There's glory in the garden....

Our English winter garden.

" Seeds for next year all ordered. 
Now what am I going to do for the rest of the winter?"

Chateau Mango, Vietnam
I had to laugh when I read Hilda's message on Facebook as I know she will most likely be in for a long winter...and then, when that first sniff of spring comes along..she will be out the door in a flash with spade in hand. Her comment brought back memories of our winters living in England. The photo above was a scene from our garden  These days, my winters are spent tending orchids and lotus blossoms in our garden in Vietnam. Visions of English snowy gardens are a distant memory. Although, even from Vietnam, I can sympathise with Hilda, with a long winter ahead, what comes next?

My Northern Hemisphere friends will wonder what I am doing talking about gardens just days before Southern Hemisphere friends will be right with me. There will be a point to this post for my New England friends...promise!

There is a Chinese proverb.. "life begins the day you start a garden". Having recently finished my second season with a veggie garden, I have to agree. Well, kind of. Agony and Ecstasy also comes to mind. Ecstasy when seedlings burst forth with pride...and agony when you realise you made a mess of things. The good news is that agony lasts about five minutes with me. There is always hope, there is always a garden to be appreciated and scrutinised. Tomorrow is another day.

Tahilla Farm Garden

When planning a veggie and herb garden I like to look further afield.
There were quite a few gardens I admired this past summer....

My gardening inspiration...the beauty of others.

When friends come calling...vegetables.

My only regret this past summer was that we could not eat all the veggies that grew in our garden fast enough. Timing is everything when your gardening season is short. I realised this year that I do not need to plant eight seedlings of hot chili pepper which arrived in abundance about three days before I left Tahilla Farm. If I want an August tomato crop I have to get onto the plants early on. I overdid it on the zucchini...and totally misjudged the "wildness" of lemongrass. A resident groundhog had a feeding frenzy on our lettuce and I was told by an avid gardener that I was "over zealous" in my mulch application...hence slow growing lettuce. Friends share and share alike in vegetables and gardening tips, I love that. I took notes and am ready to get back in and try six months.

Summer bounty...Tahilla Farm

If I lived at Tahilla Farm, I would have this covered. There is a wonderful lecture in the gardening circuit in Vermont next month. If you live in New England  ( New England friends take note) and want to know all there is to know about growing vegetables...check this out. 

Latchis Arts presents Garden Inspirations: 
Growing Vegetables
a day of interesting insights 
on growing vegetables from three local farmers, 
as well as acclaimed TV personality Roger Swain, 
knows to millions as the host of the popular 
PBS show, "The Victory Garden.".  
The event will be held 
on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 
from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., 
at the Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Only 100 tickets available, I wish I could go!
If you are interested or think perhaps 
that this would make a brilliant
last minute Christmas gift, click here 

Information on  "Garden Inspirations: Growing Vegetables" here

No matter which hemisphere you live in,
four seasons or one,
I am sure you will agree...

There is peace within a garden
A peace so deep and calm
That when the heart is troubled
It's like a soothing balm

There's life within a garden
A life that still goes on
filling the empty places
When older plants have gone

There's glory in the garden
at every time of year. 
Spring Summer Autumn Winter
to fill the heart with cheer

So ever tend your garden 
It's beauty to increase
For in it you'll find solace
And in it you'll find peace

English Poet
Lady Rosamund Langham



Jeanne xx

Christmas past, England


  1. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you Jeanne and your family.

  2. Hello jeanne,

    Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas. We are long overdue a catch up... let's make a date in the New Year...

    Much love, xv.

    1. Thank you wishes for a lovely holiday in Provence. I am on for that catch up! xx

  3. Happy Holidays!
    Your wonderful post has inspired me to start a bean in a jar garden for the cheer it brings seeing a plant grow.

    1. I LOVE that idea Maywyn!! Happy Holidays and Happy Growing!! :)

  4. Merry Christmas and much love and many blessings

    Your postings are always lovely. Time began in a garden.

  5. Thank you wishes for a Merry Christmas! :)

  6. Love your writing about your veggies + merry christmas + happy new year to you & yours.

    1. Thank you Peggy! Sending you warm wishes for a wonderful holiday...xx

  7. How gorgeous!I have been right there with you in the VEGGIE department!The ITALIAN husband has taken it over which kinda makes me mad.......But then its GOOD for him and since he comes from the OLD COUNTRY he knows way MORE then I do!I look after the 273 roses.....and jasmine.......and other pretty flowers.
    MERRY CHRISTMAS from the good old USA!!!!!!Sounds like you will have a house FULL......I think I saw where the kids were flying in on Instagram....MERRY MERRY..............XO

  8. Major SWOON Elizabeth...273 roses, with sprays of Jasmine...heaven scent. I am hopeless with roses, in and out of the ground. I envy you your "rose" thumb! Best wishes for a glorious holiday dear Contessa...I have no doubt it will be a fabulous one for you and yours. :). xxx

  9. Loved this post and have been perusing the seed catalogs the last few weeks. After the holidays, I am going to get to work and plan my little garden. It is small and some things grow and some things don't. It still a work in progress! I don't have much luck with roses either, but I keep trying! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

    1. Thank you Galestorm! My goal is to create a sustainable Vietnamese's all about balance and growing seasons. It is good to have projects like this...keeps the dream alive. It's the little things...truly. Best wishes to you for a Merry Merry Christmas and joyous New Year! :)

  10. I'm a terrible gardener and so envy other's green thumbs! Perhaps I'll give another go next Spring!! Gorgeous garden inspirations you have.
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

    1. To this I say pots and more pots Jennifer. I have lots of those too. One day I was in a fret over the demise of a few flowering plants. A friend looked at me and simply said, toss them and start again. She couldn't see what all the fuss was about. I like her way of thinking...and she is a keen gardener with years of experience up her sleeve. I started to give myself a few reality checks and started enjoying the garden a whole lot more. :) Sending you warm wishes from Saigon for a Happy Holiday...see you over at IG and FB! xx

  11. What fun you will have the next couple of years discovering how your garden grows! The first few years are so filled with discovery!

    Merry Christmas to all your family!

    1. That's what I enjoy about stopping by your blog Webb...I can feel it!

      Wishing you a Wonderful Holiday!! :)

  12. It's wonderful to have a garden with vegetables and flowers. You have fresh vegetables and flowers on your table. In Hillwood Estate (museum and gardens) in Washington,D.C. All the flowers inside the mansion are fresh and from its gardens.No silk flowers.
    You have a treasure Jeanne.

    1. That is a wonderful thought Edgar and something new for me to explore. Thank you! Sending you best wishes for a joyous holiday with your family...all the best! :)

  13. What a green and joyful post! I hope some gardening bloggers (or blogging gardeners) will manage to attend that Brattleboro event and share some tips afterward.
    I've been tucking away the dazzling 2015 seed catalogs against the grimmest days of Deep dreaming and list-making and planning are my antidote to February glooms ;)
    I hope you and yours have wonder-full holidays, Jeanne!

  14. Thank you Quinn! I like your thinking for the winter months, you seem to have it well planned. If you have a tip on seed catalogs, would love to know. I need to do a bit of research for my Vietnamese herb garden. Sending you warm wishes for a wonderful holiday and dreams of beautiful gardens all winter long... ;)

  15. Peace and glory, dear Jeanne. Hope the end of your year is merry and bright!

    1. Thank you Becky!! Sending you best wishes for a wonderful holiday! (In Florida by now?) ;) xx

  16. I am continually garden challenged, but what joy there is in small successes. Have a very merry holiday, Jeanne, and I look forward to all the shared experiences that are ahead.

    1. Thank you wishes to you for a glorious holiday with your family. :)

  17. I think it's easy to have a beautiful garden in England with all that rain. For some plants to survive a Mediterranean summer that starts in April and ends some time in early December (when it does) is another story. But I admire your persistence and willingness to learn more. I am not very patient with gardens I am afraid. So it's mostly succulents and herbs for me.

    1. I love succulents Loree...until they die on me. Always a mystery to me, how much and when to water. They did well in our garden in Sydney where I found it best to just let them be. In a pot is another matter. Patience is not one of my virtues... From my tropical winter to your Mediterranean winter...sending you best wishes for a wonderful holiday! :)

  18. To Helen Tilston...

    From one who is not so adept at buttons on her mobile phone, aplologies for accidentally deleting your comment!

    A very Happy Christmas to all your family. Your harvest from this past summer looks delicious. One is always learning when gardening and it is so rewarding.

    Helen xx

    Sending you best wishes for a wonderful holiday Helen...xx

  19. Yes, gardens are the best. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

  20. Thank you Lisa..I did! Happy New Year!! ;)


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