Monday, May 9, 2011

Week 50: Storms, Gardens and Shops

One evening this week we had a wonderfully dramatic storm with rain beating down furiously, thunder ringing all around and great cracks of lightening illuminating the sky in sudden flashes. It was of Biblical proportions making one feel as if the end of the world was nigh.  Of course the next morning the sun was shining and the earth was sweet and calm again. I find the weather here so perfect. Storms almost always seem to come when we're tucked into our cozy apartment and we have a front row view across the valley as all the drama unfolds.

I have been enjoying our terrace this week, soaking up the sun and feeling as if I'm in a magical world. The fountain gurgles, everything is in bloom, the scent of iris and rose wafts through the air and the vines climb the walls creating a verdant secret garden. It makes it hard to concentrate on any kind of work. I feel like I'm greeting old friends when one by one the roses come into bloom. My favorite is the old fashioned pink climber on the trellis:

 She grows in and between this little purple bohemian:

Then there's Ghislaine de Feligonde, a very sweet smelling demur beauty:

And the extravagant and generous mutabilis:

We have four white blush tree roses arranged symmetrically on either side of the planters:

And the rather gaudy yellow climber adorns the front of the house almost all summer long:

It's a lot of roses for a small  terrace.

Our garden up above has many more rose varieties, mostly standard teas. They are just beginning to bloom. Rick just came in to show me the big bouquet he collected there. The bare spots will soon have huge dahlia plants which faithfully produce flowers for continuous cutting all through the season.


This week I officially opened up our boutique, by arranging cards, prints and small paintings. Visitors are beginning to frequent the village, especially on weekends. The castle is open for the season and Sunday drivers park outside the house and stroll through town to enjoy the calm and quiet charm.

For my blogger friend Janet, I took a photo of this found heart; left over ink in my mixing dish. She published one she noticed a few weeks ago. When I spied this, I was thrilled. I love the idea of finding random hearts here and there as one walks through the world. I'm all for happy signs and secret messages.

We also rearranged the downstairs sitting room for summer. During winter the chairs focus on the fireplace. There is nothing like a big roaring fire in our large fireplace when it's cold outside. But once the fire season is over, it's time to change the furniture around into a more communal arrangement.

We took a walk every day this week. Just below the village is an incredible field of poppies. It reminds me so much of Italy.


  1. I was educated with a mother who made us fear thunder and asked us to remain quiet behind the door and we had to count how far away was supposed the thunder to fall down ! So ... it is still difficult for me to appreciate and to share with you the "beauty" of a thunder storm ! About roses, on the other hand, I agree totally. I thank everyday nature to offer such beautiful things. I am delighted every year for the renewal of nature asif it was the first time.
    The last picture with the poppies seem to come right from Manet's painting. Several years back, poppies have almost disapeared because of the chemicals in the fields. They start again now and this is a good thing.

  2. What a lovely site. I came across it by chance when I clicked a link about favourite books on my own profile page: "The Wanderer" by Alain-Fournier. You're very lucky to live where you live. I'm lucky that I live only a short flight from Quebec City. Either way, we're both lucky.

  3. Good morning my friend,

    Oh my...where do I even begin!

    Your roses are fabulous...fabulous. I believe I can smell their sweet scent from here. I'm tempted to say the creamy whites are my favorite, but that pink climber is a stunner also. What a lovely spot for your morning coffee.

    I so agree with your feeling of greeting old friends when favorite flowers return each year. Perennials are so great that way.

    Your wonderful red heart put such a smile on my face....don't you love finding surprises like that?

    Your stormy window photo has the most stunning blue and gold colors. Great shot.

    Thank you so much for your well wishes for my mother, she is doing very well.
    I missed my blog friends and am happy to be back.

    You are so thoughtful to think of me in your busy life...I treasure our friendship. I know we will meet someday and hug like long lost sisters ;->

    your friend,
    Janet xox