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Monet’s Giverny

April 11th, 2019

Our first evening in France found us at Monet’s Giverny garden. We stopped by late, which ended up being perfect because all the tour buses were just leaving. It was early spring, so the gardens were filled with the flowering bulbs, tulips, daffodils,
hyacinths, and more. The primroses were blooming here, as well as everywhere else in France. You could just see the peonies starting to unfurl their red leaves, promising a stunning display in a few months. We made our way across the street to look at the pond. We have a puzzle of one of his painting of the pond with the bridge which we put together every few years. As we walked around the pond we tried to pick out which angle it was.

Even though the gardens were fairly dormant this early in the year, they were still fantastic (and much bigger than I had anticipated). I’ve read about these gardens, seen his paintings, and seen them on shows (most recently we watched Monty Don’s French Gardens again).

L’Orée de Giverny

April 10th, 2019

When planning our trip, I deliberated on where to stay in Giverny, finally booking the cottage at L’Orée de Giverny. It ended up being the perfect place, small, quaint, and surrounded by lovely gardens. Regis, our host, was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with him for many hours about France, politics, and gardening.

We were greeting with local cider and fresh apples and the gardens were absolutely lovely, a very calming atmosphere after the busyiness of the airport. It was the perfect pick me up after a LONG day and night of traveling!

If you ever happen to end up in Giverny, I highly recommend booking a room at this lovely B&B! Check back tomorrow for the rest of our stay in Giverny…


April 9th, 2019

Two weeks ago, we took the red eye from Boston to Paris. As soon as we landed, we picked up our rental car and headed off to Giverny. On our drive, we stopped in a little town looking for coffee and lunch. It was a lovely little place, just what you’d picture a French town to look like. As we walked the streets, we peeked over fences, enjoying the gardens. So many things were already blooming, forsythia being the one you notice most, with it’s bright pops of yellow. The magnolias were also blooming, they are truly spectacular trees, especially the old fashioned white and pink ones.

Driving through the countryside was also lovely, spring was unfurling around us, which was a sight for our eyes since we’d left Maine with snow on the ground. There’s just something about the vibrancy of green in spring, I’m not sure if it’s brighter in reality, or it just seems so because of the brown of winter.

Vintage French Gardening Posters

April 8th, 2019

When we toured the Chateau of Villandry, the hallway upstairs was lined with these vintage vegetable posters. I’ve seen copies of these before, but never this many in one place. They were amazing! Unfortunately, the lighting in the hallway wasn’t great and they were hung a little high so I couldn’t take photos straight on. I figured you’d rather see them in less than perfect photos than not see them at all. Here’s my first quick post with photos from our trip to France.

I’m learning a new photo management and editing software, so I may only post a few photos while I figure out how to work with it.

Friday Favorite: Seeds

April 5th, 2019

I’m finally back and unpacked, our week in France was fantastic. One of the places we visited was Villandry, a place I’ve been wanting to see for a LONG time! I’m not really the type to buy kitschy souvenirs, typically I try to find something I’ll use. At Villandry, I bought two packs of seeds, both French heirlooms.

Cinderella type Pumpkins ‘Rouge tres Hatif d’Estampes’ and my favorite lettuce ‘Merveille des Quatre Saisons’. If they both do well, I’ll start saving seed for these two varieties each year. This variety of lettuce is a favorite of mine, one I’ve grown most years. The last batch of seed I got didn’t have great germination, so I didn’t have any of this last year. Fresh lettuce seed germinates very quickly, so I’ll be happy to start saving seed for this particular variety so I always have viable seed in the future.

What types of things do you purchase on vacation as a remembrance of your trip?


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.