A few Monday brighteners

As the Covid-19 pandemic has cast a pall over much of daily life, I thought it would be worthwhile to write a short post featuring some bright spots — namely some early signs of spring arriving in the Greater Daglan Area.

Strawberry Fields Forever. A couple of our best friends in the U.K. have discovered a company that delivers live plants through the mail. So one Christmas, our friends sent us a small olive tree, since I’d been complaining that it was hard for me to find the right kind of olives for my nightly martini. (Sadly, the little tree passed away after two years, before bearing fruit.)

This past Christmas, our gift was a couple of beautiful little plants — alpine strawberries, also known as fraises des bois. I was nervous about leaving the two plants outdoors all winter, but the plant company assured me that they were hardy to -10 degrees C.

So I planted them — and here’s one of them, in a planter on our front steps, looking hearty and healthy. As the weather warms up, I’ve been assured, the plants will provide lots of fruit through the summer months. Alpine strawberries are quite small, but very sweet, and I’m looking forward to the harvest. You may see a flower in the photo below, a sure sign that there’s fruit on the way.

Can you spot the flower?

Pretty in blue. Yesterday, I walked over to the (now vacant) holiday home of some friends, barely a few meters from our house, in order to ride the stationary bike we had moved to one of their downstairs rooms. On the way back home, I was struck by some lovely blue flowers, which I believe are periwinkles (but please correct me if I’m off base). In any case, here’s one of them:

A slow learner. Quite some months ago, my wife Jan bought a lovely rhododendron plant to place on the steps leading up to our house. Its leaves were glossy, it was covered with buds, and the buds looked like they were ready to burst into bloom. And they still look like that:

Lots of buds, but no flowers — yet.

I guess it’s a slow learner, or else it’s waiting until our weather turns from “not very cold” to “actually hot.” I am keeping a close watch.

This entry was posted in Flora and fauna, Life in southwest France, Weather in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A few Monday brighteners

  1. Karen says:

    Hope no one steals your strawberries (when there are some).
    I agree with you on “periwinkle”.
    Good luck with the rhododendron!

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