A garden visit


How to type with a cat on one’s lap? Very badly it seems. I have had this blank page open for ages and keep lifting the computer out of the way so Artur can shed more cat hair all over my pjs.

He is so  happy in the early mornings. Full of beans. And I will be away for a week and we will both miss this little affectionate start to the day.


He is looking at me from the coffee table and I can see him over the top of the laptop. If I make proper eye contact he will stagger over to me and mess up my typing again. So it’s eyes down and on with the slide show.

A two hour drive to Andrew’s for a day out was this week’s treat.


I love seeing his garden and catching up on the news.  The drive in summer is often more frustrating as there is holiday traffic and road works. I have no idea why I caught four sets of long road delays, but it became frustrating. Hot and annoying.

But I will spare you my road rage chuntering and get on with plants.

Dark gladiolus, electric rudbeckia, lilies galore. What a treat.


We were both planning on a long lunch listening to the rain pattering down outside. It was forecast. But instead we just won the hot and steamy day with booms of thunder in the distance.

Hiding from the heat did mean I was able to admire Andrew’s latest hats in his studio.


But the lure of the lilies was too great, and we did a lap. (Nooooo, Artur, off!)

One beaten egg in a little bowl later I’m back. Peace. For a bit.


Plenty of cutting material here for the markets. Lilies do so well in his soil. Actually they do well in mine too. If I leave them in pots. One bulb per pot sunk into the ground. Andrew doesn’t have mole rats.


I came away after the long lunch refreshed and calm. We all need wise friends in our lives.

But the one shocking thing about the drive south was seeing the extent of the box caterpillar infestation.

IMG_8550I never realized just how bad it was. In French it’s called la pyrale du buis. If you do an internet search with images you will see this sort of thing all over France.

It is changing the landscape.


This was just at the bottom of the road up to our farm. I kept stopping to snap more dead hillsides. But then realized it was holiday season, and didn’t want to be rear-ended by a holiday driver who didn’t notice the gardener up ahead hanging out of the car taking photos of dead shrubs.