mardi 22 juin 2010

Pretty places

Walking in the Place Vendome yesterday, I was drawn down the street by this green display. It looks like simple ivy that's been left to trail and there are some white flowering plants on the top floors (jasmine or a clematis, I couldn't tell). It just goes to show that you don't need lots of colour and plants to make an effect. I found it very refreshing.

I also spotted this cute ceramic plantholder in Lafayette Maison. It's by Sia and is 30 Euros.

jeudi 17 juin 2010

Cherry picking

We had a great crop of cherries this year and gave bowls of them to neigbours, friends and teachers. My youngest absolutely loves them and pesters me to buy them at the market now. Ours are called 'coeur de pigeon' because they are small and shaped like a heart. My friend Lisa has a huge cherry tree that fruits large deep red cherries at the end of June and we'll be invited to pick our own. Looking forward to that. Once she found two policemen climbing up her wall and stealing their own bowl of cherries!

And on the vegetable front, we have produced our first tomatoes this year, 5 in all - hurrah! It's the Red Robin cherry tomato plant which is a dwarf variety - small and bushy, really suitable for a terrace or a pot. They are delicious and we're waiting with anticipation for the rest of our crop.

Pesky pests

Thanks to Annette who presented me with a great gift last night - two cute books 'Bugs, Slugs and Other Invades' and '50 way to Kill a Slug' with the inscription 'rock on Clairiere!' What a great friend.

Published by Hamlyn these mini sized books have amusing and practical solutions for all your pesky pest problems. I'm thinking of going on a slug hunt one night with the children so I can save what's left of my marigolds and basil plants. Take a look at these books if you want some humour and effective answers to your bug problems in the garden or on the terrace.

mardi 15 juin 2010

Shopping in 7éme

I had a chance to stroll in the 7th arr today. I found quite a few things that interested the gardener in me:

This cute '50-60's inspired chair and table combo caught my eye. The magnificent display in the flower shop 'Rosa Luna' made me catch my breath, particularly thinking about the amount of work needed each day to produce such a beautiful tableau. In the Conran Shop on the rue du Bac I spotted this attractive and neat herb grower - you put the soil in the bottom and it remains hidden (great if you have little fingers that like playing with soil given half the chance in your house). You water through the spout at the side. It cost 40 Euros and would produce an attractive display of herbs in the living room or kitchen. I particularly loved the summer themed wooden parasols suspended from the ceiling.

A place to store your bits and bobs

Spotted these cute baskets in plastic sold in Habitat today, green, white and pink, stacking. Can leave them outside as they're plastic (but not watertight due to the basket weave). I liked 'em!

jeudi 10 juin 2010

Magnificent Municipalities!

I'm lucky to live in a nice town not too far from Paris, next to a river, a huge park and lots of houses with gardens. But today I wanted to just say a big 'thank you' to the local Council for our green spaces. I know, the taxes are high so we pay for them and so forth, but personally I'm grateful that they have decided to spend some of their income on making my town as pretty and well-kept as possible.

In our 'quartier' the streets are tree-lined and those trees are pruned and shaped with care 3 times a year. Yesterday there was guy crouching at the bottom of each tree, cutting off all the small offshoots from all the trees really carefully. Last week the excess branches were cut away and the new growth neatly shaped in ALL the roads in my town. The flower beds and green spaces have had their summer overhaul and, although I find the little additions such as these ladybirds, a bit twee, my children really like them and they add a touch of fun and maybe the trees are pollarded to within an inch of their lives, looks great! Here's a modern day version of a municipal fountain that was constructed last year near our home. And an avenue where they've planted two types of trees for a lovely effect. I think it's backbreaking work being a municipal gardener and probably quite monotonous at times but really those spaces do make a difference to the overall 'feeling' and pride of living in this town and I'm sure they brighten up the day of not only gardeners like me who are especially sensitive to green stuff, but to anyone who drives or walks through. And the great thing? Up to now, I have never seen the public green spaces vandalised and it's seldom that one sees litter in the flowerbeds. We are not all angels or Stepford wives who live here, it's no 'model village', but maybe the locals respect these spaces because they are well kept and it's nice to have them around?