Autumn in the Aude – gardening:

Acacia trees maybe?

Gardens in the Aude are full of wonderful surprises for a Canadian who’s used to putting a garden to bed in September.  The grass starts growing again so I have a lawn.  And, of course, have to cut it.  And rake it.  The big difference is what I rake. 

I think the trees bordering my lawn are some variety of Acacia.  No one seems to know for sure.  I don;t really care what they are, they provide very welcome shade in the summer and lose their leaves in the autumn so the garden gets sunlight in the winter.  Perfect.

Gardentrees

But – they have incredible thorns. 3 or 4 inches long and very sharp.
After unthinkingly starting to prune them the first year I was here,
and almost blinding the dog, I decided that you need full body armour,
a hard hat, safety glasses, and steel-toed boots if you’re going to do
any pruning.  Then I decided I’d just pay someone to come and do them.

I actually got a flat tire from one of the thorns.  I saw it sticking out of the side of my tire and pulled it out.  The air started whooshing out of the tire and I quickly put the thorn back in the hole.  And went to Servies to get Michel to repair the tire.

Podsandthorns

They also have pods that are about 8 inches long.  The pods seem to stay on the trees longer than the leaves.  They fall once they’re dry. 

Since I’ve been here there’s always been a day late in the autumn when I hear a clacking noise.  And every year it takes me a few hours to realize that the dry pods are swaying in the wind and hitting each other.  Maybe this year I’ll recognize the noise right away.

Flowers all year round.

There is always something blooming.  Not always a lot but always something.  The jasmine has just started to bloom and will have flowers all winter.  It would probably have flowers in the summer too if I watered it.

The impatience and nicotiana are still flowering.   Some  years they flower until the summer.  In 4 years there’s only been one killing frost at  Domneuve.

Impatiens

Wild cyclamen

Yesterday when I was raking I found a patch of tiny cyclamen.  I’ve planted lots of cyclamen over the years and these have probably seeded  – or whatever it is that cyclamen do – but they look like wild cyclamen, no leaves that I can see, just beautiful tiny flowers.

Wildcyclamen

My friend Helen calls cyclamen the harlots of the garden – so flashy and showy.   The big varieties are but these little ones are so delicate and  beautiful.

Soon there’ll be crocuses, something I’d only seen in the spring until I moved to the south of France. and the roses will bloom.  Not as profusely as they do in the spring but that’s part of the joy of flowers in the winter.  A rare gift. 

About Sam

Sam started Aude France as a companion site to her real estate site Aude France Property so that she could have a place to write about life in the Aude. Now that she's in Canada she writes about things that can affect owners and buyers in the Aude - or anything that strikes her fancy. On Pinterest you can find her by searching for Sam Mooney or clicking this link
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