Slow painting

Sunday, 15 August 2010


The best holiday souvenirs: packets of seeds. Yellow French beans, two types of lambs' lettuce, and a curly endive. The lambs' lettuce I'll sow now, but the rest will have to wait. There's not too much heat left in the Scottish summer, and the daylight hours are declining.

Also in the precious hoard brought back from France: a French gardening magazine, some linen tea towels, boxes of herb tea, and some garden-themed napkins. Unseen, two pots of my friend Christine's plum jam, made from the plums that rain down on the terrace around her beautiful home in the Basque countryside.

Sadly, only two bottles of wine from Chateau La Galiane, thanks to the weight restrictions on Ryanair. Next time, it has been decided, we'll travel by car. We want to return to the Bordeaux area, and to be surrounded by vineyards and unable to take advantage of them would be heartbreaking. Our precious bottles survived the flight and are now resting before being brought out on a special occasion.

I can't believe that we visited a vineyard and that I didn't take photos of the vines. We had a personal tour and wine tasting at a small family vineyard, arranged for us by our hosts at La Maison de Soussans. It was so interesting, and I was concentrating so much on the process that it didn't enter my head to break into the flow by taking my camera out. I only remembered right at the end of the visit, when I took these hasty shots. Not all chateaux are vast, turreted affairs. Chateau La Galiane was a lovely house, geraniums at every window, and its size in keeping with the acreage of vines. The chateau is named after an English general who commanded his troops in this area during the English occupation of Aquitaine in the 15th century.

Tomorrow, some photos of French vegetables! Then it's back to my own, which are struggling a bit in this damp, cool summer.


clairz said...

Oh, my. From here in the desert right now I can't imagine a vacation in France. Thank you for sharing yours.

RobD said...

Well it might not have turrets, but I wouldn't say no! Nice looking wine, shame about the weight restrictions. I once carried 6 bottles of wine back when was on a bike cycling round France many years ago, I could barely lift the bike up with all my other staff in the panniers!

Jacqui said...

I always bring seeds home from holiday - I like your array of souvenirs, but pity about the wine. It has been a disappointing summer right enough, although this weekend has been nice and I have discovered a gem of a garden centre just outside Stornoway. xx

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Great souvenirs, and awesome photos! The last one is my favorite. How long of a trip was that for you?