Each year underneath the red maple a carpet of dainty white and pinky-purple cyclamen pop up and we know we're into autumn.
|Carpet under the red maple tree|
At first they were a bit patchy due to the very dry weather we had in July and August. Now that we have had some rain, more and more of these delicate looking flowers have emerged.
|White cyclamen .....|
Neither of us have ever liked cyclamen as house plants. However, this small woodland version is lovely and we look forward to seeing them each year.
|... and pinky-purple ones|
We've picked our peaches, a few are a little green, but we've sat them on newspaper to ripen over the next few days and then we'll turn them into spiced peach jam. This year our little peche de vigne gave us about 25 fruits. The 5 Melrose apples -- our pride -- are looking excellent and we think we'll be picking them next week. It should take all of a minute!
|Nibbled by something|
Finally, the walnuts are dropping from the trees. However, this year, in contrast to previous ones, we are having to battle with the red squirrels. They are eating them like there's no tomorrow! Every time either of us spots what we think is a good one, we find a neat hole gnawed through the shell and the nut long gone! Do they know something we don't?
We love the cyclamen carpets - they're one of the joys of autumn.
As for the squirrels - could be that they have better hearing to hear the walnuts fall - or maybe they have nothing else to do but sit and wait. Did you ever hear of a squirrel doing the washing up............?!
Those little cyclamen are real survivors - I've seen them in Greece growing out of walls in no apparent soil. It must take decades to establish a carpet like yours - we planted three plants raised from seed under our lime tree in 2004 and we now have a cyclamen doormat! P.
The fall cyclamens are a joy to see each year. We have very few in our garden as opposed to the more abundant spring bloomers. Lovely pics!
Most of our best travelling in France experiences have been autumn - its a nice time of year. Then there's spring, all good too but we have never been in mid summer or mid winter.
The best cyclamen carpet we know of in the area is at the chateau-hotel Domaine de la Tortiniere, just outside Tours/Montbazon. We photographed yesterday's clients there with Célestine and gave them hotel envy, as they were staying elsewhere. There's a couple of really good spreads in Preuilly too. They are so pretty!
I agree with you that cyclamen are so much better outside than 'in'. Those of yours are wonderful. Such a lovely time of year to be in France ...
Just last night we were looking through old photos, including some of the park at Montbazon where the whole wooded hillside is a carpet of cyclamen in September. It's gorgeous.
You'll struggle to beat the squirrels to the nuts but at least it is the lovely red ones, not the greys that dominate here.
I love the wild cyclamen too, and perhaps the spring variety even more.
This is my fourth attempt at posting a reply. Blogger keeps losing it. If Blogger dinds them again you'll understand that it isn't just me and my goldfish brain!
All I wanted to write was that those cyclamen carpets really are beautiful - and I don't think we've ever seen them at their best.
Our last but one house in France had cyclamen growing on the banks down to the road....I too am not keen on the house plant variety, but these wildies are super.
I have never been fussed with cyclamen grown in pots, but I love your photos of your 'wild' ones!
@Jean - LOL! I think they just get up earlier and are more diligent!
@Pauline - ours, I suspect have indeed been around for a while. We probably lost some when we had a few trees taken out but a few tiny clumps have reappeared near the baby fruit trees.
@wcs - we don't have any of the spring ones. Just heaps of cowslips.
@Leon - Autumn is lovely here, especially during the vendange. No to mention the resulting bernache :-)
@Susan - there's usually a bank of them at St Flovier too.
They make a super backdrop for Célestine :-)
@Broad - potted cyclamen always died on me.
Agreed, although it is pretty grey today.
@Carolyn - Don't often pass by Montbazon, a shame as it sounds spectacular.
@Rusty duck - to be honest the red squirrels are so cute we don't mind too much.
There's one large walnut tree next to the kitchen which they visit less so we've decided that's "ours" and the ones further away from the house are "theirs" :-)
@Gaynor - True, but you can next year!
@Fly - the house ones have just had too many steroids and when they wilt -- which they did with me -- they go all slimy!
@Vera - they look so dainty but they're really tough as old boots.
I love the wild cyclamens too. We only have a few in our little wood so we're planting more. I didn't know about the steriods in the house plants. How sad. I did wonder why mine work sometimes and not others.
@Aussie - the steriods was a turn of phrase! Please don't take it literally. I meant that they have been bred to be larger.
Those cyclamen are so pretty and I'm with you in preferring the small ones to the overblown big ones usually seen as house-plants. You can get the small ones in pots too and I enjoy having those on the windowsill.
As for the battle with the squirrels, could it be that other nuts are in short supply this autumn, hence the raids on your walnuts?
@Perpetua - I wish!! There are loads of chestnuts [sweet & horse] which they not deigning to notice! *sigh*
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