May 11, 2008

Flowers in France

We're just back from a nice vacation in the South of France. The flowers, both in gardens and the wild, were inspirational. In addition to the flower gardens and wildflowers, the container plantings arranged in pretty vignettes outside the doors of homes in the villages.

The wildflowers were blooming everywhere! There was always a sweet fragrance in the air that came from this shrub/tree (saw it in both forms). It looks like a variety of pittosporum, so I'm trying to verify that information. We saw it used as hedges and growing in the wild.

One of our first excursions was to the gardens of Villa Ephrussi in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild includes formal French, exotic, Spanish, rose, stone, Florentine and Japanese gardens. While I'm sure there are more blooms in the summer months, we were not disappointed at all by the display during our visit on May 1st. Additionally, the views of the Mediterranean were gorgeous!

Rock rose and broom in the wild:

Valerian was in bloom in the harshest areas all around the area:

These look like hollyhocks that had seeded in the wild among the arundo grass along a hiking path on the St. Tropez penninsula:

The Flower Market in Nice was inticing. I could have spent hours browsing:

Village gardens as well as container plantings and gardens outside homes and restaurants:

I came back home surprised to see so much has begun blooming in my own garden. With inspirations from the flowers in France, I'm taking a look at where I can add some of the influence here at home.

Happy Gardening!
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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