Solstice. The new year starts here…!

This is my ‘happiest’ day – although I’m often too depressed to notice it. From now on from this, the shortest day, we start the upward climb to summer. There will be more and more light. Winter (although not yet really arrived) will be giving way to Spring.

Today a visit to Huelgoat. After the consistent rain the rivers and streams are bursting their banks. Not more than normal… but, as the Summer and Autumn have been so dry, it’s a bit of a shock to see such a quantity of water.

The Winter Chanterelles were still abundant – but very wet, but taste just as good after a little more cooking.

And back in the garden. Hamamelis mollis flowering early, with its delicious, slightly elusive, spicy perfume…





Surely not another beach? And, am I sure that I’m not in Cornwall?

Yes, another one! But first before I post pictures of more sea, rocks and sand… The Seed Exchange went well.  I came home with some interesting (potentially) bean, lettuce and pea seeds – varieties all new to me. As well as some flower seeds that I’m very happy to have.

Today, a trip under rainy skies. But the weather improved so I didn’t sulk as much as I might have done. And it was worth it.

The Pointe de Primel. North Coast, above Morlaix. But if you picked me up and put me down again I might have sworn I was somewhere near Land’s End:

See what I mean?

Rain…and other Breton special things

1st of December, so it’s Winter. The temperatures dispute that, as it’s 14 degrees daytime and no less than 7 degrees overnight. But it is raining. It’s been raining for what feels like ages, and that’s always the case here. Once the rain starts it’s hard to remember that it was ever sunny. But as it has been a more or less perfect year weather wise, I’m not going to start complaining (yet.)

I’ve been spending the rainy days sorting out my seeds for the Seed Exchange tomorrow at Belle-Isle-en-Terre. One of the highlights of my gardening year. As well as preparing the seeds I’m taking, it also gives me a chance to see what I need to replenish, or what I haven’t got but would like to try. Of course it doesn’t necessarily mean that someone will be there with things that I want. Sometimes it can be a bit disappointing; if people only have stuff I’ve already got enough of (or don’t like), or worse don’t bring anything at all! But the day itself is nearly always fun. And a chance to catch up with people that I sometimes only see annually at this event. I’ll update afterwards. But, in the meantime:

The first ever crop of Medlars. 

St. Maudez amongst the pines.

Chanterelles from the Gorge de Coronq.

Blewitts from the compost heap.

A bouquet of beech leaves, Camellia sasanqua, and Viburnum bodnantense.