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  • Writer's picturePenny

Summer flowers @Cousserat

First of all, what happened to July? It passed me by in the blink of an eye; probably because we had lots of family visiting us, which was such a wonderful treat given all the recent Covid restrictions - hence no blog until now.

I've chosen summer flowers as the topic for my blog this month because they all look so glorious at this time of the year. I have to admit to being a complete novice when it comes to growing and caring for anything in the garden; it’s all one big experiment which I’ve been so happy to have more time for this year. However, I still find myself popping into various garden centres around the region, finding plants I simply like the look of and then asking the first assistant I can find if the plant I like loves lots of sun, as that is what our garden gets a lot of during the summer months.

So far, I think I’ve learned really basic ‘stuff’ that experienced gardeners reading this will laugh out loud at but here goes:

1. Lavender is amazing!! There are so many excellent qualities to this plant, including the following: it looks really pretty; it smells beautiful; it attracts lots of bees and is therefore great for the environment; it deters mosquitoes (not that we get too many of these at Cousserat); finally, it needs minimal care. We have a border of lavender close to the pool and the majority of our guests comment on its beauty, as well as the large variety of busy bee species they see working their way through it.

2. Pansies last forever. I bought some cheap and cheerful pansies in February to brighten the place up when the lovely lady from the tourist board came to inspect our gites (and gave us four stars no less). I thought they would only last a couple of months but lo and behold they are still just about holding their own in August. Now I just have to work out how to preserve them over the winter in the hope they come up again next year.

3. Oleanders just keep flowering. I adore Oleanders – the colours, the shape of the plants and the fact they just keep on flowering in heat and drought. Like the lavender, they need very little care. I planted a hedge of Oleanders in the Spring last year which will grow into quite a tall hedge eventually and will act as a wind break to the pool area. Mike also made a beautiful wooden ‘hedge box’ in between the two gites this year in which we planted some very pretty, tall, dark pink Oleanders to provide privacy for each group of our gite guests.

4. Anything yellow makes me feel mellow

OK, so this isn’t learning about gardening per se, more learning about self but if yellow plants make me feel happy, hopefully they will have the same effect on our lovely guests. Here are two yellow plants we’ve bought recently – no idea what they’re called but aren’t they superb?

That's it for this month everyone. If anyone reading this wants to give me any advice about what to plant or what you'd like to hear more about in one of my blogs, just get in touch at:

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