Sunday, 15 July 2012

In the shade of the catalpa tree


And still the sun shines in Provence... The heat on the skin is pure bliss, but we're so unused to it so far this summer that finding shade is essential. The grassy courtyard in front of the main house is dominated by a catalpa tree, planted once upon a time for its dense green canopy. In June it flowers spectacularly with white orchid-like blooms with dainty pink speckles. Now the seed pods hang down like vanilla.




It's probably too close to the house and exacerberating the frescoes of cracks on the interior walls, but in July and August we don't care about that. Between the catalpa and the fig tree is the spot to set up a comfortable reading chair.

And this year we have a new shady arbour in the corner of the courtyard. For several years the space behind the lop-sided arch where carts might once have been brought in has been full of builders' material. One summer the masons even left us with a concrete mixer to remember them by while they took an August break. But by Easter this year it was finally cleared. I painted the far wall a very pale olive leaf green and bought some chairs and a low table cheaply at a brocante sale in Cavaillon.

Yesterday I hauled some oleanders and lots of shade-loving white busy lizzies back from Apt market and spent the late afternoon potting up. Et voila!



14 comments:

Forest Dream Weaver said...

It all looks beautiful Deborah,hope you find time to enjoy the peace!

Ruby

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Oh...how lovely it all looks, you've made a wonderfully relaxing place to while away the hours! Well worth all the work I'm thinking your pots look lovely and will no doubt go from strength to strength.

Hugs
Jane ndramm

Vanessa said...

It all looks lovely. Despite the fact that it's cooler over here, we do have Catalpa trees too. But oleanders don't do well. And everyone's olive trees died off during the February cold snap. Our fig tree recovered, though.

helen tilston said...

Hello Deborah

I am so glad your posted about the Catalpa tree. I saw one just this past week in our favourite park and was fascinated by the orchid like flowers. I had no idea what it was and I thank you for enlightening me

Your place is so peaceful and tranquil

Helen xx

Harvee Lau said...

I just love your house and garden! And your set up for reading!

Sara Louise said...

The sun has been wonderful, hasn't it? But yes, shad is essential!
I spend last Saturday wondering through Apt market too, we might have passed each other by :)

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

A lovely reading area, to be sure! Gorgeous photos. I tell you, every time I visit your blog, I feel a sense of serenity afterward. Thank you for sending a bit of Provence to Chicagoland.

Marcheline said...

Don't you just love getting your hands in the soil? Fantastic therapy. I'm planning on sitting outside on my own patio today and starting "The House I Love". Although I think I'd rather re-read "The Lantern", truthfully. 8-)

Elizabeth Young said...

What a beautiful spot to sit in the shade Deborah! I do find that women are wonderful at 'nesting' whether it's outdoors or indoors, at home or abroad. Good job!

Cottage Garden said...

Beautiful Catalpa tree and you've created such a beautiful and shady arbour. I love seeing photos of your Provencal garden Deborah. Blissful:-)

Jeanne
x

Shelley said...

It looks like a small slice of heaven as I sit here in East Grinstead listening to the rain fall. Oh for a little sunshine! For now I'll just have to enjoy reading about it. Thank you for sharing Deborah, it's lovely. xx

Nadege said...

I just finished reading "The lantern". I loved it. The story reminded me of Pagnol... but particularly of one of my favorite author, Henri Bosco.

louciao said...

Looks to be a little slice of heaven. The picture of the shutters (?) and flowers against the stone wall is particularly lovely.

DMS said...

Beautiful pictures! Such a great place to relax!
~Jess

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...