greentapestry : OOTS - French Style

Sunday, 4 October 2009

OOTS - French Style

Not exactly on my doorstep but a bit further afield, here are a few images from out on the streets in France this summer. Once again I was taken with both the imaginative planting we came across and its quality too. We encountered more marvellous roundabouts. The one that really stuck in my mind consisted of what looked like the stainless steel dolphins leaping out of a sea of grasses and blue agapanthus. Unfortunately short of causing an accident there was no opportunity to take a photo.

Firstly from the small town of Lessay in Normandy,this planting not only looked good but was scented too :

Binic, in Normandy was very much in the pink. Sunglasses were the order of the day but there were also some also some appealing plant combinations amongst the bog standard petunias and busy lizzies.

Going out to sea there was evidence of a plant that is currently causing concern in Brittany. This is ulva lactuca - more commonly known as sea lettuce - is harmless while living, but when it decays on land it forms a crust under which hydrogen sulphate occurs. You may have read or watched on the news that this seaweed is choking some of the beaches on Brittany's coastline. There has been an explosion in the growth of the algae caused by the high percentage of nitrate used in fertilisers. Although my schoolgirl French was luckily up to reading the notices advising you to steer well clear of the seaweed as it could cause health problems, I did not realise what a serious problem it was until we got home.

I will have to add to this post when I get home or do a postcript, as I have just accidentally deleted the remaining photos I wanted to include. Drat! One of the perils of using an unfamiliar keyboard and computer. I know that we are now into October but I hope that I am not too late for VP's "September Out On The Streets" . I am looking forward to reading some other of the other contributions over there at leisure when I get home.


  1. Fantastic Anna and no, you're not too late as I'm finishing off my Public Space seminar series prior to doing the usual wrap up post :)

    I see to remember sea lettuce is one of the edible seaweeds, so I'm a bit surprised you weren't advised to take a bagful home with you instead!

    Thanks for taking part for the second time this month and have a good week!

  2. Ha Ha - I pressed send on my comment just as yours came through on mine :)

  3. Those are wonderful plantings, Anna! The grasses, lavender and acanthus? are vibrant, fragrant and offer movement in the breezes. What an inspired planting combo. Glad you had a good time and could read the signage about the seaweed too. :-)

  4. Hi Anna~~ I sat and stared [and drooled] over the fifth photo down. I love, love, love the maroons and pinks. I hope you can retrieve those deleted photos! It is so much fun reading about your travels.

  5. Some lovely planting combinations there. I look forward to seeing the rest of the photos.

  6. A lovely trip and wonderful photos to share with us. The pinks did win out.

  7. Wow! Just wow. What a lovely, lovely area that is. The last photo almost looks like an impressionist painting. Speaking of which, the local art museum is having an exhibit on impressionist paintings of Normandy... I'm going next month!!!


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- Anna.