22 February 2014

Saxifrage in full bloom

It's hard for me to remember at what time of year the saxifrage plants, which are perennials, out in the back yard usually bloom. I know there are flowers on them in the summer, and I'm pretty sure they are often in bloom into December, at the beginning of winter. I think late February saxifrage flowers are pretty unusual, at least here in the Saint-Aignan area. So is our weather this year.

As you can see, yesterday morning the sun was shining brightly. I took advantage of it to take some photos, even though walking in the yard and around the vineyard is still like trudging through slop. It's more like wading than walking, and Callie and I are both soaking wet when we get back home — me from the knees down, and Callie from the chest down. A light rain is falling again this morning.

I call these plants and flowers "saxifrage" in both French and English, because that's what the woman we bought our house from called them. A quick search on the web and in Wikipedia tells me that the plant's real name is Bergenia crassifolia (or B. cordifolia) and it is known variously as badan, Siberian tea, Mongolian tea, leather bergenia, winter-blooming bergenia, heartleaf bergenia, elephant's ears, or elephant-ears.

This coming week we are getting our kitchen ceiling repaired. It has rained so much, with no evidence of further leaking, that we are confident the timing is right. The contractor will come in to start work Tuesday morning, and he's told us the job will take him four mornings. We have to take everything off all the surfaces in the kitchen, but we don't have to empty the cabinets. That's a relief. We also have to figure out how to set up a temporary kitchen, with the microwave and the counter-top oven, so that we can at least re-heat food for our midday meals.


  1. Our bergenias are still under snow. Even so, they won't bloom till April or May. Nice to see yours looking healthy.

  2. This is a very pretty early flowering plant which I used to grow. But it NEVER bloomed in February. And not in March either. You are having a strange winter. As we are. It's been brutally cold. But oddly, we've had much more sun than usual.

  3. I am glad your ceiling will finally be repaired. I hope all will go well.

  4. As Nadege said, so glad to hear that you're finally able to feel confident in getting your ceiling repaired.

    How nice to see blooming plants. Nary a bit of green around here, except for the evergreens.


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