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Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness...(part one)...


…well, a bit (in this garden) anyway…

It seems that I blinked and the summer vanished (but it didn’t come until August, if the truth be told)!!

Having had visitors all summer, I’d just had time to breathe and then………….OH was home!

Help at last, I thought…but, I was wrong…at least to begin with…

“Get a weekend bag packed – The ferry’s booked – we’re going to England!”, he announced.

Why? To buy a car from a garage in a place called Chesham…
The details are infinitely boring to anyone who doesn’t care about the Emperor’s New Cars, so I’ll skip this part and move straight on to getting home!

After a good dinner and lovely overnight sail and we were awoken to the most beautiful sunrise…

…and quite soon, it was Âllo Saint Mâlo!

We got home in record time…due to OH doing his best to impersonate Lewis Hamilton in his new toy…and the fact that it still had British plates…hmmm…

And, although there hadn’t been time to do any shopping…

The garden provided dinner that night!

Bull’s Horn Peppers

Piment D’Espellette (to add a touch of j’n’sais quoi)

Aubergine Violette (so much nicer…and more productive than the normal purple ones)

“Sweet” tomatoes…aptly named, they just keep producing all summer! This is not a great photo, as we’re at the end of the season now…

Yellow courgettes…That’s the last of them, thank goodness…I’ve pulled up the plants, just to make sure!!!

And we had some grapes with the cheese in the fridge…Muscat D’Alexandrie…so sweet and fragrant – they harvest late and are their best when honey/tan coloured…not bad for only their second year!

We did have a few physalis…dipped in chocolate…

…and a few figs…they’re ripening slowly this year…I hope that the bushload, still there, get a chance to ripen…

…same with the tomatoes “Ananas”…so sweet and succulent…all fabulous fleshiness and no seeds!

Hmmm, all that was needed is a dash of lemon…
…best crop I’ve ever had…but they’re not limes! They need to go yellow!!!

Not sure if we have enough sunshine left to bring them all to fruition…but, I’m living in hope…
…and if not…
…there’s a greenhouse…still flat-packed…in the back garden!!

In part two, I’ll explain how OH did help, whilst he was home…

Sorry about overdoing the sunrise…

And thanks for looking – with apologies to all my friends, who’s postings I’ve missed this summer xxx

More blog posts by karenfrance

Previous post: A "potted" history of summer 2012!

Next post: Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (continued...)



lovely sky photos karen and enjoyed all the blog, hope OH enjoys his new car lol, your not alone as i havent been here in ages, no summer here so no lovely summer blogs or flowers from me haha, take care :o))) x

2 Oct, 2012


that's a lovely set of sunrises there Karen i do love that sort of thing,, what a great crop you have there to.. look forward to part 2 :-)

2 Oct, 2012


I didn't find that sunrise 'overdone' at all....loved every photo. I'm rather envious of your harvest. My peppers all rotted, soft fruits ditto. My tomatoes never set, my aubergines flowered too late and had to be binned and I never even got the courgettes in the ground this year but it's probably just as well as they would have also rotted. I did get some nice little only success of the year apart from the Mange Tout which never seem to let me down. Those lovely aubergines are just like the ones I tried to grow. And your Lemon tree reminded me of the one I had....that died when I repotted it! Still that's life and I'm really glad that at least you had some summer Karen! Oh but most of all...WOW! Muscat grapes off the vine, some good French Cheese and a glass of Red.....whoo hoo, paradise! Cheers! :)

2 Oct, 2012


Hi Sandra, nice to see you again! I hope that you and yours are well! No flowers here either...
...and...don't encourage OH, with that know that thing about, "life flitting before your very eyes"!!! LOL!

Thanks SL! I can't take any credit...was too busy - and they did it themselves!
Part two is about ducks, leylandii, greenhouses and goji-berries! lol!!

Hi Karen! The "Sweet" tomatoes always work for me (without any help - I don't even feed them!)...
As for the's the first time I've had more than one (of more than 5cms)...and the peppers? The same! lol! Dunno what I did...(actually, I did absolutely NOTHING!) Must be the weather - I got coriander leaves this year too (it usually bolts!)

And those grapes are really, really good - especially with cheese...and...all those bottles of St Emilion, which we laid down...and forgot about! Got 'em - just in time!! Lol!

Santé! saving a bottle or two for you! x

2 Oct, 2012


Fantastic shots of the sunrise KF, hopefully you will see enough of it to ripen your fruit :o)

2 Oct, 2012


Love your pics Karen, and often envy your living in Poitou Charente. You must have green fingers ....such a harvest without a summer. Those sun rises are absolutely magnificent too.

2 Oct, 2012


Great blog I loved it all, looking forward to part 2

2 Oct, 2012


Lovely blog - fantastic sunrise ... and what lovely Aubergines! We've grown the 'normal' Aubergines for the first time this year and are quite stunned by them, but why do you say Violetta are "so much nicer?" If Santa sends me some seeds I may try those next year.

3 Oct, 2012


I am so impressed by your harvest Karen and really envy you being able to grow grapes. Looking forward to part two hun, oh and I love your Lemon pot (Pot envy again Lol!)

3 Oct, 2012


Wonderful pictures that sunrise was impressive. The fruits of your garden also look yummy. How nice to get lots off your plants especially the grapes - hope the lemons ripen soon. :O)

3 Oct, 2012


Wow those photo`s of the sunrise are fantastic Karen, your fruits look good as well, I hope you get the sun to ripen them for you...

3 Oct, 2012


Thanks Planto! I'm hoping for some more late sun too...but it's not looking all that hopeful right now...

We seem to have too much sun or too much rain this year!

Hi Ba! And thanks! I wish I did have green fingers. I'm pretty clueless, really. I think it's just down to living here, which I love...and so does fruit, it seems!

Thanks Denise! Part two is en-route I've got a goji-berry problem I need help with asap!

Hi Nariz and thanks! Aubergines have been a bit of a challenge for me over the years...never very successful. I grew one of each colour this year...the violette one by accident as it wasn't labelled. But, the fruits were all a decent size (unlike my purple efforts). The flesh is lovely and light and the skins are thinner and more delicate. Definitely worth asking Santa for seeds, I reckon...I know I'm going to look for them next spring!

Thanks Annie! We've always had vines (wine grapes) but, strangely, this one is the first that the wasps haven't devoured - and it's the first sweet one. In the past we had a vine arch over the gate and I had to cut all the baby grapes off before the wasps and hornets became a natural barrier to entering or leaving the house!

Thanks Olive! I've had to keep a watchful eye on these lemons...OH is convinced that if he picks them for his G&Ts, they'll be just the same as limes! He's been forbidden to touch...but, I keep having to count them - just in!

Thanks Lincs! It's been a funny year, weather-wise. Everything is so abundant - but so late! I'm with you in hoping for enough sun to ripen them all.

3 Oct, 2012


Great sky pics there KF, and loving the veg, you have still done very well : )

3 Oct, 2012


Hi KF what a super blog, loved it. Jxxx

3 Oct, 2012


Thanks Stevie...the sky was too beautiful to ignore and the veg just did their own thing...both of which were wonderful for me! :)

Thanks Jane...have you been away too? xxx

3 Oct, 2012


Brilliant blog and pics,Karen..I love your sky pics..and super to read part two now :o)

3 Oct, 2012


Lovely sunrise and super veg. A really yummy blog!

3 Oct, 2012


Thanks Bloomer and Mel! I'm just away to harvest all the aubergines. Since I took that photo, something has taken a great big bite out of the one in the front!!

5 Oct, 2012


Lovely sky photos, Karen.
How is Satchmo ?

5 Oct, 2012


Thanks Terra! It really was a beautiful sky that morning...and a treat for me. I never see gorgeous sunrises at home.

Satchmo looks a bit if he's been out in acid rain...but, it's obviously not bothering he's as happy as a dog with a haircut! :)

5 Oct, 2012


Sky pics need to be taken quickly, don't they .. because the colours and patterns are changing all the time ..

Glad Satchmo is happy with his new hair style ! :o)

5 Oct, 2012


It was lovely, had been soooo cold in England...and as the boat slipped slowly into France, I was on the deck, with my coffee and my camera, feeling the warmth...! :)

I'll give Satchmo's bald spots a week or two, for re-growth - and if there's none, we'll go to the vet! :)

5 Oct, 2012


Exmarid cream might work on Satchmo's skin ... Does he scratch the bald spots ?

5 Oct, 2012


He doesn't seem to have noticed them, Terra...I'm hoping that they'll just grow back, naturally...
But, the pharmacy will probably have that cream...maybe under another name, though.

6 Oct, 2012


Beautiful photos of the dawn. It's my favourite time of day :o)
You've had good crops ... that's great !

6 Oct, 2012


Thanks Hywel! I love it too, but, it's pretty wishy-washy here at home.

This is my best year ever for crops...just wish I knew what I did right...! :)

8 Oct, 2012


lol :o)
Some years it just works out like that ...

8 Oct, 2012


Lol! It's made me decide to really go for it next year, Hywel...from seeds...
Maybe I should open a book on my chances...! lol! :))

9 Oct, 2012


What a wonderful crop and a beautiful place to live is the weather nice at the moment. We are visiting Cognac in June on a property search. Enjoy reading you blogs keep them coming

22 May, 2013


Hi Eileen and thanks! :)

I'm afraid that it's colder and wetter than the UK at the moment...and set to stay that way until the end of the month. Nearly June and still wearing jumpers with the heating on!
Most unusual - everyone's complaining!

Hopefully, it will have returned to normal before you arrive - you can check on the France Meteo website, just to be sure.

The Charente is a really nice place to live (when the sun comes out, lol) so good luck with the house-hunting!

22 May, 2013

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