27 April 2013

Cool temps but nice light

Walt turned the heat back on this morning. Oh well. The morning sky is clear, with just a thin layer of haze. As they say in France — I'm translating — "in April, even when the weather is dandy, keep your winter clothes handy... in May you can put them away."

It's apple blossom time in Saint-Aignan. The quality
of the light yesterday afternoon was especially nice.

Yesterday, I was lucky with the rain. We got nearly two-thirds of an inch over the morning and early afternoon hours. When I went out with the dog, however, it had stopped. Not long after I got back from the late afternoon walk with Callie, the rain started coming down again.

This is a lilac bush that we planted three or four years ago.

We are especially glad to have done the work we managed to do in the garden during our short spell of warm dry weather. You can see the result from the picture below. Gardening is more about waiting and finding the ideal time to do things than it is about actual physical labor, when you count the days and hours spent doing each.

There's only one garden plot left to till now, unless I decide to run the tiller through
all of them again before we put the garden in. Sure is green, isn't it?

We can't safely plant summer crops outdoors in this part of France until May 15, because of the risk of frost or even a freeze. Many years, we don't set plants out in the garden, or put seeds in the ground, until June 1. It would be too bad if we had a hard freeze at this point, because so many trees are covered in blossoms. It happened last year, however, and we get almost no apples at all.


  1. It was overcast almost all day yesterday, but we didn't have any rain here in Paris.

    How did the Aucubas fare this winter?

  2. Apologies....chm has the hiccups!!

    Walt... that apple blossom picture is beautiful!!
    And you are right about timing it... we haven't even got a spud in the ground yet!!

  3. Ken here, not Walt. I yelled "BOO" at CHM and his hiccups went away. As for planting, it has been "Hurry up and wait..."

    CHM, the aucuba plants are living but not growing much. A few days ago I mixed up some plant fertilizer and fed them. Hope that does more good than harm.

  4. My aucuba is huge now. I love their leaves. Your photos are beautiful today, Ken. I love the light this time of year and yes, your back yard is really really green.

  5. Sleet is falling. Ice pellets. Jeez. It's late April and it's almost snowing. Evelyn, did you plant your aucuba in the sun or in the shade?

  6. sleet and ice pellets!?? Geeeze! It's 50 here and will be raining lightly all day again today, but Sunday starts several days of real spring temps and sun.

    Your lilacs and cherry tree look sooooo lovely. I have really grown to appreciate these things that I paid no attention to whatsoever when I was much younger.

    Do you fertilize your lilacs? Ours in front don't seem to flower very much. I wonder if they need more care from us?

  7. Judy, we haven't fertilized the lilac. Our only regret concerning it is that it's a lilac that flowers only every other year. It's been so wet this year, since autumn, that all the plants seem to doing well. News reports are saying that our long-term drought is pretty much over now. But spring is way behind schedule.

  8. Good lighting is right! Beautiful shot of the apple blooms. Your yard could be in Oregon - lots of green here, too. Although we are having a nice slew of 70+ days now until next Tuesday when the rain is due back.
    Oh well, as you did, I'm trying to get some work done outside while there is sunshine.

  9. "in May you can put them away" No...they definitely got that wrong. I've found that even in July, you may well need your winter clothes.

  10. In England there's an old saying "Cast ne'er a clout/Till May be out", with periodic debate as to whether it means May the month, or may the hawthorn flower.

  11. Starman, when you live in Florida, you never need winter clothes. Our July is your Florida December.


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