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HONORING FLAH COLOR


Quote of the day: ‘The soul becomes dyed with the colo(u)r of its thoughts.’ - Marcus Aurelius



Yesterday’s quote of the day could also apply to today.


After I had been working for him for a while, Texan Dead Ted, who I wrote about many posts ago, and I, had our own way of communicating.


Flowers were “flahs”.


Everything was about “colorrr, colorrr, colorrr”.


He was, as you most likely realise American, so the spelling without the ‘u’ was a given, as was the prolonged ’rrr’ on the end. Anything tasteful and pale was a complete anathema to him. Double and preferably ruffled was the order of the day given a choice.


Being so scarily English through and through - the gene checking people at the Ancestry/DNA Website were falling asleep as they happened upon my tedious and unexotic Anglo Saxon past - I am happily both unable and unwilling to adopt that Americanism.



For Ted, vulgarity was something to court; to actively and vigorously strive towards. “I don’t wanna see any soil,” he would bark at me in his Texan drawl.


Subtlety eluded him and he was happy about that. Very proud to wear that badge.


The Argentinian preferred her potatoes.


Blousy, blossom-filled vistas still continue around every corner here in Lot et Garonne. The understated whites of the orderly plum orchards giving way to splashes of vibrant pink as the Judas trees sprout from their naked stems.

I wish you had smelly vision as the lilac is shouting out at the top of its voice too, both in making a splash and also its powerful, heady fragrance. Far too sedate still though for Dead Ted.


Scents of pink and white apple blossom permeate the air as the mighty oak woodland canopies start to unzip their fresh zingy green. A wonderful foil for the dazzling spring flowering shrubs all around.



The lime tree is now bursting forth too. It will only be a few weeks before the branches are alive with the buzz of thousands of bees as they flock to feast on the tiny, cream flowers. Far too tasteful for Dead Ted.



Dahlias (which the above and below are not by the way; they are camassias - like a giant up-to-a-metre tall bluebell that loves wet soil in the winter with baking hot sun in the summer) were pronounced ‘dar-lee-erzzzz’ - “The correct way!” he always informed me, and now I tend to agree with him. His argument was that Americans still held onto the old French ‘soft’ pronunciations, whereas the English flattened and hardened everything and made it more guttural and unattractive.



A second picture above of camassias taken not 24 hours later shows how much growth these beauties can put on with a bit of warm sun. A rewarding plant if the conditions are right. They multiply like nothing else I know too, apart from ground elder.


So today, in hono(u)r of Texan Dead Ted, here are some more pretty flahs that are looking good in my garden right now. Particularly loving my rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ right now.



A few years ago, I wouldn’t have given the yellows, oranges, reds and rich purples house room together. Thanks to Dead Ted, I now embrace and adore them, as they punctuate the garden here at Grudordy with their jewel like splendour.



Especially loving my red tulips that have a striped virus. Ain’t nature the best?



Maybe because my eyes are now so crap, bright and gaudy flowers are easier to see?


Come to think of it, my diminutive American friend’s glasses were as thick as Kilner jam jar bases, so that may have explained his propensity toward colo(u)r.


I think dead or alive, the old boy would approve the nod towards colour. Plus the weeds are covering the soil nicely too.




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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I’m Jill, a RHS gold medal winning English professional gardener, garden designer and landscaper living in South West France since 2012. This is a personal account of my gardening life, some of the jolly and occasionally not so jolly japes that ensued while working, that probably caused my subsequent back problems.

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