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Friday, 25 April 2014

Random Friday

I spotted my first rose of summer on Saint George's Day. How appropriate! It's not the most spectacular specimen that I've ever grown in my garden, and it doesn't have any scent, which is always a huge disappointment to me. But, still, it's a start.



I'm missing the wonderful Spanish lavender and the wild rock roses that grow everywhere along the Costa Brava. My own lavender back in London is looking very lacklustre.




One of the really interesting things about our drive home through France was watching the topography and the vegetation change as we drove north. We set off from sunny Sant Feliu de GuĂ­xolls on the Costa Brava with red/ orange poppies waving in the breeze along the roadside.


Then we drove up into the Pyrenees, crossing the French border into Languedoc-Roussillon. As we headed into the higher altitudes of the Haute-Roussillon we took a trip back into winter. The car thermometer suggested that the external temperatures were hovering around freezing. At one point we drove through an icy shower of sleet. Wind blown pine trees, and drab brown grass were everywhere. We stopped for coffee and croissants at Le Larzac, and I shivered as I took Maxi, our dog, to have his toilet break in the wet grass. I was dressed for the Mediterranean, but it felt like I'd landed in the Tundra.

We crossed the truly spectacular Millau Bridge, feeling that the views alone justified the toll money that we had to pay to cross. 


Then, after a bit, as the road started to gently go down again, we spotted loads of little daffodils growing along the grass verges, lost drifts of springtime, blooming cheerfully in the icy conditions. Our daffodils finished weeks' ago back in London, but these little chappies were still going strong. They looked shorter and hardier than ours; better suited to growing in the harsh climate on the shoulder of the mountain. 

We descended further, and the sun came out. The thermometer told us that we were back up into the teens again: proper spring weather. As we carried on past Clermont-Ferrand, the roadsides burst alive with wild lilac bushes: purple, mauve, white and slightly pink. They were glorious, and when you rolled down the window the scent was sublime. Mixed in with the lilac were loads of wild laburnum trees, their yellow blossoms in full bloom. 

As we drove through the Bourbonnais, in the very heart of France, we saw fat, contented Charolais cows, happily munching the clover with their calves by their sides. There were no other types of cows for what seemed like hundreds of kilometres: no black and white Friesians, no black cows, no brown cows, no mixed-up-coloured cows, nothing apart from these wonderful, white creatures looking more pristine than seemed possible for a white cow in a field. 

Carrying on northwards we started to see more and more mistletoe growing in the trees. They had been more spectacular on our outward journey, three weeks' earlier, when the leaves were not in bud, but they still bore an uncanny resemblance to Dr. Seuss's Truffula Trees, straight out of The Lorax: huge pompom trees, like something that had been drawn by a cartoonist rather than created by Mother Nature.

Finally we arrived at Le Tunnel, took Le Shuttle and came back home to Blighty.

The following morning, coffee-cup in hand, and still wearing in my pyjamas, I went out for a look at my own little garden. It's looking a little wilder, and a little shaggier than I'd like it to. My daffodils are history, but my bluebells are wonderful. 


Whatever you're doing for the weekend, I hope you have a good one!

All the best,

Bonny x



12 comments:

  1. A wonderful floral journey.....from the weather forecast this morning, it doesn't sound like you or I will be spending much time pottering our gardens this weekend, but at least you have your memories of the lovely flowers on the journey home. (I'm on the Sussex coast.)

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  2. Thanks, Mandy. Yes, I think we're heading for an indoor weekend, but hopefully the weather is saving itself for the bank holiday next week. All the best, Bonny

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  3. What a delightful road trip! So glad you shared it.

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    1. Thank you, Dotti. It was fun. Thanks for dropping by. Bonny

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  4. What a wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing the wonderful photos. That bridge is pretty cool looking. Loved those bright red poppies. Ours won't be blooming here for some time yet. Still enjoying the last of the Daffodils and the Tulips and hoping the rain stops soon.

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    1. Thanks, Ida. Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the poppies down in the Costa Brava are really special just now, but I'm sure your daffodils and tulips are lovely too. It's a pity when the rain spoils them. All the best for the weekend, Bonny

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  5. Oh those red poppies are delicious! Sounds like an amazing adventure.

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  6. Thanks, Sarah. They're my favourites. Have a great weekend, Bonny

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  7. Thanks for sharing your drive I could really imagine being in the car with you...

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  8. Thanks, Viv. It was fun. Hope you're having a great weekend, Bonny

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  9. I loved reading your story about your trip back to the UK, how wonderful ! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thanks, Caz. It was an interesting trip. All the best, Bonny

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