New Season, new author
Welcome to the new season at La Cour de l'Olivier and with it a slight change to the editorial team: Yoke (me) is now doing the words leaving Mark free to concentrate on his beautiful photographs.
Spring is in full flow here – we’ve had a few days when we've gone out in T-shirts but there's still snow on the mountains and we've had a couple of frosts in the nights. The spring blossom has been and gone and tiny cherries and pears have set on the trees in the garden.
Wildflowers – les fleurs sauvages - are flowering in profusion. Orchids, our particular favourites, are popping up all over, so far we have seen Early Spider, Man, Lady, Bee, Violet Limodore, Fly, Sword Leaved Helleborine, Large White Helleborine, with many more to come.
Butterflies have not been so forthcoming, but it’s early yet. Highlights include the fabulous Swallowtail and Scarce Swallowtail, Green Hairstreak and several small but perfectly formed fritillaries including Knapweed, Small Pearl Bordered and Granville.
The "Fetes" season is also starting: most towns and villages find any excuse to come together to celebrate something so there’s usually some sort of celebration on somewhere nearby every weekend. Last week we went to Mirepoix for the “Fete des Fleurs” where the centre of the town was turned into a huge plant market. Thanks to our gentle climate gardeners here are able to grow a much wider range of plants than I’m used to so, while I think I exercised much restraint, Mark was still kept busy carrying all our purchases to the car.