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Pisse-en-lit                                                       Dandelion

Ne méprisez pas cette plante !  Les feuilles sont comestibles au printemps - très riche en fer - et les fleurs sont très appréciées par les insectes.

A much-despised plant that many gardeners hasten to remove.  Here it is always welcome!  One of the first to open in early Spring: the bees rush in to get a much-needed feed after their winter hibernation.  This black-tailed bee is an imported killer, though, threatening the local honeybees.  Dandelion leaves are collected by country folk around here who appreciate this source of iron in their spring salads.  Pause for a moment to enjoy the beauty of the seeds, or use the "clock" to find out if "he loves you"!

Winter clover

Very pretty but highly invasive!  Gets into all the potted plants.

Gagea bohemica                                              Radnor Lily  

Plante très rare, à protéger !  La petite soeur de la Dame de onze heures.

This miniature lily, the small sister of the Star of Bethlehem, has become extremely rare in Europe, so much so that when one stand flowered in Wales in 2020 The Times wrote a special article about it!  Found just once years ago in this garden; to my delight some transplants took very well and flowered in 2021 on the bank between the top and bottom gardens.  One small stand flowered naturally in the middle of the 'Hot' garden. In certain years may be seen in clusters on sunny banks around the village.  Flowers in March.

Gagea en 2022

En 2022, la Gagea apparaît dans le gazon du Jardin Chaud

In 2022, the Radnor Lily made an appearance (4 stands) in the grass in the Hot Garden.

               Primule                       Primula                         Primrose

Au printemps, pousse en abandance autour de Turriers le long des torrents ou dans les soubois.

Abundant in the surrounding woodlands and along stream banks, this delightful spring flower has seeded itself all over Le Maurier garden.  Flowers in March.

Crocus et narcisses         Yellow Crocus and miniature daffodils

Translplanté de la montagne Roche Cline (crocus) et du Luberon (narcisses)

The crocus were transplanted from the top of the mountain Roche Cline on the western horizon of this garden; and the miniature daffodils came from the Luberon.

Narcissus pseudonarcissus                                               Alpine daffodil 

Transplanted from the Luberon.  Flowers mid-March on the bank between the top and bottom gardens.

Jasminum nudiflorum                                  Winter jasmine


Cultivated to brighten the hedge around the garden.  Spreads easily even in this poor soil.

Vue sur le Forêt Loin  

 Jasmine hedge frames "Never-Never Land"

View westwards from Le Maurier sets the mind a-dreaming!

Mufflier, gueule de loup                     Antirrhinum     Snapdragon, yellow toadflax

This wildflower is relatively common in the uplands of Provence.  It likes exposed limestone sites at 600 - 1000 m altitude.  In Le Maurier garden cultivated species quickly revert to the wild pale yellow.

Preparing the Hot Garden

At the start of summer, I fill the spaces with cultivated flowers that will go wild and blend in with the natural vegetation (here, dandelions in the background).

Herbe aux verrues   Chelidonium majus      Greater Celandine 

fam. Papaveraceae

Plante médicinale :toxique ,narcotique, diurétique, purgative, choléretique, analgésique, antispasmodique

An old medicinal plant.  The milky juice contains 10 different and poisonous alkaloids but was traditionally used as a remedy against warts.

Bouton d'Or                                                       Buttercup

fam. Ranunculaceae

Toxique. La plante fraiche s'utilise en homeopathie pour des conditions de la peau (herpes, eczema, prurites...) er aussi pour les rhumatismes, l'arthrose, la rhinite..

One of the most common and yet one of the most beautiful wildflowers.  Children play the game of "Do you like butter?" by putting the flower under your chin and looking for the reflection of the shiny petals. 

 A medicinal plant used in homeopathy to treat skin conditions and muscular pains.

In  this garden buttercups enliven corners of the top garden in May.

Life in a Buttercup

               Trichodes alvearius

                          Fly and weavil

Honey bee

Medicago lupulina                                 Black Medick, Nonsuch

Fam. Leguminosae

Une cousine de la luzerne (Medicago sativa)  Voir page 'Bleu'

This trefoil forms carpets in the semi-dry top meadow of this garden in May.  The flowers are tiny, 2-5 mm with 10-15 flowers to a spherical head.  Hairy leaves.  The name Black Medick refers to the seeds, which are jet black.

Also in this view: a honey bee, a White Pimpernel, Star of Bethlehem and in the background, a White Mullein.

There are several different trefoil species in this garden.  See especially Alfalfa on the 'Blue' page

Black Medick colonises the top meadow in June

Lady's Bedstraw

Galium verum

Cette plante, avec sa soeur blanche, parfumait autrefois les matelas de paille.  Deux variétés blanches, gallium mollugo et gallium saxatile, sont très répandues dans ce jardin (voir la page "Blanc").

Together with its white sister, perfumes the entire garden in early summer.  The yellow variety is less widespread in this garden, located mainly on the top meadow and (as here) under the roses.  See the page "Blanc" for the white varieties.

Fleur de Benoîte                                    Avens, Herb Bennet

Geum urbanum

Fam: Rosaceae

Un bouton d'or ?  Non, c'est dans la famille des roses !

Utilisée au Moyen Âge comme herbe médicinale.

At first glance you may mistake this charming flower for a buttercup but it is actually in the Rose family!  Used in the Middle Ages as a medicinal plant.

Flowers mid-May/early June

Foodplant of the Grizzled Skipper butterfly

Iris pseudocorus                                                                 Yellow flag

C'est cet iris - et non pas un lis - qui a inspiré le blazon royal de la France, la fleur de lis.

This water iris was collected on the banks of the Verdon river.  It has a struggle to flower in the rather dry Le Maurier garden!  This is the plant that was the original inspiration for the fleur de lys emblem of the French royal house.  Flowers in May.

Molène, Bouillon blanc                                     Great Mullein

Verbascum thapsus   

                        fam. Scrophulariaceae                        

Plante médicinale traditionnelle : remède pour la peau, la gorge et les affections respiratoires.  Astringent et émollient ; contient du mucilage, des saponines, de la coumarine et des glycosides.  Bisannuelle : la fleuraison est la 2e année..  Très appréciée par de nombreuses insectes.  Nommée aussi "cierge de Notre Dame" à cause de sa forme.

Commonly used in traditional medicine, but no approved drugs are made from this plant.  The flowers and leaves contain saponins, polysaccharides, mucilage, flavonoids, tannins, iridoid and lignin glycosides and essential oils. The plant has also been used to make dyes and torches.  May host insects from up to 29 different families!

Tragopogon dubius                                                   Salsify, Goat's Beard

Plante comestible : les racines auraient un goût d'huitres !

One of my favourite weeds! Native to southern Europe this annual has also spread to northern France. The roots are edible and are said to taste of oysters. The pale golden puffball seed-head like that of a dandelion is particularly attractive. Note the cardinal beetle enjoying a feed!


Inula occulus christi    Pulicaria dysenterica   Common fleabane

Médicinale (maladies oculaires, dysentères).  Jolie pérenne sauvage dans la famille des asters.  Ce spécimen fut transplanté du bord du chemin à l'entrée de Turriers.

An attractive perennial wildflower in the chrysanthemum family formerly used in herbal medicine.

Inula salicina                                                                                                                                                    Irish fleabane

Fleurit en septembre.  Hauteur 1 - 2 m.  Aime bien les endroits humides.  Je l'ai transplanté des bords des champs sous le Plateau de Valensole.  Un dernier festin pour les insectes.

A late-flowering plant in the aster family provides a splash of colour in September and a feast for all kinds of creatures: here a tiny brown crab spider and a carpenter bee.

Crepis biennis                                 Rough Hawksweed

Un dernier festin pour les abeilles á la fin de l'été.

Common in late summer and early autumn, providing a last feed for the bees before winter sets in.

Millepertuis          Hypericum perforatum         St John's Wort

Le millepertuis est une des plantes dont les propriétés thérapeutiques ont été abondamment étudiées. Traditionnellement utilisé en applications locales contre les brûlures superficielles ou les plaies, macéré dans une huile légère,, le millepertuis est désormais plus connu pour son usage dans le traitement des états dépressifs transitoires, légers à modérés.

La grande fleur à gauche héberge une petite abeille et aussi ....(chercher)

An old medicinal plant, used in the treatment of burns and superficial wounds.  Flowers July.

In this image a tiny green hopper looks exactly like a leaf of the plant.  Its excessively long antennae betray its presence.

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