16 May 2011


When we arrived in Le Grand-Pressigny at the very end of April our judas trees at the back of the house were in full bloom.

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The trees produce masses of little pink flowers which are so pretty.  Unfortunately later on they produce masses of ugly seed pods which pile up on the garden and terrace, blow under the kitchen door and generally make a mess.  They are also the trees that caused us a spot of bother with the neighbours when branches fell off into their garden and squashed some plants.  Oh dear.

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But at this time of year we can enjoy them for what they are.  When there was a bit of a breeze (we don’t often get really strong winds, we have noticed) it snowed pink snow.  The snow formed drifts where the grass meets the tiles on the terrace and formed puddles in the leaves of garden plants.

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When I took Lulu for a walk behind the château, we came across things I didn’t remember from previous visits, including holes in the ground.  Some were very small, presumably made by an insect or other creep-crawly.  Others were much larger, big enough to take a mole or other little animal.

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There were also lots of catkins.  My heart skipped a beat when I first spotted the ones on the left – at first glance they looked like processionary caterpillars.  Thank goodness they weren’t – we were too late in the year for those, I think.

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We were delighted with all the flowers everywhere.  The climbing rose on the front of the house was in bloom and there were lots of lovely flowers in our little back garden.

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These irises appeared on our doorstep on the second day of our holiday – left there for us by Mme André. 

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This fabulous poppy was in flower in Alex and Nicole’s garden at Les Limornières.  All in all, we had a very floral and fragrant week.


  1. Are you any friendlier with your neighbours now? Our 'idiot' that has a barn next door to us, he does not even live there, goes ape when one of the leaves from our laurel hedge should touch his fence. I actually cut it back on his side this morning before he came round complaining. I simply ignore him nowadays as does everyone else in the hamlet!! Diane

  2. Love the poppy. I like the judas trees too but wouldn't enjoy their mess. One of the things I don't miss about France were the processionary caterpillars. Those things are evil and can be quite deadly to dogs. I was always paranoid for the month they made their journey from the trees to underground about Boris going up to investigate them. Fortunately I always managed to spot them in our garden before he did.

  3. Jean,

    How lovely to have a neighbour leaving you such a beautiful bunch of flowers.

  4. What a lovely gesture from your neighbour! And the photos are gorgeous.
    ps. We made your chocolate crackle cookies with gluten-free flour and they were great! Need to remember to add extra liquid next time as the gluten free flour absorbs so much more than ordinary flour. Thanks again for the recipe

  5. Jean, I hope I'm not posting this twice, but I wonder what the variety of poppy is. Maybe Patty's Plum? I hope it's not some rare, only-in-France variety.

  6. Hi Jean
    When we go to our place, there are no flowers or neighbours leaving any. You are so lucky. One day we will have them in abundance like we have here in Newark.
    Glad you enjoyed your holiday.

  7. Carolyn, It is Patty's Plum. It was brought as a root cutting from England in 2006 & is now doing very nicely in le Grand Pressigny...it goes very nicely with the Mairie approved "Bordeaux Prune" window paint!

  8. Diane - Luckily, most of our neighbours are lovely people and we don't see the stroppy ones that often !!

    Craig - the processionary caterpillars are awful - I'm so glad I found out about them in time to keep Lulu from serious harm.

    Gaynor - we're very lucky to have such a lovely person living right next door.

    Colin and Elizabeth - pleased to be of service !!

    Carolyn - sorry to have been so tardy with my replies but Nicole has replied with the answer !

    Nicole - thanks for that.