Panier of Plenty

April 2014

Welcome to the visual diary for April…

From The Forest

Dewdrops after rain

Dewdrops after rain

View to the mountain road

View to the mountain road

Diffused morning light

Diffused morning light

The potager garden wall

The potager garden wall

Monday 1st April. Showers, which means salamanders on the road. Mist clings to the mountain, hanging in gullies, the filtered light intensifying as it lifts and the humid landscape starts to dry. I have been looking at droplets on the grass and the abundance of fresh cobwebs adorning the fence. The cherry tree on the drive is now blossoming, well behind the other trees as even the wild merisiers (cherries) have been in flower for a few weeks. It looks like we will have a good crop of fruit this year as we have avoided the high winds which sent petals flying last spring. Temperatures are mild, favouring the new growth as it bursts forth. The birds seemed to have increased the volume of their song and activity, or perhaps it is the darkness as I leave for work (now the clocks have gone back and hour) that magnifies their dawn chorus…

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Unfurling

Unfurling

Freshly adorned for spring

Freshly adorned for spring

11th April. There is much silent budding and unfurling of leaves – recent heavy rains have aided a sudden awakening. Calves are playing on the road, and this morning driving back from the fromagerie, Clementine the donkey was also out on a stroll. Oh glorious spring! The air is filled with blossoms, bees, butterflies, birdsong and hope. Everything is becoming as ‘change’ is never so apartment than after a long dormancy.

The sound of swiftly running water lulls us into a sense of wellbeing as the river cascades down the mountain. Canigou still has snow covering his peaks and he dominates the distance, appearing at gaps in the trees along the road, crouching behind dandelion covered fields and leaping to fill the spaces between the slopes that climb from valleys.

The horse chestnut tree

The horse chestnut tree

Green after rain

Green after rain

Perce-neige or snowdrops

Perce-neige or snowdrops

Wednesday 17th April. Spring has taken hold. In just a few short weeks there has been much transformation as the deciduous trees around the mas and in the surrounding forest cloak themselves in ‘leaf green’. There are late blossoms and caution is required on the road as birds flit quickly across my path. The garden is in a state of ‘emergence’ as flowers that died off completely reappear – it still amazes me how an entire plant can disappear without a trace and reincarnate.

Broom lines the roadside and the adjacent fields are host to happy gatherings as its brilliant yellow speaks of sunshine – this we have in abundance, as a run of inviting days have led up the to full moon that heralds the Easter period.

17th April

17th April

Clusters of flowers

Clusters of flowers

Marronier (Horse Chestnut)

Marronier (Horse Chestnut)

In The Garden

1st April, walled potager

1st April, walled potager

After more weeding the potager is starting to take form…

Blazes of orange

Blazes of orange

Flowers forming

Flowers forming

Coeur de Marie

Coeur de Marie

New colour in the rockery

New colour in the rockery

April 2nd. The first tulip opened today…

Fumier from the farm

Fumier from the farm

11th April. ‘Black gold’ from the goat farm – two year old decomposed hay and natural fertiliser – has been spread on the beds awaiting planting. The lawnmower and grass cutter are beyond repair so the garden has an air os disarray as weeds and grasses grow higher on the paths. There is much work to be done but each day we make progress. Cornichon seeds are in the new ‘cold frame’ and the potatoes are now in the ground. Courgettes, blettes, artichokes, rhubarb, carrots, onions, lettuces, parsnips, radishes, beetroot, leeks and spinach are in various stages – germinating or progressing quickly.

'Black gold' spread on beds

‘Black gold’ spread on beds

Quince trees now in flower

Quince trees now in flower

Almonds forming

Almonds forming

Little talking flowers

Little talking flowers

Borage, back after win

Borage, back after winter

Terrace under constructopn

Terrace under constructopn

Interior taking shape

Interior taking shape

Exploring The Region

Vide grenier season has commenced and the plans d’eau of St Jean Pla de Corts (lakes used for fishing and waterskiing) provided a magnificent backdrop for the hundreds of stalls selling bric-a-brac and much-loved items. Merguez and Catalan sausages sizzles on grills, infused with the smoke from burning grape vines (commonly used for BBQ’s in this region). En route (an early start) fields of poppies waved as rows of vines burst into life.

Plan d'eau, St Jean Pla de Corts

Plan d’eau, St Jean Pla de Corts

Vide grenier, Sunday morning

Vide grenier, Sunday 13th April

Hundreds of stalls

Hundreds of stalls

On The Menu

 Gésiers, radishes, mache, walnuts, chèvre

Gésiers, radishes, mache, walnuts, chèvre

Tarragon rabbit, Salad of gésiers de canard (duck gizzards)…

Freshly picked, Easter Monday

Freshly picked, Easter Monday

At Home

Weeding the bergerie rock garden

Weeding the bergerie rock garden

Spring posy

Spring posy

Bringing in the laundry

Bringing in the laundry

Easter Saturday, looking very stormy…

View from the bathroom window

View from the bathroom window

The Mas Reste rose blooms

The Mas Reste rose blooms

Et voila, the end of the month already…

Sunrise,  l'Altère

Sunrise, l’Altère

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One thought on “April 2014

  1. mesarapugs on said:

    Wow!! This is so beautiful and so many wonderful pix! Thank You for sharing and we wish you happiness in your abundant spring garden 🙂

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