gardening in may

by Sharon Santoni


The month of May in France is a happy moment.  We have several public holidays during the month, which gives rise to a series of long weekends, coinciding with the first days of warmer weather.

For those who love their gardens, like me, it is an exciting time too.  Our winter plans and preparations are finally put to the test, and the new shoots start to grow on familiar plants as well as new introductions to the garden.   We take the young seedlings out of the greenhouse, and get them used to being outside.  And of course we start pulling weeds, because some how they never need any help to grow!

If we are looking for inspiration, then this is the month for going to local flower fairs, where horticulturists bring out their finest plants and set up store for a few days.    This weekend I went to a local fair in the grounds of a chateau, the weather was not perfect but we dodged the showers and skipped from one stand to the next until the car was full to the brim!

I love these fairs, where you find specialists in roses; hydrangeas; peonies and of course in young vegetable and herbs for the potager.    The producers know their plants well and can offer tons of advice, and generally are happy to answer other questions.


If you are in France next May, then you will like to know that there are several exceptional fairs within easy reach of Paris.  Among my favourites are :  St Jean de Beauregard, generally the last weekend of April; Chantilly generally mid May; close to Giverny there is La Roche Guyon generally the second weekend of May.  All worth a visit, for the backdrop decor, the beautiful plants and the essential friendliness of happy gardeners!


Emm May 13, 2019 - 6:43 pm

Glad to see that Da Boyz are on the job, keeping an eye out for suspicious goings-on in the garden. My front porch is full of annuals that I incautiously bought, seduced by the chimera of bright colors, and now have to put into the ground.
Love those white-on-green plant markers.

candace ford May 13, 2019 - 6:57 pm

While I love the garden posts and the city/travel posts, my favorite is anything about the dogs.

PAMELA ANDREWS May 13, 2019 - 7:06 pm

So nice to see the dogs again, I have missed them. Garden looking good and ready for the summer season.

susana May 13, 2019 - 7:22 pm

This two dogs in your garden is the finest picture of the year!Everything else is fine too.!
Warmest regards ,

Carolyn May 13, 2019 - 7:23 pm

I love your garden “helpers” , we are enjoying May in the garden here also

Carol Parden May 13, 2019 - 7:30 pm

Wonderful to see the dogs again, and that they have the spring planting “in hand.” Thank you for all the beautiful images you send us.

Roberta May 13, 2019 - 8:01 pm

Good post but I wish you wrote more about the dogs. I loved the posts when you wrote about them.

Denise May 13, 2019 - 8:02 pm

The garden is wonderful but the best is the puppies. Just love them. I love gRdening also

Sharon Cole May 13, 2019 - 8:27 pm

Hi Sharon!
I love your garden and your sweet pups! Must agree with the wonderful addition of Thai Basil to any rice or bean dish. I’ve been scrolling through your past blogs to find a recipe you posted from a friend, Aude. It was a little heart shaped financier or snack cake she served for breakfast. Could you repost that recipe as I can’t locate it here? Should have copied it long ago!

It’s me May 13, 2019 - 9:15 pm

Owwww your sweet dogs Nice to see…beautiful garden post…but the prettiest are your doggies

Ida May 13, 2019 - 9:15 pm

Wonderful post- we’ve had too much rain to start anything in the ground. It would drown; waiting on the weather pattern to shift. My tabletop garden is viable. Really would like to get the rosemary in the ground soon. Love “le jardin”. My terrace is ok; it’s everything else. Best wishes with the rest of your month & ventures to the fairs.

Kathryn May 13, 2019 - 9:16 pm

Here in New Zealand it is Autumn and I am busy taking cuttings of roses, hydrangeas and anything else I can get my hands on with a vision of the next Spring and Summer so it is lovely to see pictures of Spring somewhere else in the world.

Bonnie Wood May 13, 2019 - 9:55 pm

Love the dogs!!!! I want to get more gardening done, but the weather here in Rhode Island has been awful!!! Cold and very rainy. Love the garden fair at the chateau!!!! Oh If only…….. There is a garden event coming this next Sunday in Mendon, Massachusetts, which is nearby. The Daniel’s Farmstead is over 100 years old. The farmer’s Market starts in July. Can’t wait!!!!

Barb May 13, 2019 - 10:09 pm

Doggies steal the show every time; so ultra sweet and standing watch!. And why are those little French tags always so unique and identifiable at once? I immediately feel back in a French market whenever I see them:).

Kristi Ganton May 13, 2019 - 10:45 pm

New email address

Lynda Kling May 13, 2019 - 10:55 pm

I don’t go to the garden fairs in Europe/
England because I can’t bring plants back to the US and it’s frustrating!

Rita Parker May 13, 2019 - 11:31 pm

I love your garden posts. I also started plants from seeds. They have done great. But still too cold yet for another couple weeks here at the lake to plant them.
Love the beautiful dogs. Helpers I presume.
Love all your posts. So…….. glad I found you.
Thanks for sharing
Rita Parker

Kathleen May 14, 2019 - 1:25 am

The weather man on TV tonight said that there was a strong possibility of snow in the higher elevations of New Hampshire during the evening. We live on Cape Cod (Massachusetts) and although we will be spared the white stuff, we will have rain and temps in the 40’s tomorrow. Will have to wait a little longer to get dirt under my nails.

Lisa D. May 14, 2019 - 1:50 am

Sigh…I just love your blog, Sharon. It’s like a breath of fresh air. I just want to crawl into your photos and live there. Another vote for your adorable dogs. How do you keep them from digging up your garden? They must be very well behaved.

Vicky from Athens May 14, 2019 - 2:03 am

This May has been a wonderful gardening month here in N. Georgia. Ample rain and very decent temps. I spent today digging up iris to be moved tomorrow to new beds. I ‘ve promised myself that I’ll buy as few new plants as possible this year and use what I have by dividing and replanting. And I have plenty to move around!! I need new herbs and a little color in the way of annuals but everything else will be mine…just looking for a new place to bed down.
Your fairs sound wonderful and your garden helpers are adorable, as always!
So looking forward to getting my hands on a hard copy of the magazine!

Colleen May 14, 2019 - 2:40 am

Hello Sharon,
I miss seeing picture of your two beautiful fur babies. ((Boys ) They are sooooooo cute.
I miss that you don’t talk about them and the things they get up too.
I really enjoyed reading your old blogs, I feel you gave more insight into French life.
Love to read more about your garden.
This month is the last of Autumn 1 st June is the beginning of our winter in wester Australia

Bronwyn Lee-Coward May 14, 2019 - 3:43 am

Hi Sharon, love the photos and the inspiration that you give to us all. A couple of questions if you have the time to answer, no pressure maybe in another blog on plants and gardens. The 2 pots that flank the french doors on the step, are they Bay Trees?
Second question the fabulous photo on Instgram of the Arbour it looks like it has been there a long time, what is it? Sorry another question, who is the “Boss” Gibson or Ghetto? Enjoy the sunshine it is chilly out here the Blue Mountains where I live are alive with colour as the trees are changing.

Mary May 14, 2019 - 1:16 pm

I am also looking forward to getting out in my gardens, however we are still experiencing very cool temps here in northern Michigan. Love the blog, and love that picture of your dogs in the yard!

Lynn Pastor May 14, 2019 - 1:34 pm

Love the photos of the herbs! I, too, look for them all summer long at my farmers market! Love the different colors, scents and flavors of the various Basils along with the flavored thymes! I want to add each and every one to the window boxes outside my kitchen window! Thanks!

Ann May 14, 2019 - 2:48 pm

Your pictures always bring a smile to my face, especially when your cute little helpers are included!!

Linda Galston May 14, 2019 - 9:43 pm

My friend, Linda and I are going to Paris later this week, then on to Giverny
To paint in Monet’s gardens. While in Paris, are there any garden markets or special spring floral shops we should seek out?
Linda. (Another Linda). Ps: we love your blog!

Eithne May 15, 2019 - 3:19 pm

Like everyone else here, I adore your dogs and seeing photos and hearing of them makes my day. I did ask previously what breed is the little white guy?

As for the gardening, it comes second to them!

Lisa Lacy May 16, 2019 - 1:06 pm

Hi Sharon so excited to see you now have a magazine. When will you have PAYPAL added to payment types as i do not like to use credit card outside australia as paypal is much safer ? I cant wait to subscribe.

Lyn Johnson May 19, 2019 - 8:44 pm

Bonjour Sharon, Enjoying your wonderful posts. Here in New Prague, Minnesota it is raining and the farmers are having difficulty planting their corn. We are visiting from Australia and have been to a number of nurserys with our daughter revell in the colourful Spring flowers and blossoms that are so appealing. Shortly we will go home to Winter but will continue to enjoy pictures of you Spring garden.

Adam February 9, 2024 - 12:09 pm

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