the Hautpoul hike

May’s blessed many bank kolidays have let me take some time off the house and the pets.

Off I went for a few days in the south west and I did this hike with my dad. A four hour hike walk up and down hills, sometimes up steep paths and other times gentle winding paths.

But all the time surrounded by the sense of wild and quiet. The sounds of Nature came to my ears, not a single car, not a single plane, but still network for my mobile phone so I could tease the working family back home with some selfies or lovely sceneries.

Here is a sample:

as you can notice, the weather was cloudy, but it made the colours of the surrounding vegetation even more outstanding…

Hautpoul, medieval village

chesnuts from the previous autumn

flashy bug









ruinsThe tall vegetation mainly consists of acacia, horse chestnut and chestnut trees.

narrow path, beware!Some ferns, mosses and ivy completed the scenery,

the best bit of colour all the waybut the loud Cistus were definitely the best bit of colour all the way!


Time for lunch, and then as it started to drizzle, we took shelter under the building where the village oven was set.

picnic by the village oven

And then in the afternoon, with the heat building up at last, came the sounds of Nature:


Then back home, I had one, only one day to enjoy the garden!!!!!

back home, one hot sunny day so far….

May 31, 2015

a day in the sun

I am currently enjoying a short break in the South West of France, and today I was near Narbonne. The sun was shining bright but the wind was very strong. I really loved discovering

We had lunch at a delicious restaurant in Gruissan, five stars for food and serving.

then we drove to St Pierre sur Mer to park near the riding center, where a little fair was taking place – sheep shearing and local foods and drinks


then we walked the path up the hill until this was unveiled in front of our very eyes – truly mesmerizing!

WP_20150516_023 this is the ‘gouffre de l’oeil doux’



and finally we drove to the Abbey of Fontfroide, an ancient Sistercian abbey, really worth the visit



so long, dear Readers

tomorrow is the day when I go for a 6h hike near Mazamet, that will be more in the woods;)

May 16, 2015

French wild orchids


Wild orchids are a treat to find in my dad’s garden and in the countryside all around. They testify that the environment is pure, non polluted that is, as orchids mostly depend on  pollinator insects for reproduction.




Apr 30, 2012


Fragrance in a garden is what makes you stop and look around in search of the source ; and it’s a fact that we plant more willingly sweet smelling plants than rotting evil smelly specimens !

It makes me feel like sipping a glass of hot tea with a spoonful of honey in the open.

In my dad’s garden, spring is at last showing some heat. Nothing like what’s happening at Botanic Bay at the moment, from what Mike Lucky Spade reported earlier on the phone !

Syringa microphilla ‘Superba’ is amazing for the powerful scent it produces ; it flowers from April to October, a trusted companion to welcome visitors at the entrance of the garden.



Then I spotted Matthiola spreading everywhere in the garden – a very undemanding plant with a lovely fragrance  that self seeds actively year after year :


Now the star of the garden, all eyes are starring at its growth at the moment – the precious white bells ought to be fully open on May 1st !

It is not only a sign of good luck for us, but also for the garden at large, as it serves as an incubator for the larvae of the butterfly Lepidoptera.

lilly of the valley





























I’m off to take le chien for a walk – no way I can miss such a glorious morning ! On the way back, I’ll stop at a field covered with wild plants and you’ll be sure to find me flat on the ground, trying for the best angle ! More snapshots soon .

Apr 29, 2012

flowers’ promise



“et les fruits passeront la promesse des fleurs” is a line by C17th French poet François de Malherbe, that I cherish and invariably quote at this time of year.

In my dad’s garden there is just the perfect illustration of the blooming/fruiting process of apple-tree, almond-tree and apricot tree.

A promise of a delicious bite, crunch, gobble, chew, dribble… in the summer

So to you, keen gardeners, which is which ?

1. … ?

2. … ?

3. … ?
















































Apr 24, 2012

in the south of France

During a hike in the collines du vent around Castelnaudary, the dog likes it to be free !

Long grass is a delight for the nostrils, and a tickle for the belly…

Aug 4, 2011

Sunflower Fields

Sunflower fields rapidly turning yellow…
we are south !

Jul 17, 2010