05 May 2016


No, it won't be what you think — even though I have in fact planted some collards out in the garden, and I have kale plants that are ready to be set out. That could happen today. Whatever... with this fine weather we are having, I've been spending time outside just nosing around, trimming back ivy and briars, watering, and taking photos.

Above is a branch of a fig tree that we planted at least 10 years ago. It's never been very productive, but this year there are encouraging signs. There seem to be a couple of dozen little figs on it — many more than ever before. Friends who live down the road a ways told us a fig tree in their yard suddenly started producing a lot of figs last summer, after years of producing not much. I'm optimistic.

This is a sedum plant that we found here when we moved in in June 2003. The sedum was planted in a bed along the south side of the house. I replanted some of it in a big square jardinière, and it has come back faithfully every year since then. It doesn't flower until the end of the summer, though.

I'm not sure if this is an onion flour or a garlic flower. Whichever, it lives in a pot and has also been coming back every year for probably a decade. Should I pull up the plant and eat the bulb, be it garlic or onion? I guess not. It's just decorative.

Out in the vineyard, the leaf buds on the vines continue to develop and thrive. Before long, the vineyard, which is skeletal in winter, will be an immense carpet of green, with thousands of bunches of grapes hanging off the canes.

Years ago, we planted five artichoke plants. Three on them didn't make it, but two did. One is pretty small, but this one is huge. Maybe we'll actually get some artichokes from it this summer

By the way, today is a holiday in France — it's Ascension Day — and because it (always) falls on a Thursday, it means that a lot of people take a four-day weekend. That's especially the case this year, because the weather has turned out to be so warm and sunny. Yesterday, there were 700 kilometers — more than 400 miles — of traffic jams observed on the main highways in France. I'm just a glad to be staying at home.


  1. Did you ever eat any
    fig from your fig tree? If you didn't, it probably means your tree is a male fig tree. The green fig you see on it might not be edible. If it is the case, you'll need to plant a female tree next to this one to get plenty of figs in the summer. I'm emailing you an article on the subject.

    1. I think the trees has produced edible figs before. We'll see what it does this year when autumn rolls around.

    2. That's interesting chm. I never knew that there were male and female figs. The sedum is most attractive, but the artichoke is magnificent.

  2. Glad to be hunkered down in Biarritz. Weather divine. Food too. Also new grandbaby

    1. You are lucky to be there and having this gorgeous weather. Congrats on the new grandbaby.

  3. The artichoke plant is especially attractive :)
    I know you're glad you weren't in that traffic jam -- I, too, hate sitting in traffic!


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