>New plants and oysters

>The plants in our spring kitchen window – a jumble of daffodils, cyclamen and pansies which have brightened the view for weeks – are coming to an end now, so in yesterdays cold north tramontane wind and bright sunshine we went to buy plants to put in pots by the front door. Were lucky to be near Mèze where Pépinière Filippi specialises in plants for a dry climate. Unlike some garden centres which tempt us with plants which need too much water and would grow better in a more northern climate, Filippi suggests that we fill our gardens with plants which thrive here. If you cant get to Mèze, their website www.jardin-sec.com gives a lot of very useful information if you understand French. Even if you dont, the plant names are in Latin and the pictures are excellent. We bought a Gazania rigens, a Lantana montevedensis and a Rosmarinus officinalis var. repens, all recommended for growing in containers. On the way back we stopped at De la Terre à la Terre in Montagnac – another good place for Mediterranean gardeners, although it concentrates more on trees, olives, citrus and palms. We bought this unlabelled shrub with pretty pink flowers:

Does anyone know what it is?

Oyster beds near Bouzigues

We made a detour to Bouzigues for lunch. Bouzigues is an oyster village – the whole place is devoted to producing and selling oysters, with a few other shell fish – clams, sea urchins and mussels. Theres a line of cafés and restaurants along the shore of the Bassin de Thau, a salt water lagoon separated from the sea by a thin strip of land. We went to our favourite, Chez la Tchèpe.

You sit at plastic tables in the sun, choose your oysters from crates on the counter and eat them with a glass of Picpoul while you look out at the beds where the oysters grew, only a couple of hundred metres away. Picpoul is the white wine made from grapes grown in this small area between Pézenas, Bouzigues and the sea, whose slight piquancy makes it the perfect accompaniment for sea food.

Choose your lunch . . .


4 thoughts on “>New plants and oysters

  1. >You are so lucky to live near Pépinière Filippi! They have so many plants I would like to have, and importing them to Portugal is a bit too expensive. The unlabelled shrub looks like a leptospermum to me (Leptospermum scoparium maybe)

  2. >Thanks, gintoino. It does look like some pictures of Leptospermum scoparium which I’ve now found on line. Many thanks for putting me in the right direction for my search. Yes, we are very lucky to be near Pépinière Filippi!

  3. >We live in Adelaide, South Australia and have a (usually) wonderful mediterranean climate. We can grow vegetables all year round and there are olives growing on the hillside near my house. Of course we have artichokes in the garden and all the other plants suitable for that climate. I look forward to reading of your adventures in your garden. We have a blog that tells our story too and I hope you will drop by some time.

  4. >Thanks, Kate. I look forward to following your blog too – it will be interesting to see what’s happening in the ‘opposite’ season to ours in the northern hemisphere! And I see you have a gardener’s gastronomy blog too, with wonderful mussel recipes. I’ll definitely be calling in often!

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