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USUAL AND UNUSUAL TERRACE BLOOMS: SPRING 2018

Growing up in the northeastern United States, spring was a time of great anticipation. Winters were long, freezing cold, and the vistas were brown and grey when not snow-covered. We waited for the early signs of spring, the first flowerings - crocus and lilies and daffs and iris. They tend to pop up as soon as they can, sometimes between snowfalls. Spring is short and plants in cold climates learn to take advantage of every opportunity to get on with it.

Here in the south of France, things are a bit different. Winters are chilly and earth tones do invade the fields and vineyards, to be sure, but the cold is relative and the brown winter landscapes are broken up by greenery of all sorts.

For our terrace, winter is a time to protect and defend, to trim and even cover when necessary. And this winter, even covered, a late killing frost wreaked havoc. We lost an annual or two that often survive the mild winters here. One of Cathey's treasured succulents succumbed. Our potted fruit trees and shrubbery show damage. And we've had to perform radical surgery on our bougainvillea.

But in spite of all of that, spring brings blossoms. Some to be expected. Some new to this Jersey boy's experience. Take a look.

There's nothing odd about a budding azalea, except maybe that it was a cheapo bought from Lidl last year and still going strong.

Can you guess what that blossom is from?

Yep. A bay tree in a pot. Full of bay leaves and blooming away.

This pansy lasted  all winter.

The rosemary in the kitchen window felt the freeze and decided that it was time to bloom.

This succulent that we bought in Spain decided that the freeze signaled time to both bloom and bud out.

Serious bloom spikes.

Another window sill succulent doing its thing.

I've posted pics and stories about our region of France, once the Languedoc and now Occitanie, HERE. Enjoy!


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