En vacances – Marseille in spring

Do you know that feeling? So much has happened in a few short weeks that you have no idea where to start?

I just scrolled through my photos online to see where we are up to. A post about the potager in early March? Argh. It’s almost April.

So pot of tea on the go (the now banned Lapsang Souchong brew owing to it being smoked over a fire to dry the leaves), a few too many Scottish shortbread biscuits and off we go.

It’s raining out there, and the cat is now relegated to the day bed behind me in the office, so she won’t be stepping on the track pad while I write.

We nipped down to Marseille for two days.

There was a Very Significant Birthday to celebrate and somehow lavish meals for lunch and dinner seemed to be appropriate.

Feasting! And then endless walking to get an appetite between meals. (Thank goodness the hike up to Notre Dame de la Garde from the Vieux Port was a good stiff hike. (47 flights of steps according to my smart watch)

Isn’t that sunshine glorious? We are in an unseasonable wet period here on the farm so it’s great to have a reminder.

And here’s the best bit of the trip. A new garden.

And one in absurd springtime plumage.

I have seen pictures of it in a Filippi Mediterranean planting book (La Mediterranée dans votre jardin.). But the scale of the thing was pure delight.

We walked over to the Mucem building on our first afternoon. It’s one of those must visit museums which – dare I admit it? – was a touch underwhelming. Full of fantastic stuff, but we paid well for only one floor of delights. All the fun stuff was about to be launched at Easter and we were ten days too early. So as we marched up through endless stairs of the building with signs saying ‘exhibition coming soon’ I kept looking out for signs to the Fort Saint-Jean garden.

It takes a gardener to find her way. Over the footbridge and into a paradise of shrubs.

At first I couldn’t work out how to actually get into the space I could glimpse above us.

But we trekked around the outside and at last…. a way in.

Is there anything finer than a secret looking entrance?

Don the sunnies and marvel at the springtime display.

Dense planting, all looking fab. And how amazing to see almonds fruiting on trees when ours are still struggling to transition from blossom to fruit.

I could have done with plant labels, but it was so much fun to try and guess what I was seeing.

Just look at these contrasting teucrums.

I must do a bit more research and find out when these shrubs were planted up.

(Pause, more tea, fewer biscuits, rummage online) 2013. Started in 2011. Damn fine planting.


And are the mad yellow shrubs with the pea family flowers coronilla? I think so.

I was punch drunk from the whole scene after half an hour and had to have a sit down.

Good thing this is just the city for feasting and sipping. And then heading off for walks.