french garden design and old fashioned love

by Sharon Santoni

gibson and ghetto, golden retriever and terrier dogs standing in the garden

I love my garden.

Four simple words that sum up the enormous pleasure that any gardener gets from seeing the garden evolve through the seasons and the years; from the hopes and the planning; from the wow moments when it all comes together; from the sharing with friends and family and even from the muddy hands and aching back moments.

The garden is a canvas for those who cannot paint, a blank page for those who dare not write, most definitely a form of creativity and one that can be shared, without moderation.

pink rose in the rain

Some people bring in a professional garden designer, and the results are usually spectacular.   A sort of instant perfection which is probably a good investment in the end, rather than achieving your goals by trial and error … but I have a sneaky feeling that for most of us  the trial and error aspect is actually a big part of the fun.

I try to keep notes in the garden  about things to change, to add, to get rid off and to move.   An euphorbia that started small and suddenly grew over-ambitious is moved from the front to the back of a bed.   Acanthus that weren’t happy in the shade of a tall wall, have forgiven me their mistreatment and are now thriving in sunnier spots.

dog loking at tall flowers in garden

And then  I take photos.  Of course its easy to take photos of the good bits, the shots we like to share on instagram, the shots that find their way here to the blog, and it is lovely to have those photos and remember just how spectacular a favourite rose was last year, or how nicely the Rosemary mixed in with the Jacob’s Ladder.  I use a pinterest board for this too.

But sometimes its the photos of the stuff that didn’t work that are more useful.   A tree that is growing too low and needs to be raised to give extra light to the bed beneath.   A pink dahlia that grew waaaay too enthusiastic and smothered the peony beside it.   The lamium border which seemed like a good idea at the time  but actually got out of hand.

french country flower beds in front of stone barn

Even the Great Vita Sackville-West sometimes did things wrong at Sissinghurst!  In her garden diaries she announces that she intends to “sow a flower bed with a mix of different seeds shaken up in a biscuit tin and scattered” …. only to add a few months later “by the way, the biscuit tin thing – don’t do it!  a disaster!”.  We all have to live and learn!

And so this is how a garden grows and changes.  Few start out with a professional design, laid out, planted and strictly adhered too.  Most are the result of experiments, mistakes  and happy finds.  This spring and summer I’ll be talking more about French country garden design but in the meantime I’d love to know,  how about you …. how does your garden grow?





Soraya February 3, 2016 - 6:58 pm

Hi Sharon, I always look to your garden photos and say “wow”. So good to hear from you about it! Being the owner of a country home for about one year, I decided not to get a professional design, even though I have no experience at all with gardens. So you can imagine all my frustrations and wonderings… Your post encourage me to keep going with all those trials and errors (at this point they are not well balanced and the errors are in great number), but I’ll keep trying.
By the way, I’d like to tell you that you were an inspiration for me to start blogging. Having a full time job, I don’t write very often, but I can tell you that it is a great pleasure for me to have this place of my own and at the same time share it with other people. Thank you!

Sharon Santoni February 3, 2016 - 7:11 pm

Thank you Soraya! What a lovely compliment, I’ll pop over to see what you write about 🙂


Nancy Tirk February 3, 2016 - 10:41 pm

Sharon you are a great inspiration, my garden is 26 years in the making, many mistakes and redesigning. I never feel that I have reached a ‘finished’ product, aching knees and back tell me stop, but another spring is coming, more possibilties present themselves, cant wait to start anew

M terry February 4, 2016 - 11:17 pm

Am so, so envious. I dream of having even one lonely azalea make it through the ravages of the herds of deer that plague our suburban neighborhood. (We counted 17 does and fawns in the yard the other morning.) They have become so brazen that they don’t leave the yard when you go out to shoo them. A friend found one up on her porch eating out of a pot of impatiens! The only plants they don’t eat are cacti or plastic.
Count your blessings if you have only voles, aphids, and caterpillars!
PS It is my understanding that the depredations they are wreaking on the forests’ middle-growth is one of the reasons the songbirds are becoming scarcer.

Francophile February 5, 2016 - 1:38 pm

Humans, not deer, are the invasive species.

Virginia gardener February 5, 2016 - 11:16 pm

Yes, of course, but where do we live if we have to avoid all places that animals have preceded us? Even the South Pole has its penguins.
And I understand that there are more deer in Virginia now than there were when John Smith landed at Jamestown!

Frances Schultz February 6, 2016 - 8:49 pm

All points are well taken, but the deer population is a problem wherever they have no predators. Thus, too many deer for too little food. Laura’s suggestion of wolves is a good one for Yellowstone but less attractive to farmers–as she points out–and others with chickens, dogs, etc that wolves also like to eat. In East Hampton there has been talk of a sterilization program (or perhaps it has begun?) and/or a reinstated hunting season. We will see.

Laura February 6, 2016 - 1:47 am

The only way to get rid of the deer is to bring back the wolf. Many people, farmers especially are against this, but the wolf’s return to Yellowstone has helped it immensely.
Deer don’t eat boxwood and also don’t eat many purple plants. We have a lot living in the country as we do, and my big dogs keep them away pretty well. I do love looking at them, though!

Judee Dufresne February 3, 2016 - 6:59 pm

If you want to touch your life with elegance and beauty that is pure and simple…enter in at “My French Country Home”…it will refresh your senses.

Sharon Santoni February 3, 2016 - 7:11 pm

WOW! thank you so much Judee, you are very kind 🙂


Melinda Scott February 3, 2016 - 7:06 pm

Love your garden. However, here in northeast Texas the flowers are in full bloom and doing beautifully by the end of May. Then, by July, August and September it is a big chore to keep them watered and alive as the weather gets so hot and humid most of them begin to stop blooming as well. I still work tirelessly in March, April and May to get everything planted and enjoy it for a while.

Sharon Santoni February 3, 2016 - 7:12 pm

We also have to water in the summer Melinda, especially anything in pots, but I’m sure that our climate is easier on the garden than in Texas!


Jill Burgess February 3, 2016 - 7:12 pm

I once bought different flower seeds, mixed them up, and sowed them in a sunny bed – it was magnificent! Sometimes it works!

Sharon February 3, 2016 - 7:48 pm

Ah!! Well done Jill, V S-W said that the tall plants grew at the front of the beds and the short at the back! You obviously did better

Bebe February 6, 2016 - 6:57 pm

It’s best done in a meadow setting. I can see its being a disaster in a border.

I too have had one little lamium plant run wild in our small patio garden. Pretty, but very rapidly invasive.

We are under horrific water rationing due to prolonged drought (Southern California). Unless you are a cactus fan (I am not) our gardens are looking pretty sad these days. Some are defying the watering rules, but that doesn’t seem right when we’re all in the same situation.

For the time being will enjoy your garden photos and dream. Once we get good snow pack in the Sierras (more important than rain), our gardens will bloom again. And our soil is so good, it takes little but water to make things grow beautifully.

Eleanor miller February 3, 2016 - 7:13 pm

Hi Sharon,I love your photos and the look of your garden,I too am in France(nearly 40 years!!!) but down near the Spanish border,and my garden is not un similar to yours in feeling but not planting,the weather here can be quite dampening for ones enthusiasm as our summers are usually very hot and dry. So over the years I have lost a lot,learnt a lot and am still trying.!!
Incidentally I loved your first video,keep up the good work.

Sharon February 3, 2016 - 7:51 pm

Thank you Eleanor, I know it can get hot in your part of France. Hope to bring you another video in February

Marian from England February 3, 2016 - 7:19 pm

We have ‘undone’ our garden and re designed it so that it works for us. It’s almost there, but this year it’s the main planting and while I know what I like, I’m not sure what to put where and when. I hope the design is ok, but time will tell. Had to plan a henhouse for chickens, so that went in at the start and has been sitting empty for 18 months! This summer we get our 3 hens, very exciting, but I’m hoping they don’t eat everything I plant! It’s such fun to create in a garden and the aching muscles are part of the journey, you feel you’ve achieved something if you hurt a little! One thing I need to remember is something I’ve read elsewhere and what you said in your post: that a garden is always evolving, it never stays the same, so I mustn’t worry when things go a bit awry. I hope when our garden is planted later this year, that I can take some photos as lovely as yours to record it’s growth and seasons. Keep on with the garden posts, they are a delight.

Sharon February 3, 2016 - 7:53 pm

If it helps Marian when we had chickens in the garden they never did any real damage to the beds

Have to love the opportunity to redesign a garden


Our French Oasis February 3, 2016 - 7:19 pm

What fun to see some summer photos – today was so beautiful here I wandered around the garden and started to make plans for the spring, so much is already flowering, daffodils, camellias, wall flowers, the plum trees are in blossom, even some early blue irises and an arum lilly, so I really hope we don’t get a cold snap. I want to create an entirely new bed on a south facing wall this spring and your garden offers so much inspiration, now I just have to find the time to do it, but it will feel good to get out there and get my hands dirty again after the enforced winter lay off.

Sharon February 3, 2016 - 7:59 pm

I feel happier when we have ‘normal ‘ seasons, I’m very worried about a late frost!

bonnie groves poppe February 3, 2016 - 7:31 pm

There is nothing like a day spent working in the garden, both vegetable and ornamental. At my house in the Haut Languedoc there was virtually no garden when I moved in, just some of the worst of the weeds (many are wonderful) and some “weed” trees, lots of them. I dug things out, took things down, and watered a bit to see what might come up. I also judiciously planted things that are adapted to the hot dry summers and relatively mild winters (sages, ceanothus, perovskia, plumbago) that I would be able to grow with a minimal of watering. All sorts of wonderful things sprouted in a couple of years; Euphorbias, native wildflowers and shrubs, and they look gorgeous. I get many compliments on the garden, and it was in good part simply letting the right plants grow.

Sharon February 3, 2016 - 8:02 pm

Well done Bonnie …. And thank you for the reminder to try plumbago again here this year

Penny at the Comforts of Home February 3, 2016 - 7:38 pm

So beautiful. I live in South Carolina, USA and I have been considering moving to Florida but would not be able to garden with roses and hydrangeas….I think this post made my decision for me to say here!

Colleen Taylor February 3, 2016 - 7:40 pm

How I love to see your garden, your yard & your flowers Sharon. My garden grows in a bit of an unusual way because it’s in the desert. It’s quite a huge challenge to learn what & how to make flowers, trees & plants grow here. Some lost plants along the way but for the most part quite a few successes. We do have some vegetables but it just gets to be too much maintenance anymore in this climate. Yes, we do have a gardener but most of them are more like “hatchet men” so you have to keep a close eye on them before they wack everything away.

Sharon Santoni February 4, 2016 - 5:02 pm

Sounds like you have two challenges to face Colleen!!


Iona Spencer February 3, 2016 - 7:41 pm

I loved seeing your garden. I returned to my house in France last year and worked hard to get everything in order – putting in new borders and plants. I was so pleased with the results, however, in December I had a letter from Saur water stating that I have used so much extra water above my monthly plan that they would be automatically taking 531€ beginning of January 2016.
O/H not amused.
Also I put bags of manure in the boot and passenger seat of my sports car (old) which resulted in the boot light not working due to the weight.
Again O/H not amused.
But the garden looks lovely!

Little February 3, 2016 - 7:42 pm

I agree completely. But, your garden looks so beautiful, and mine not so much. I will keep working at it. Meanwhile, your garden photos are a wonderful inspiration. Thank you.

Cathy February 3, 2016 - 7:52 pm

Your garden looks lovely! How well you have put into words what so many go through in the quest for a beautiful garden. Like some others, we also have a short gardening season here in Canada. Our gardens are still covered with snow. I think that makes us really appreciate the nice weather when we get it.

C @ Taste of France February 3, 2016 - 7:54 pm

My grandma was an incredible gardener. Flowers, vegetables. From the old country. My mom (her daughter-in-law, not daughter) planned a very elaborate garden, but never got it together. I told my mom, “Grandma had a 40-hour-a-week garden. It was a full-time job. Your garden plans are even more labor-intensive. Do you want to go there?” Of course, she wanted it both ways–maximum effect and minimum effort. Grandma had a handful of interests–gardening, cooking (usually using the fruits of the garden), and prayer. My mom had many, many interests, and never enough time for all of them.
Personally, I love the idea of a garden more than I love gardening. Hence, we have lots of perennials. As we’re in the South of France, we have lots of oleander, for example, and palm trees. My main job is to pull weeds, since I don’t want to spray.

Missy Klicka February 3, 2016 - 7:57 pm

Hello Sharon,
I always love to visit your home and gardens and walk along with you and the dogs to view the blooms and grangure of your property~
It seems you have so much dedication to your garden, and it is lovely in any season.
As I walk alongside you while you are choosing the photos to take, I think about my own garden and the decisions I must make to control it’s unruliness.
The lavender has well overgrown it’s stay and needs some control as well as my butterfly bush, or should I say tree with it’s dead wood,but still blooming and attracting the beauties it feeds… I feel the rose arbor is becoming gangly and my attempts to plant some lovely English roses and trellis rose on another arbor have not come to fruition as of yet.
I am almost prepared to go and remove and replant~ perhaps just an early morning visit and some gentle pruning and replanting is all I need to do to take control once again until Spring brings on the blush of lovliness the garden displays!
Wish me good luck, and a lovely garden that springs peace and contentment here at Beverly Cottage!

LA CONTESSA February 3, 2016 - 8:13 pm

What is the TALL plant in front of the barn door with a long flower?BIG LEAVES.
I need to PLAN an area we ripped out this winter……..I want ALL white maybe with a punch of soft YELLOW.ANY SUGGESTIONS for me……..I want about height of 3 feet in the back and then smaller and then ground cover bits……..I WANT TO BE VITA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am with you about having it done…………..NOT AS REWARDING!
I should be outside now pruning thy roses!!!!!But instead catching up here…….just got off the TELEPHONE with HEATHER!So, I have had my TASTE of FRANCE this morning!

Sharon Santoni February 4, 2016 - 5:05 pm

Hi my dear Contessa 🙂

It’s a weed!! at least in my books it is, a variety of Verbascum. It gets huge! Soft pale flowers and pretty soft grey green leaves, but it self seeds all lover the place

And yes, of course you want to be Vita, we ALL want to be Vita. I drive past Sissignghurst every few weeks when I go to visit my mum, and I always think of her and how beautifully calm her garden must have been then compared to now!


Pat @ Bringing French Country Home February 3, 2016 - 8:15 pm

Bon Jour Sharon. So nice to see a garden in bloom on this very snowy Colorado day. I want to try to make my patio look more French Country this year and have already moved the white bistro set onto the flagstone (through the snow!). I’d like to put something frenchy in my two tall pots (about three feet high). Any suggestions? I’m counting down the days til Spring!

Sharon Santoni February 4, 2016 - 5:07 pm

Hi Pat

Last summer I bought two huge lavenders and put them in matching pots either side of the front door. Providing we were careful to water them correctly they seemed very happy, and they’ll come back again this year

hope that helps


Jennifer from Glen Rock, Pa. February 3, 2016 - 8:18 pm

Lovely to see your post to-day. I always love your gardens; actually

I love all your pictures. Being buried in 27 inches of snow last week I

got out my garden magazines and flower catalogs and ordered David Austin

roses, delphiniums and several different iris. The snow didn’t seem half as

bad when the orders were placed and I can now look forward to late spring deliveries.

Sharon Santoni February 4, 2016 - 5:08 pm

Ordering plants is the remedy to most ailments I find 🙂


Barnali Guha February 3, 2016 - 8:29 pm

I would love to see snapshots of your diary. Do you catalogue them with pictures? I usually have random notes in a pretty journal but i dont know how to ever correlate things because they are written in a haphazard way. Someone recently showed me their Carolyn Roehm seasonal journals where they wrote their garden ideas.. I was in awe!!!

Judi Hirst February 3, 2016 - 8:32 pm

I just love your garden. That pink rose is amazing.
I can’t wait to get out into my garden. Cold and rainey here.
I love everything that you e-mail.
Thank you.

Barbara Thompson February 3, 2016 - 8:40 pm

To the person who decided not to move to Florida because of her wish to grow hydrangeas and roses: Both of these are grown in southeast and central Texas, and I feel fairly sure they would also grow in most of Florida except for the very southernmost areas. Just be sure the hydrangeas are planted on the north side of the house so the sun will not bake them.

Mayree February 3, 2016 - 8:47 pm

I love the photos of your beautiful flowers etc. I too am getting antsy about spring planting and thumbing through the catalogs etc. I have decided to plant mostly heirloom varieties this year so I can save the seed for future years planting. I must get a few of the vegetables started inside soon so they will be large enough to plant come April-May. In Washington state we could still have some snow storms and late frost. Gardening to me is a passion and therapy being ever changing from year to year. We once had 3 acres to tend to with formal herb beds, a small orchard, secret cutting garden, a field of wild flowers, vegetable garden and pasture for our animals. Now, back in town I enjoy my small salad and herb gardens, the perennials, roses and my favorite annuals for color.
A couple of years ago I had some large trees removed which has totally changed a large area of shade gardening to one requiring sunshine so that has been a chanllenge to rearrange and replant. The composting, trimming and feeding have become more difficult at age 75 (and contributed to three shoulder surgeries in a few years) but will never give it up if I can breathe. Ha!

Mayree February 3, 2016 - 8:50 pm

I love the photos of your beautiful flowers etc. I too am getting antsy about spring planting and thumbing through the catalogs etc. I have decided to plant mostly heirloom varieties this year so I can save the seed for future years planting. I must get a few of the vegetables started inside soon so they will be large enough to plant come April-May. In Washington state we could still have some snow storms and late frost. Gardening to me is a passion and therapy being ever changing from year to year. We once had 3 acres to tend to with formal herb beds, a small orchard, secret cutting garden, a field of wild flowers, vegetable garden and pasture for our animals. Now, back in town I enjoy my small salad and herb gardens, the perennials, roses and my favorite annuals for color.
A couple of years ago I had some large trees removed which has totally changed a large area of shade gardening to one requiring sunshine so that has been a challenge to rearrange and replant. The composting, trimming and feeding have become more difficult at age 75 (and contributed to three shoulder surgeries in a few years) but will never give it up if I can breathe. Ha!

Mayree February 3, 2016 - 8:51 pm

Sorry for repeat above. I tried to correct a spelling error!

Wendi Yates February 3, 2016 - 9:10 pm

The pictures of your garden are a salve to the eyes. I can just about smell the peonies and roses! My garden is my sanctuary…when I open the gate, I can shut out the world and be at peace…except for those darn weeds! I have had to contend with some splendid Black Walnuts on the property behind me. They are magnificent but I have had to experiment with the plantings to find the ones that will put up with them. I am happy to report that one of my favourite shrubs and ornamental trees, the Purple Sand Cherry is quite happy in their company and that makes me happy too! I am looking forward to lilac time when the Dwarf Korean Lilacs scent the backyard…..mmmmm!

botanic bleu February 3, 2016 - 9:24 pm

Love your gardens through all the seasons… too tired to tell you about mine.


MARLA February 3, 2016 - 10:10 pm

Boo! I live in drought ridden Southern California. Your gardens look luscious and I love the “overgrown and random” look. Peonies are heaven. We do our version of roses and geraniums, lavender and pray for the hydrangea on the north side of the house. Normandie is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Love this blog, Bisous.

Susan February 3, 2016 - 10:37 pm

My gardens are always changing here in central KY USA. Mostly I just sit and look at the areas, in all different lights, in all different angles, and try to envision what I would like. Sometimes this actually works. When we moved here I did a landscape plan of my own, researching trees and shrubs to plant first–over 40 trees! And too many shrubs to count. But as the years have passed, I’ve been glad I did this; now I have the beginnings of a beautiful border and gorgeous trees from bald cypress to sweet bay magnolia to a conifer garden area to a secret room under a huge existing Norway spruce. (This is where my orchid collection spends the summer!) I live and breathe to garden–nothing is more satisfying to me than this creation. I can’t paint, I can’t write–but I can create beauty this way…
Keep growing those beautiful dahlias!

Marianne February 3, 2016 - 10:56 pm

Dear Sharon,
Thank you for the lovely pictures of your garden and of course, your fur babies too. I smiled from ear to ear, so enjoying the pictures, and wanting to jump right into them to be there instead of here in Staten Island right now. Here it is raining and the fog is everywhere. But at least we have survived the snowstorm. I did want one snow storm as I miss seeing how beautiful it can be, but I think this one was enough until next winter. I had roses until late November and early December, loved that, so looking forward to spring and beautiful flowers and plants. Marianne

dottie monta February 3, 2016 - 11:07 pm

How does my garden grow? In a few weeks, tips of (white) peonies will show; the snowdrops are already up. Then, my only blooms will be white roses and lavender, as the season progresses here in Pennsylvania. In Summer, pots of annuals such as white petunias with lots of greenery such as ivy.
I’m thinking of adding silvery foliage this year, and maybe even some blue “bachelor buttons,” inspired by your delightful photos. (But yours are magenta!)
Loved visiting Normandy with my family (Shakespeare-scholar daughter-in-law shepherding us through Bayeux, paying homage at the Cemetery, savoring the crepes). I fervently hope to return in the near future!

Jennifer Clark February 3, 2016 - 11:46 pm

Your garden photos are always a sight for drought-weary eyes. I’m on the Central Coast of California, and even the professionals are throwing up their hands in despair. I lost two fruit trees, a shade tree, eight roses, and a gooseberry bush last year. So, this winter is about pulling out the dead stuff and simplifying the beds. More perennials, (drought-resistant, of course) herbs and a birch tree or two. We also need to re-sod the lawn; we let is brown out, as good citizens in these parts do. But now that we’re getting rain, the grass is horribly outnumbered by weeds of all stripes. We refuse to use chemicals, and there is no possible way to dig out all the interlopers, so we’ll strip off the weeds and start over with sod.

Please do keep showing us your garden! I gives me a bit of hope…

Sally February 4, 2016 - 12:36 am

Looking at your beautiful garden gives me hope for rejuvenating mine. Living in S. California, we are having a drought, and we keep waiting for El Niño (if it ever comes).
I so miss not putting my plans in action. Your blog is so throughly appreciated.

Desiree Ashworth February 4, 2016 - 2:16 am

What a dreamy post!! Perfect for a cold winter evening! I just recently got your book!!! My top favorite (and I have a lot of books!!) I love to show all my clients and friends!! You should see their faces… the French Women are an inspiration… beyond brilliant! Your blog is life changing!!

Best wishes Sharon!
Desiree Ashworth

AFN February 4, 2016 - 2:24 am

Your garden is perfectly lovely. I live in the desert of Arizona with a fairly small garden area divided into three parts. The ground is gravel. I have tried to make my space
as much an English rose garden as possible. Roses are beautiful here for
Spring and Fall into Winter. Summer’s we nurse them through. Now is the time we
Remove all the leaves and trim them back, getting ready for blooms in March. Compared to Florida, it is easy to grow roses here. The humidity in Florida makes is
Very difficult. I have other plants mixed in, with cacti in some areas and out in the front of the house. It is a different way to garden. I miss peony plants and many other
Midwest plants that will not grow here. Every area has its specialties. So we enjoy
What grows here and look forward to travel to see what others are able to grow. Thank you for your blog. I look forward to all you offer. So clever.

Jane Sloan February 4, 2016 - 2:51 am

Wow! The soul of a garden , so eloquently said.

Esther George February 4, 2016 - 4:39 am

Hi Sharon, love your garden and your furry friends complete the beautiful picture. We planted some Calla Lily a while back, Giant Agapanthus and Dahlia Bambino this lot can take over (no one warns you in their catalogues). The soil here always needs something to help the plants and watering is non stop in summer, oh must not forget the lawn mower brigade (it can get noisy sometimes). I watched a special called National Trust National Treasure UK gardens and I wanted my garden to look like some of them, especially Rodyard Kippling’s elegant garden and of course Sissinghurst, I’ve got great imagination.. Thank you for sharing beauty. Till next time, regards Esther from Sydney. PS we planted 5 Butterfly Bush and I can tell you…we needed a bigger yard.

Delaine February 4, 2016 - 11:04 am

Seeing your garden and staying in your guest cottage is so on my bucket list! Just lovely and such an inspiration to work in my own garden. Merci!

goleta February 4, 2016 - 12:32 pm

love this post ….but what i relllly want to read is the next installment to your story….the wait is agonizing …sorry..hahaha

Isabelle from France February 4, 2016 - 1:11 pm

Thanks for these usual gorgeous pictures !! It is such an inspiration !!

I would love to know the name of the flowers and litle tree on 4th picture, so it will be easer than showing the picture to get them !!!

Keep making us dream !!

Vicky from Athens February 4, 2016 - 1:25 pm

After seeing the beautiful poppies in Provence last May, I ordered some seeds from a French atelier and will be planting them very soon. I’m hoping to have a small plot of those red beauties in a few months . . . a little bit of France in my N. Georgia garden would be a treat. I think it would be fun to swap seeds with someone living in France and see what kind of success we each have.
I always love seeing what’s growing in your garden and look forward to seeing it in your posts in the coming months. I always love the updates. Thanks so much!

Susie Posson February 4, 2016 - 1:33 pm

Wow, thank you Sharon for the lovely thoughts and pictures of your fabulous garden in France! I am in South Texas and I love to garden as well. My biggest problem though are I have lots of deer who love to eat lots of pretty things. I’m learning what I can and cannot plant and trying to make the best of it. Keep the great pictures and videos coming, as you give great inspiration to us!!

Karena February 4, 2016 - 6:37 pm

Dear Sharon,

Thank you for the lovely images of your garden. It is so good to embrace the things in life that bring us joy!

The Arts by Karena

suzana rose borlovan February 4, 2016 - 9:31 pm

like most gardens mine has just evolved, turning itself this way and that and just when I thought it was perfect, I am planning to dig up the golden diosma hedge to plant gardenias in its place, can’t wait for this next journey through the garden.

Iris February 6, 2016 - 3:23 am

Hello Sharon
I too have been developing my garden from scratch. Having moved to the country 12 years ago it has been both very rewarding and frustrating at the same time. Not knowing how quickly rabbits can devour a spirea bush and also surprisingly burning bushes. I have learn to respect them as I could not bare to get rid of them. My perennial boarders are quite nice but again something munched away on my lily bulbs?? I will persevere as always and have a laundry list of changes planned for this coming season. Happy gardening!!

annette charlton February 8, 2016 - 5:16 am

What inspiring pictures. I would love a garden full of flowers but I tend to do clipped hedges and dry weather resistant plants in my Australian garden. My garden is left to its own devices a bit when we travel to our home in France. And sadly my French garden also doesn’t have many flowers for the same reason that it is often left on its own for long periods at a time. I can always admire your garden and dream though!! Just Beautiful.

Kaye February 12, 2016 - 4:43 pm

“The garden is a canvas for those who cannot paint, a blank page for those who dare not write, most definitely a form of creativity and one that can be shared, without moderation.” I love this quote of yours Sharon . . . a keeper for sure in my little book of quotes!
Lovely relaxed planting . . . my favourite kind.


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