House for Sale on Facebook .

Today was a glorious day and we managed to do a bit of gardening.  Bert worked in the greenhouse. He made a climbing frame for the cucumbers. All the other beds are prepared and on Tuesday my mother and I will go and buy some much needed tomato plants, cucumber, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, etc. 
I'll buy some more hostas and creeping jenny too, to plant next to the pond.  I've potted out my primulas that where finished flowering, lady's mantle (bought a while ago), loosestrife.  They all found a place near the pond's edge. 
And I'll tell you something else. We spotted plenty of salamander babies in the water !!
Mum came and helped with weeding some in the herbacious border and she planted seedlings of delphiniums, zinnia and China aster.

So, we keep busy....
...while the cat melts away in the sun.

Thank you for dropping by.
Patricia xxx...x


  1. As you say, that Peony is absolutely lovely. One single bloom like that can make up for a lot of disappointing weather!
    Your cat is evidently exhausted by all its hard work too...

  2. Mooie pioenen!!
    Veel succes met de verkoop van je huis!

  3. I love Peonies can be a real show piece as this one is we made the mistake of moving one once to a better spot in the garden was never the same after. Cats you love`em or hate`em me love there aloofness last one we had adopted us walked in one day and never left.

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