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!