easter in the garden

by Sharon Santoni

easter table in the garden

My easter weekend has been spent in the garden …. not in the bright beautiful sunshine you see in these pictures, but beneath a menacing grey sky.  If you had stopped by you would have found me in muddy boots, wearing an old ‘gardening’ coat, either ankle deep in the compost heap or planting like crazy, and telling the plants to hang in there, because the sun is about to come out.

Any of you who garden will know about these moments.  This is the very unglamorous side of gardening, when your back aches, your fingernails are dirty, and you lose track of time as you trundle compost across the lawn, and coax young plants into their new homes for the summer ahead.

easter table in the garden

So why do we do it?…. because in our obsessive gardeners mind, we don’t worry unnecessarily about  the mud, or the untamed roses, or the first sign of weeds that need to be pulled.  We take care of the necessary tasks quite mechanically because we already have the vision of the happy season just around the corner!

easter table in the garden

Every year I try to do something new in the garden, and it is that vision that keeps me full of energy and drive.    A garden is created by layering up the ideas.   By inventing a new feature one year, that will be part of the background the following year and so on.

easter table in the garden

In the meantime, these pictures are from my entertaining book.   They were shot when the magnolia was in full flower, and illuminating the whole garden with its pink white glow.

easter table in the garden

I hope you have had a fun weekend wherever you are, and that your gardening projects will bring you much joy in the year ahead.


All photos by Franck Schmitt for the book, My French Country Home, Entertaining through the Seasons


Mary E Stawarz April 2, 2018 - 6:23 pm

How lovely!!!! Happy Easter indeed! I just love blue flowers. 🙂

Jennifer Shaw April 2, 2018 - 6:31 pm

Such beauty! Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos. Happy Easter to you, too.

Martha Brooks April 2, 2018 - 6:35 pm

How blessed we all are at seeing your beautiful photos of a brand new Spring season and the privilege we all have of cultivating something new in our gardens. I am reminded of the true meaning of Good Friday and Easter Sunday and our blessings.

Lenore April 2, 2018 - 6:39 pm

Wish I could be there and sit at your table under the magnolia. We would have wonderful conversations about our gardens. The table is absolutely stunning. The photos are beautiful. I know the work you are doing as I am also a gardener. Love the photos of your gardens. I can almost smell the flowers!
But alas, I will have to wait as it will be mostly in the 30’sF here this week. My daffodils are putting on a brave front and are up 3 inches with some buds. Spring may be here but the warmth is slow to come. I do enjoy both of your books. Wish I could be there to enjoy your garden.

David Phillips April 2, 2018 - 6:52 pm

Sharon, everything you do is so classy! This post is wonderful. I hope you had a lovely Easter.

Colleen Taylor April 2, 2018 - 7:02 pm

How gorgeous Sharon! That magnolia tree is breathtakingly beautiful. The scent of that tree must be heavenly. Thank you for this lovely post. Happy Easter!

Mary from Life at Bella Terra April 2, 2018 - 7:17 pm

Sharon, what stunning photos….I was actually envious until I read through your blog. I am a gardener and yes, it is dirty work. But the results are so worth it. I just planted my spring garden and temperatures have really shot up here in Phoenix, Arizona. I expect a surge in growth as many plants have all their fruit blossoms. I need to find out how to get a copy of your book.

Our French Oasis April 2, 2018 - 7:18 pm

What a tough winter it has been and spring has not started out too fabulously either, but I am sure it is just around the corner. At least we have been blessed with some warmer weather here, 16C today, only a peak of the sun every now and then in between the clouds, but like you, it felt good to be outside, in the garden, preparing for those wonderful days ahead. Hope you have a lovely Easter xx

Susan April 2, 2018 - 8:14 pm

Photographs of your garden bring joy to my heart and a smile to my face.

JaneEllen April 2, 2018 - 8:26 pm

Such lovely photos,even if from your glorious book instead of present real life. Many people in certain areas of U.S. are still having very much Wintery weather.
Now the lady in Phoenix has pretty good weather most of year,I lived in Tucson for 20 years which is few miles South of Phoenix.
Now we live in western CO where the weather is all over the place but not necessarily what we’d expect. Yesterday was a gorgeous 70+ degree day for Easter. The dogwood trees here are in riotous bloom, so pretty but so bad for allergies with wind blowing often.
One reason am not a gardener. Just repotting plants in bigger pots. Gathered up some of our hens and chicks to put in more pots have had lying around to dress up our back deck. Will be time to put cover on our gazebo soon.
Would love to have gorgeous garden like yours but will satisfy ourselves with potted plants. Our ground has so much alkali pots have to be our answer. Do have 3 lilac bushes out front which bloom some years depending on weather. One elephant ears tree and couple russian sage. We tried forsythias but they died.
So guess we’ve tried some gardening but certainly not your extent. Admire much your determination and gigantic efforts.
Hope Spring arrives in all it’s glory very soon where you are.

Linda April 2, 2018 - 9:36 pm

Thank you. What a beautiful post! I am particularly envious of your lovely iron table. Mine is falling apart from too many years left outside in sunny/rainy California. Your work inspires me to more gardening, more writing, and more of everything French.

Sue Malizia April 2, 2018 - 10:28 pm

The pictures of your gardens are beautiful and the description of yourself working in the garden is so me! I start out with a goal but before I know it hours have flown by, I’m a mess, can barely move, but always happy of at what I accomplished…and sleep really well (out of pure exhaustion). =)

Vicky from Athens April 2, 2018 - 10:46 pm

Beautiful pictures of your garden. Thank you for such a lovely Easter post!

Victoria Savu April 2, 2018 - 11:18 pm

Happy Easter Sharon. Your beautiful pictures remind me of why I work so hard in the greenhouse and gardens. Snow on the ground this morning but dahlias are started in the greenhouse and tomorrow no matter the weather I will be in the little greenhouse starting more flowers. Spring will come. Thank you for the beautiful post.

Karin April 3, 2018 - 12:53 am

Sharon, I spent my Easter weekend exactly as you!! It was a beautiful Saturday in Maryland. 60’s, sunny, and blue skies. I fertilized my roses, cleaned up beds, ordered my 2 pallets of mulch (I have 1 1/2 acres of gardens), and loved ever minute of it! My wardrobe was a similar ensemble of garden clogs, garden jacket, and old running tights. As you, I dreamed of wine and cheese on the patio while watching the birds taking a “sip and dip” in the fountain. Looking forward to the post showing the fruits of your labor.

Kaye & Philip Morrison April 3, 2018 - 1:11 am

Hi Sharon, we hope you had a wonderful Easter, my husband and I really enjoy your posts. We are looking forward to our next visit to France next year in particular Paris this will be our third visit and will not be our last.
Regards Kaye & Philip : Geelong, Australia

Afn April 3, 2018 - 1:14 am

Enticing, fabulous pictures of your Easter garden
table. So clever. Thank you Sharon

Eleni April 3, 2018 - 1:25 am

Easter in the garden sounds wonderful. If only. Today in Toronto we had snow !! Never mind, we had an Easter egg hunt for the kids anyway. Your photos are very welcome indeed.

Nadiya from LA April 3, 2018 - 7:28 am

Only yesterday on easter I purchased your book at our local Barnes and Noble store and was looking at these photos in your book. So beautiful and inspirational, cannot wait to see your garden in full bloom this summer.

Hazel Lavelle April 3, 2018 - 11:50 am

Hi Sharon ,
Well here in sunny Manchester !!!!!! Not !… It’s rainy and so cold , but to see your lovely Photos has lifted my spirits for better things to come !

Thank so much
Hazel X

Dottie Monta April 3, 2018 - 2:18 pm

What a pleasure, your photos and accounts of accomplishments in the garden. Nary a bloom here in Indiana under very grey skies and snowy predictions. Lovely Easter nonetheless, and wishing you the same. We all thank you for keeping up our spirits!

Debbie Spence April 3, 2018 - 3:16 pm

Dottie, hello fellow Hoosier. I’m from Kokomo. How fun to see a someone from Indiana all the way over here in France.

Carolyn W April 3, 2018 - 2:59 pm

Thank you for your Easter post. I spent much of my time much the same way as you.Doing all the unglamorous things in the garden, which will lead to fragrance and beauty later in May/June.
Still much cooler here than usual.

Debbie Spence April 3, 2018 - 3:14 pm

Lovely! Here in Indiana it snowed 6 inches on Easter. These photos help me hang on until the magnolias here are blooming also. Thanks for telling us about the gray and mud. I like to know that life is real for people in France too.

Marilyn L April 3, 2018 - 9:34 pm

Too cold here in the North of England to do much in the garden. I wish Spring would hurry up and warm the ground and me. It has been a long, hard Winter without my lovely husband.

Teresa Phillips April 4, 2018 - 4:43 am

I approve of your weekend! I spent all four easter weekend days in my garden working on a new area and it was THE best time. Being self employed too, I know it can feel like an indulgence to get down in the dirt when there is other work to do.

Tammie Price April 5, 2018 - 5:57 am

I am so happy to have found your blog! I just read the article “French-Inspired Entartaining” in The Cottage Journal. I love the French country style, but I am not a very good gardener. Hopefully I will get better. Right now, I call myself the faux plant lady!

Sarah April 17, 2018 - 8:04 am

I just love your honesty! So true about back breaking work!!!


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