Closeup in blue

The scilla peruviana, despite the name, has no relation to Peru, and is at home in southern Europe. The blue colour of the flowers is difficult to describe – because it is not just just blue – but seems to contain shades of purple or red. La scille du Peru, ne vient pas du Péru….

Many names, one plant

Xanthoceras sorbifolium : Also known in english as yellowhorn, shiny leaf yellowhorn, goldenhorn or even Chinese flowering chestnut. This shrub or small tree heralds from northern China and is fairly unusual in gardens in Europe. Apparently the seeds, which resemble small chestnuts, are edible. In this case, I planted the seeds instead of eating them….

Painter’s despair

The heuchera : never still, never posing, always drifing with the slightest breeze. Here is a closer look at the flowers, not yet open. Heuchera : le désespoir des peintres, jamais sans bouger, même avec le moindre souffle de vent. Voici un clin d’oeil aux fleurs à venir.

Sakuras and crabapples

Around the last week of March till the 10th of April, the flowering prunus and malus shrubs and trees put on the most spectacular displays of color. No wonder the Japanese and other Asians are in love with these trees. The only “odd-man-out” in this series of images is the Chinese flowering chestnut (xanthoceras sorbifolium),…

Growing on the slopes of Eboshi-dake

Eboshi-dake is one of the peaks near the Aso volcano, high enough to get a good look at Aso from above. But the scenery includes more than volcanos. The wild flowers are abundant even in November.Eboshi-dake : un sommet à proximité de Naka-dake (le cratère du mont Aso). Eboshi-dake est juste assez haut pour dominer…

Flora in the steam room

In Beppu, the hot springs and steam serve many purposes. One of them is to heat floral pools and greenhouses. A Beppu, la vapeur et les sources chaudes servent à de multiples fins y compris à chauffer des serres permettant de cultiver une flore tropicale.

Feeling ruffled

Feeling a bit ruffled today. Just wait until the wind picks up.

The old forest monster winks at you

Until the middle ages, the forest was a place of fear and apprehension at dusk. There were strange noises, rising mists, ghostly silhouettes, and probably some unsavoury characters lurking in the gloom. Imagination could make mountains out of all this. Until the forests were cleared and roads were opened, the wise countryman stayed away from…

Tree branches in December

In south central France, the winters are fairly mild. Walking in the remote steep sided valleys (known as “combes”) of the Gard department almost always provides scenery from a fairly tale : bands of moss streaming down from tree branches and lichen prospering everywhere.


Sages are among the most diverse plant families. This one is marginally hardy in the north mediterranean climate. Les sauges – une famille de plantes très diversifiée. Celle-ci n’est que marginalement rustique dans le climat du nord du basin méditerranéen.

The Alchemists Garden

This is a new garden in Provence dedicated to the memory of alchemists. A collection of “magic” plants, a labyrinth, and 3 garden “rooms” representing the progression from dark to lightness to fulfillment. A curious place – prompting a desire to read more about the alchemists of the middle ages. This garden is not too…


Cette rose, très parfumée, porte le nom d’une forêt en Normandie. A strongly scented rose named after the Broceliande forest in Normandy.

Gay Paree

Peony witih an open faced bi-colour japanese style flower. Growing in light partial shade under the mediterranean pines.


From 5 May to 25 May in this region, peonies are in flower. Here is one in flower one week and faded a week later.


All 4 clematis are in flower now. A few close-ups…