Out and About in a Corner of Normandy ….. June Diary

  Out and About in a Corner of Normandy

June Diary


Driving around in the lovely June sunshine, expectations of wild flower embankments and verges have not been disappointed. Just between here and Flers, Athis, and Conde sur Noireau, hedgerows, trimmed within an inch of their lives, are balanced by massed foxgloves, marguerites, and numerous other wild flowers left to proliferate and decorate the roadsides. They really are lovely. Here are a few I photographed, Dom stopping and starting with great patience to allow me to hop in and out of the all singing all dancing car and run about with my camera.



Sadly the photos don’t do justice to the exhilaration of being out in the sunny countryside surrounded by all this natural beauty, but I remember…..

How to convey?


Foxgloves march along the roadsides and wave out from the hedgerows.






Yellow Birdsfoot trefoil is spattered along the gravelly hard shoulder.

Just a few poppies splashed crimson on the edges of crop fields.



 There is a proliferation of yellow daisy-like flowers this year.


Red Campion is doing well too.


 A familiar what? I can’t remember its name…gggrrr!!



I love the French name for dog rose; eglantine, do remember that!.


People’s front garden drives and gates sometimes had glorious flower masses too, just on the corners and entrances…glowing mesembrianthemums



These white bells are like the blue ones in the garden……campanula persicifolia. They are like giant harebells and are perennials, popping up year by year in the right weathers.1252mm



We passed glowing banks of colour on the way to Conde sur Noireau…..

Scented rainbow strips through the car window.




This arch of roses was gorgeous last year; and here it is again.


I like the way the rigid tidiness and exuberance of mounds of planted flowers, fancy pattern plantings on roundabouts, and tidily cut hedges and bushes is balanced by the wayside wildernesses.

The simple beauty of nature is highlighted by sunlight and shadow, along leafy lanes.



Such wild serendipity I find highly attractive. It has an orderliness of its own.



There are other, stranger things to spot on our any day shopping route.

This, for example:


Impressive by any standards, it looms over ten feet tall as I take the photographs!!

Woe betide anybody breaking and entering that little factory after midnight, when the ghosts and ghoulies are about! I imagine that this fella will just aim and shoot, no questions asked!


Back home, we watched the pigeons flying around the church, jostling for best squatting places along the parapet of the church tower.


One pair stayed together all the time, and flew round and round. They were

fabulous to watch. Their underside wings, almost white and outlined darkly,

looked beautiful.


Around the Mairie, just up the road, is the customary display of gorgeous roses.




Over the orchard, a fabulous view of the other side of the valley is being further eroded by ‘progress’…..no doubt nicer for the cows.


Over to the west, a pre-sunset view is abnormally green, blue and subdued.


On the doorstep one morning I was greeted by a beautiful moth. It looked old, and feeble, but it stayed in the grass all day, and I saw it last on the apple tree trunk. The next morning it had gone: eaten or flown?


Scarlet tiger moth…callimorpha dominula…[I think]

Even the nasty, black flies can provide fodder for presenting flowers in a different way.


Kestrels are back in their usual window space, high up in the grenier/attic

From outside a little head peeps out…..


…From inside shadows loom and fade as the baby kestrels try their wings and legs!


In an overgrown corner, by a wall, flowers this beautiful shrub, which I feared that I had lost, when I cut out the dead wood on a straggly bush a few years back.

Is it a Deutzia, like Jane’s?



Anne ….. June 16th 2014

22 Responses

  1. bizzylizzy says:

    lovely anne :yes: those orange roses are real beauties :rose:

  2. gertie says:

    Thank you Elizabeth :rose: …they are gorgeous aren’t they :yes: I must find out exactly what they are and get some for Gertie’s Garden I think.

  3. mick1970 says:

    very nice anne looks like your day improved weather wise :good:

  4. gertie says:

    It has been lovely thanks Mick :good:

  5. cilla says:

    What beautiful photos Anne. The lanes with their wild flowers look so tranquil, I love the poppies especially. Shame about the enormous barn but I expect you will get used to it when it is roofed and starts mellowing. How lovely spotting the kestrel family. And it certainly does look like a deutzia. Thank you for another lovely trip to France. :rose:

    • gertie says:

      Thank you Cilla :rose: In truth, the photos don’t do it justice, it is so lovely , especially in the sunshine.
      We have had kestrels living in that window, ever since we’ve been here, and last year they were frightened off by…we think…birds [magpies] nesting in the top of a tall Christmas tree that was planted there. So this year my little 6’4″ brother and his sons, cut it down; and the kestrels are back :yahoo: Thank you for name confirmation too.

  6. VegVamp says:

    A lovely blog Anne, really enjoyed my French “stroll” thank you. :good:

  7. Lovely to see, Anne. And, yes, the last pic certainly looks like Deutzia :yes:

  8. Beanstew says:

    From oop north, I suppose my biggest surprise is that the vegetation in your photographs is much the same as ours up here Anne – I am so used to associating your travels with the exotic. As ever, you put me to shame with the exhuberance of your photography. Went out last night determined to take some pics – and the camera told me “Battery Depleted” – think it was just sulking because it never sees the light of day.

    • gertie says:

      :cry: :lol: Sheila!!!
      You will be getting less from me at the moment because…
      1] my card is full and I have to find out how to partially clear it…want to keep some of the recent pics, just in case I lose them on here [remembering that it didn’t work when I arrived and I lost stuff! once bitten…..etc] When I’m home it can all go onto my main ‘puter.
      2] Very s-l-o-w connection here and this blog took over an hour to upload pics and another to put them into the writing and more to adjust placements and that was after I’d written it etc. etc. I mean…I just haven’t got that amount of time and really is it worth it? I sometimes ask myself in a curmudgeonly way :harvest:
      Exotic :unsure: South of France and Spain and Portugal?…mmmm ‘spose so a bit…certainly warmer!!!!! :lol:
      So, has your vegetation caught up with Summer now?

  9. Allan says:

    Nice set of photos Anne, Normandy is about the only place I have regretted not visiting,My ancestors came from there, There was a French orderly in the hospital and he asked ,Are you French Mr Peeecton?, I said yes ,But the Welsh branch. :lol:

  10. gertie says:

    Oh brilliant Allan…..I am pretty sure we go back to Huguenots …brother has traced us back to Pau, and found an heraldic badge with a bar, denoting ‘wrong side of the blanket’ from William the Conqueror, all of which I view with scepticism; but my maiden name is Pawsey, which sounds vaguely French…or teddy bear connected!! :wacko: :yahoo:
    Glad to see you are getting fitter :good: :rose:

  11. A lovely blog Anne, such variety of flowers, does look so much like Devon&Cornwall.
    Hope the weather improves. :rose: We have a lovely day now :-)

  12. gertie says:

    Hallo Lynn :bye: Thank you :rose: I think sun will squeeze out from the clouds this afternoon. :yes:
    lunch now…rest my back for the next weeding onslaught!! :wacko: :yahoo:

  13. gertie says:

    Thank you Sue…you’re welcome :yahoo: :rose:
    Whilst you were beavering away, we visited a small GC and bought a few plants to brighten up the garden…..girding up m’ loins to put ’em in now…hay fever is making me dozier than usual :wacko:

  14. Yewbarrow says:

    As always Anne, thank you so much and thank you also for naming Deutzia – have it in my garden, have taken lots of cuttings which it does well, it was here when we moved in 31 years ago,

  15. gertie says:

    Love Deutzia Jenny :heart: and thank you :rose:

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