Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Winter in the South

Winters here are mild, one of the reasons Queen Victoria sat out the British Winter in Cimiez or Grasse. Even so every year we do have a cold spell lasting from a day or two to a month and last week it hit us forcing me to bring my lemon and kumquat trees under shelter and wrap up my paeonies which are budding already.
Sunday, however, was a day sent from heaven. The mercury had risen and an overnight wind had cleared the skies.

I would have liked to have gone down to the coast, taken the day off but duty dictated we stay at home with a mountain of small administrative stuff that had to be tackled. Soooooo booooring(yawn)

After lunch, bored rigid with paperwork I headed outside into the garden to get my daily dose of vitamin D. My garden tends to grow in spite of me and though we have a respectable rectangle of lawn and shrubs under the terrace much of the rest is allowed to proliferate as it wishes. We say that it's more environmentally friendly and attracts more bees and butterflies but really we simply don't have time for everything...

I discovered that tiny violets are pushing through the grass already; one year they formed a purple carpet right across the garden. The viburnum is blooming too but the king of the garden is the mimosa. Natives of Australia these grow here like weeds and are a splash of vivid colour in the depths of January.

The final photo is another view from the back of the house looking north to Pic de Courmettes. The olives and pines belong to our neighbour and though it may look rural he's busy building his house just a little to the right of the picture.



Astrid said...

The mimosa trees are just so beautiful! They have started to bloom around here too but isn't it a little early? I thought march-april were the months they'd normally blossom?

ColinB said...

Have you tried taking a picture the other way round, Angela, ie from the top of Pic de Courmettes, looking down on your house and garden, with the Riviera coastline in the background ?

That would look impressive, methinks, seen through a zoom lens.

mountain dweller said...

That mimosa is gorgeous - you're lucky. It doesn't grow here as it would just freeze like everything else.

sarala said...

We got yet more snow today. My vitamin D is deficient. Keep on posting pictures so we can get some vicariously.
In response to your comment--I really like Sara Paretsky too. She lives in my neighborhood and does indeed write about the south side of Chicago.

Loui said...

Mmmm....that smell of mimosa is just wonderful. When in France I always track down mimosa soap just to remind me of what I am missing here in London!

J x

angela said...

Astrid: apart from the year when it snowed mimosa is usually in bloom by February but you're further West so maybe temperatures are cooler.
Colin: nice thought but my Kodak snapper just isn't up to that.
MD: yes I'm lucky because I do really love it. The colour just does something to my mood..
Sarala: post pictures? Willingly.
Loui: a bunch will perfume a room and if you have several trees together they perfume the air.

Dsole said...

wow! beautiful garden!!
I love the mimosa, so yellow!!

Shaz said...

looks gorgeous Ang what a delight to just wander through and admire, and Im okay thanks(intuitive one,wink) xx

dirty dingus said...

It occurs to me that I must have hiked/run very close to your house because that view looks very familiar.

On Sunday we were up just above Grasse and the views down to the coast were magnificent...

(And er yes I did do the Ikea protest)

cityfarmer said...

I can't take this anymore...it's a balmy 9 degrees here