On Tuesdays, during school term, we go to French language classes in Mayenne.  They are two hours long and while, sometimes, I would rather be doing something else (!) when we are there, I enjoy them and think they are really helping with my French – I’ve still a long way to go though!!

As we are in town, we take the opportunity to do any shopping, stock up on DIY items and anything else we can’t get locally, before coming home; often it’s late afternoon and there is not really enough time to start ‘working’ again.

Today was no exception but instead of settling down for the evening in the living room, I thought I’d take a stroll around the garden – I was surprised how much everything has grown.  After all the hard work we have put into the garden over the last 18 months, it really is beginning to pay off…..

New and expanded beds are full to brimming…

 

I love some of the colour combinations (of course intended!!),

The bank that was a weedy mess until a year ago,  is an absolute riot of colour, already – many of these plants were gratefully received from our friends and family…

The new planting around the stone seat, where there was once a forsythia stump, is beginning to establish itself with the plants that were so kindly donated to us by our friends, Mike and Hilary.

 The ox-eye daisies are a real picture and I have continued them around the other stone seats circling the lime tree – they can be seen from the kitchen window as I write this post….

This spring, I have been taking cuttings of anything I can lay my hands on, in the garden and while out and about.  Just this week I was potting up some of my successes (roses, sage, currants, Penstemon, dianthus, etc.) and the ‘nursery’ is looking quite full now too….

I made the narrow border around the well a little wider and now the foxgloves, poppies, Centaurea and Nectaroscordums are making a fine show….

The bees just love the foxgloves…..

 

On the big barn wall, a rose that Mum gave me last year is flowering for the first time, after the shock of being moved – so pretty with the foxglove and a beautiful scent…

The steps leading to the top lawn are looking pretty now – hard to imagine that we didn’t know they were there when we first arrived, being covered by years of growth of a cherry laurel….

The ‘Kitchen Garden’ (so called because it is next to the kitchen, not because it produces any foodstuffs!), goes from strength to strength…

I love the astrantias – you can see why they are called ‘Hattie’s Pin Cushion’…..

The vegetable plot is also coming along well, while the surrounding ‘wild areas’, soften the hard lines of the beds….

 

One of the biggest surprises has been the meadow.  I recall, after cutting it for the first time last spring, that there was a huge amount of sheep sorrel, with just a few other bits and bobs dotted about along with some large knapweed…  This year, it seems to have taken off – the bedstraw has just finished flowering but the ox-eye daisies line the pathways and fencing, while the beautiful lesser stitchwort look like stars amongst the greenery and other dainty flowers.  And there are so many stunning grasses – I wish I knew their names….

 

The combination of the stitchwort and gentians cats eyes is just lovely, but then I saw a clump with birds foot trefoil, mmmmmm!

 

Followed by the first flowering knapweed….

I love this place and all it has to offer.  Sometimes I forget to look at what we have, especially when I am busy ticking off jobs on my list of ‘things to do’!

It’s been an overcast day, pleasantly warm but dull.  Until a moment ago, when a break in the clouds let the setting sun shine through the trees across the way.  Hopefully it will be a fine day tomorrow…. ♥