Flower power

Over the summer we were given a very important job. Across the road from our house are flowers, that up until now have been kept beautifully by a neighbour who lives down the road. However, the watering can has become a bit too heavy for her to carry every evening, and as the flowers are across the road from us, would we mind looking after them? We couldn't really say no. Reuben took the responsibility very seriously. He knew the time of day they had to be watered and he and Jacob would pick their watering can before making numerous trips to the sink for 'more water mummy.'

Flowers in the village are a very serious affair. Outside most houses are beautiful displays that even in October are currently in full bloom. Outside our house our first attempt at flower keeping has failed miserably, even our lavender died. So this weekend we headed to St Antonin, where as well as their usually Sunday market they had 'Jardin Noble Val' a plant and garden fair.

We could have got carried away very easily! There were some beautiful plants and some lovely ornaments for the garden. The boys had their eye on some wind chimes and ladybirds made from painted bronze. There were lots of perennials, herbs, cacti, fruit trees, and more, but we were on the lookout for plants that might survive the winter in the pots outside our house that we wouldn't have to keep replacing.

We ended up with Liriope spicata, a perennial with grass like foliage that currently has flowers that look like lavender, and two varieties of Sedum.

We have a small garden away from the house that we are currently preparing for the winter. We have big vegetable planting plans (in a small space!) and Andrew is drawing up designs for a chicken coop. The plant fair put me in the mood for finishing the hard graft in the garden whilst the sun was still shining and we spent an afternoon with family and friends digging up a huge tree root and turning over soil ready for planting a lawn.

How do you prepare your garden for winter? What are you're favourite plants? As newbies to gardening we'd love to hear your tips.

Becky x

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