top of page


Quote of the day: ‘Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.’ – Jim Carrey.

Tulipa sylvestris, the wild tulip.

One of my favourite flowers.

Completely unknown to me until ten years ago during the first Spring we lived here in South West France. They popped up in the hedgerows and took me by surprise, wowing me with their elegance, grace and simplicity. With their retina-burning yellow petals, smudged at their bases with maroon. Heads nodding, gently bowed.

Love ‘em!

With an April birthday, when I was born, apparently my two sisters picked armfuls of bluebells from the local woods and brought them to the hospital for my mother. They were distributed around the ward. Bluebells don’t last that long as a cut flower so I bet the nurses loved clearing those up! It was well before it was illegal to pick wild flowers in the UK I hasten to add.

The UK has bluebell woods aplenty. I have seen large swathes of them a couple of hours north from here in France but despite giving them a go, they decided they don’t like growing round here, or at least in my garden.

And with hindsight, I’m not sorry. English bluebells should really stay in England. Apparently, the wild tulip arrived into Northern Europe with plant hunters in the sixteenth century from Turkey and spread happily. These were the days when a single tulip bulb was worth the equivalent of a fine house. Sales were fierce and plant hunters could make their fortune readily if they struck lucky.

So we have our own French version of a hedgerow and woodland plant here and for my mind just as beautiful, the wild tulip.

They are immigrants too, just like us.

Sad there are not the quantities growing to provide that amazing fragrance that a bluebell wood intoxicates you with. Nevertheless, I await their appearance eagerly every Spring. They are now popping up in the hedgerows, in the lawn, and alongside the verges on the edge of woodland. Joining the cowslips and shouting that Spring has sprung.


Mar 26, 2023

Perfect bouquet

Mar 30, 2023
Replying to

Yes, they are beautiful together


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.

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
bottom of page