02 November 2011

La crève et les plantes

J'ai attrapé la crève. Je tousse. J'ai le nez qui coule et les yeux qui pleurent. Je suis à plat. Et puis, depuis le changement d'heure dimanche, j'ai l'impression qu'il fait nuit tout le temps. Hier matin, il a plu comme vache qui pisse pendant au moins trois heures. C'est novembre, quoi...

So that's what's going on here. A bad cold. I got it from Walt, just as he was getting over it. We can't figure out where he got it, except that about 10 days ago we spent half an hour in a crowded wine bar down in Saint-Aignan having a glass with friends. Crowds! You can have them. And November — you can have that too. Besides, today is a Catholic holiday: the Day of the Dead!

Weather forecast for tomorrow afternoon

Otherwise, when it's not raining, I've been out trying to continue cleaning up the yard and garden. I've raked more leaves. I've brought in more of the potted plants that spent the long dry summer outdoors. Do you keep potted plants? They are a lot of trouble, but I can't stop myself. In San Francisco, a lot of plants in pots could stay outdoors year-round, because the temperature never went down to freezing. Here, they have to come back in for the winter.

One of the best improvements we've made to this house since we moved in was to have the little front porch glassed in. Now we have a sun porch where we can keep plants during the cold months. This past summer I bought a couple of wooden shelf units, and Walt bolted them to the wall on the sun porch a week or two ago. That gives a lot of room for pots.

A lot of my potted plants have sentimental value. They've been given to me by people I'm close to: CHM, my mother, our friend Gisèle on the other side of the village, and Josette, the woman who sold us our house here. They replaced plants that we had in California, many of which made the trip across the U.S. with us when we left the East Coast for the West in 1986. When we left California in 2003, we had to leave all the plants behind.

The new loft space with its four windows
gives me a lot more space for houseplants.

Thanks, however, to a cousin in N.C., my mother, and CHM, I still have potted plants that were my grandmother's before she died back in 1977. They are little Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’ plants that moved with me from North Carolina to Washington DC and now to France. It's a long story, and a long history. I had given some cuttings to CHM when we left California, and some to my mother when we stayed with her that year. CHM brought me some cuttings from back there after we were settled in Saint-Aignan, and my mother did the same. Now I've got two or three pots of them growing again.

There's something about bringing potted plants in and keeping them going over the cold winter months that feels very positive, optimistic, and satisfying. Especially when you have a bad cold and it's raining buckets outdoors.


  1. Very impressed with the layout of your photos in today's post. You have told me how difficult is is to position them sometimes. I always enjoy that warm, sunny entryway.
    Hope you get over from the cold very soon.
    VW: creplio -- the place we went for lunch 2 weeks ago?

  2. Hope your cold gets better very soon. Also have well travelled house plants including a weeping fig tree [ficus benjaminus] which I've had since 1979. It is now resides in Niall's study again having spent all summer outdoors.

  3. Just like Cheryl I enjoy that front sunny porch, even though its inhabitants are outside on extended vacations for the summer when I visit with both of you.

    Hi, Cheryl, I agree with you about the layout of today's photos. Very impressed.

  4. May you feel well, soon........I love stories of plants given away coming back to the giver....In Elizabeth Coatsworth's Alice-All-By-Herself is a story of an old lady in New England who had all her plants freeze one night, but all the people who had been given starts of them over the years brought them back to her....That's a very hopeful thought.

  5. So sorry about the bad cold. That's what you get for going to bars! We have just a few house plants right now. Like you, we've left everything behind (several times) when we've moved. It sure would be fun to have cuttings from my old ones. Hope you're BOTH feeling better soon.

  6. Thank goodness that a bad cold and icky rain do not deter you from writing a lovely post.

    Get well and warm up soon.

  7. From the porch to the loft-those pics are beautiful and I like both the sunny porch and the new loft ( reason I mentioned a nice leather fauteuil last time).

    You are lucky Ken with your potted plants - i had to bring in my Christmas cacti and they are flowering already. Same with my orchids.

    Take care of that cold -caught one from Yves who caught it at work last month and it was not fun when there is yard work to be completed before the mercury goes down.
    Un petit grog le soir aide à s'endormir :-)

  8. Cheryl, Blogger's editor lets you import pictures in your choice of three sizes (L,M, or S), and gives you four alignment options (left, right, center, and free-floating). That's enough for me. The pictures in this post are small and free-floating or "in line" and not otherwise aligned. The problem comes when you try to wrap text around the images. You'll notice that I seldom try to do that. I'm more interested in the content and am content (ha ha) with simple formatting.

  9. Hi Beav, I don't put my Christmans cactus plants outdoors. Not sure why. I had a lot of them in California, and when we bought this house here in Saint-Aignan there was one in the garage. It's very big, and it flowers beautifully most years. I've kept it, watered it, fed it, but never repotted it. I have taken cuttings from it, though, and started another couple of cactuses in other pots.

  10. Well, I did like both your paragraphs related to... your cold, the one in French is typical of what we, French people, usually say when we have "la crève", lol !


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