Posted by: kathandroger | May 8, 2011

Roses, roses everywhere….

We’ve been out on our bikes this afternoon and virtually every garden seems to be bursting with beautiful roses. We’ve got our own too, some of which we inherited and some of which we have planted since we arrived. One of the new arrivals is a pretty pink rambler that is already half way up the house wall…

But whilst that one may be pretty and extremely prolific in its growth, our red rose takes the biscuit for smell – it has the most amazing perfume – and doesn’t look half bad either!

I’m actually amazed we have any roses left at all on the bush as every woman who visits us is offered a rose by Roger (and we’ve had quite a few visits in the past week!!). It is lovely, though, I have to admit. But the rose I am most pleased with this year is a yellow one outside the house. When we arrived I don’t think it had been pruned for several years, had got out of control and no longer produced much in the way of flowers. We decided it was either prune back hard or get rid. We opted for the former action in the first instance and a couple of years later it is covered in beautiful big yellow roses with a pink edge to their petals…and it is about 3 metres tall! The other secret to the success was the expert pruning by my mum and dad. Roger was a little horrified at first as they did give one white rose in particular a very severe haircut, but they seem to have known what they were doing!

So, you get the picture: the roses are beautiful and they are everywhere!

Elsewhere in the garden we took the plunge yesterday and planted up our tomatoes, chillies, courgettes, squash and cucumber. It would seem that the Ice Saints aren’t going to have their say this year (touch wood) and the frost season is over, so they are all in. We planted 42 tomato plants, so if all goes well it will be tomato salad for all our visitors this summer!

Next weekend we are off on a cycling trip with our club to the Royan area to the north of Bordeaux. We’ve never been to the area before, so are very much looking forward to it. A meeting was convened on Friday evening to discuss the finer details – and then of course to consume a few bottles of sparkling Vouvray (actually I think the meeting was just an excuse). Unfortunately at the same time the brass band club was practicing in the room above and as they stuck up the Marseillaise, drowning out Jean-Claude as he struggled to talk us through the various routes, it seemed a very surreal moment and Roger and I were both taken by a fit of the giggles. Luckily the band piped down as we got onto the serious stuff…J-C had managed to negotiate an aperitif for us on our arrival, the saturday picnic had been renegotiated successfully (apparently the first menu hadn’t even contained a cheese course…sacre bleu!!!), the dinner menus had been finalised and Jean-Ives (our star 68-year-old who has already clocked 5,000 kms this year) and Annick would be bringing the Saturday aperitif. Never mind the cycling, the culinary arrangements had finally fallen into place – phew!!

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