Monday, November 3, 2014

A Most Unusual Break-In

Having been away for two weeks with no one staying in the house, you always feel a bit nervous when you come back, not knowing what to expect. Not that we ever have had any problems since we started living full time here at Roche Fleurie.  This time, however, there was an unpleasant surprise when we turned the corner and first saw the porch. The glass in a window just above the door was smashed.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Last Colours

Leaves seem to be holding onto the trees slightly longer than they usually do. Could it be because of the rain that has been falling relentlessly (as you can see from the water in the field below)? There are still some bright colours, but they will not last much longer. All these pictures were taken in the neighbourhood.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Several plants only bloom in October such as the unidentified variety of chrysanthemum below, but just now, most of the flowers left in the garden are stragglers that have not yet been killed by frost. Here are some of the ones that were still hanging on a few days ago.

 Chrysanthemum (unidentified variety)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Plant portait - Perennial sunflowers

The willowleaf sunflower  (Helianthus salicifolius ) is perennial. It is not very demanding as far as soil is concerned, but it requires full sun. It can vary in size a great deal and spreads by creeping rhizomes, covering quite a bit of ground over time.

Willowleaf Sunflower

Friday, October 3, 2014


As some of you will know from previous posts, Roche Fleurie is in a former meadow reverting to forest.  Most of the trees that have volunteered in that meadow are apple trees. These trees all come from seeds scattered by wild animals eating apples. They hybridize on their own, and all are edible. But most are too tart to be eaten raw, although the majority are good cooking apples. In fact, out of the lot some turn out to be quite tasty even raw. Here are a few pictures of some of these apples and what we use them for.

Unnamed apple variety

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mother and Children

This post is about a memorial garden. It is rather small - just a few columnar trees in a grassy enclosure with a monument in the center. It is on private land but sits right next to the road in a forested area. The public is welcome to stop and visit.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tomatoes - 2014

As usual we are growing different  tomato varieties this year, both some old favorites and a few new ones. Many are heirlooms and all are open pollinated (meaning that you can save the seeds, and that you will get the same variety from these seeds). I thought I would do a review of these varieties.

First I must say that for us 2014 was not an ideal tomato year. I was reading in the local paper that the summer of 2014 is probably going to be the coldest and wettest in 20 years. Tomatoes like it hot and sunny.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Plant Portrait - Calceolaria mexicana

Calceolaria mexicana is annual. I got it from my friend Glen who grew it from seed. Last year, I put the few plants I had in a container, and it was not particularly successful. This year, I was once again given a few small plants which I decided to put directly in the ground, and they did much better. Glen tells me that it comes back from seed year after year. He has some nice drifts in his own garden.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Best New Plants for 2014

Every year, each of us tries new plants. Some are very successful, others do not do as well. Thinking about the plants we grew for the first time this year, I decided to write a post about the best ones among our own first timers. I restricted the choice to the best three, each of which is a plant I would most certainly keep or even grow more of.

The "first prize" goes to Oenothera (Gaura) lindheimeri 'Rosy Jane'.

Gaura lindheimeri 'Rosy Jane'

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Containers 2014

I like growing things in pots, both annuals and perennials. Most of the time I put only one variety in each pot. As with every year, this last summer, some pots were more successful than others.

Here is a review of what I grew in pots in 2014 and how well they did. The most successful was an alstroemeria. The variety, Fabiana, has variegated foliage which adds interest even when the plant is not in bloom.

Alstromeria 'Fabiana'