>This long cold winter / Cet hiver long et froid


I know it’s still only January, but this winter does seem to be going on for a long time. The cold weather started early, in November, and we haven’t had nearly as many bright sunny days as we usually do in winter.

Je sais que ce n’est que janvier encore, mais cet hiver durent longtemps. Le temps froid a commencé tôt, en novembre, et nous n’avons pas eu moins de jours de soleil que d’habitude en hiver.

I can’t wait to start sowing seeds ready for spring, but it’s hard to imagine that anything will grow. Salad plants usually grow through the winter here but some celery seedlings, from seeds which Kate brought and which were sown in October, have been in a kind of suspended animation – still alive but not growing – for months. They are just beginning to respond to a bit of sunshine and the longer days.


J’attends avec impatience le temps pour semer les semences de printemps, mais c’est difficile d’imaginer que les plantes pousseront. Normalement ici les salades poussent pendant l’hiver, mais des petites plantes de célérie, des semences que Kate a apporté en Octobre, ont été dormant pendant des mois. Elles commencent enfin à réagir à un peu de soleil et les journées plus longues.

A trough of mizuna and lettuce seedlings are finding it hard to get enough light and some are collapsing weakly in spite of being brought indoors at night and having a home-made cloche to protect them when they are out during the day.

mizuna   lettuce_1_1 cloche_1_1

Des plants de mizuna et de salade n’ont pas assez de la lumière et quelques uns écroulent faiblement bien qu’ils passent la nuit à l’intérieur et qu’ils soient couverts le jour au balcon.

The vineyards are still winter brown, dotted with figures of growers who slowly work their way along the rows pruning the vines ready for the spring growth. The air in the distance looks slightly hazy because of the fires which burn the trimmings.

vines - jan_1_1

Les vignes sont toujours d’un couleur brun hivernal. Les viticulteurs tailles les vignes afin qu’elles soient prêtes à pousser en printemps. L’air est un peu brumeux de la fumée des feux qui brulent les brins taillés.

There’s some hope, though. The mimosa flowers – the first sign of spring in the Midi – are beginning to appear. / Il y un peu d’éspoir – les fleurs du mimosa, le premier signe du printemps dans le Midi, commencent à apparaitre.

mimosa buds_1_1 mimosa 2_1

5 thoughts on “>This long cold winter / Cet hiver long et froid

  1. >Winter has been unusually cold (and wet) here, too. Especially January. We’ve been blessed with few warm and sunny days, but plenty of rain. We need the water, though, and I confort myself with the fact that summer is always hot and sunny – sometimes even too much! Good to read that you were spared the horrible damage of the storm!

  2. >Visiting here for the first time – very interesting. I’ll come back often to see spring unfolding dans le Midi – I spent a year in the Rhone valley, between Vienne and Valence, and for a northerner the sudden explosion of spring was breathtaking!

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