When I came to live here in 1972, I'd imagined that I was the first Englishman to step foot in the area since the 100 year's war.
I later learned that the village Chateau had been owned by an English family since the 1930's (I think); we later became good friends, and still are.
So you can imagine my surprise when, not long after we'd arrived, I noticed an English registered car outside a nearby village house. I knocked on the door, and the occupant was as equally amazed as I was to find a fellow Brit in the area (even though she is a Kiwi). Nowadays there are Brits and Dutch everywhere.
Margaret (for that is she) is an international garden designer and author of note. Her book 'Tropical and Subtropical trees: A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide' is a classic. Her garden here in nearby St Caprais has just been featured in a French 'Homes and thingies' mag'.
One doesn't meet many 'remarkable' people in life, but Margaret is certainly one. Life would never have been so much fun had we not met.
Poor Margaret is going through a few hip and knee-related health issues at the moment, so she is a bit out of action; but you can't keep a good woman down, and she's still working on garden designs from her sick bed.
Here she is in her beautiful garden with her funny dogs.
Has she ever given you advice for your garden because you have a lovely garden too. Greetings Maria xReplyDelete
No, she just looks at mine in despair!Delete
And her daughter is an artist too. They are well a travelled family. I just read all about them through the daughter's website.ReplyDelete
Jan does very beautiful paintings in a rather 'graphic design' style. Her brother Simon runs a graphic design company in Grand Cayman.Delete
I couldn't quite get the time-scale. When did you know on her door 1970s or recently? Just curious.ReplyDelete
The moral seems to be always knock on the door when you see a Brit's car in France. As it made you life long friends it was a bold move which paid off Cro.ReplyDelete
In those days it just seemed so strange to see another 'Brit'. Nowadays you wouldn't look twice.Delete
When staying in a tiny little village South of Carcassonne a while ago, we noticed one beautifully maintained cottage, surrounded by shabby ones with paint peeling off the shutters and other woodwork. Upon enquiring, we found out - as we suspected - that the owners were English. Not only that, but they came from Bath, where they are neighbours of ours!ReplyDelete
If you open any local phone book, at a random page, and find the tiniest hamlet, I guarantee there'll be an English name there.Delete
What an interesting lady. I'm an avid gardener and would have loved to meet Margaret. Her family sound very successful too.ReplyDelete
Yes, they're a good bunch.Delete
Good friends, we love; old friends, we cherish. I am happy to read that a curious knock on the door could lead to a lifelong friendship.ReplyDelete
We were destined to meet, somewhere or other!Delete
it's grand that you and Margaret were able to become such good friends after that knock on her door.ReplyDelete
I am wondering if she has allowed you to take any cuttings from her garden.
Best wishes to you and also to Margaret. Hoping that she will be feeling better soon.
This year she's given me both decorative plants, and veg' seeds. She's always generous, and knows what she's talking about.Delete
I just had a feeling that she was generous with both plants and friendship.Delete
Her garden must be amazing.ReplyDelete
It's beautiful, but I imagine very time consuming.Delete
What a great luck to have met her. Just a knock on the door.ReplyDelete
cheers, parsnip and thehamish