The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

Posted by on in Lou Messugo

My French garden: summer in Alpes-Maritimes

Last year I was contacted by Living France magazine and interviewed for a short article about the garden at Lou Messugo.  They found me through all the posts I have written here on the blog over the years about creating and developing our garden.  One thing led to another and now I write for the magazine every quarter.  Somehow I didn't get around to making much of a fuss about this back in April when my first article was published, but now that the second one is in print I thought I'd mention it after all!

magazines by pool at Lou Messugo

The idea is that I write about the different seasons in the garden, what is growing, what we're doing in the garden, what I like about it etc.  That comes easily, but the big difference writing for a magazine and writing on this blog is the timing.  Being a print magazine I have to write a season in advance which means I have to find photos from last year.  Now I'm revealing insider secrets! Luckily I've never held back in the photography department, I'm not known for my restraint when it comes to taking photos, so I have a plentiful supply of shots of the garden.

magazine by lavender bank

I thought it would be fun to show that despite writing months in advance the flowers have not let me down and the oleander, callistemon, lavender and jasmine are all either beginning to flower or fully blooming. It's not yet mid June so by July, the month this issue of the magazine is actually about, the oleander will be exploding and the lavender will be in its prime.

mag and garden

Here are some oleanders; they're early this year like most other plants in the garden owing to a very mild winter (I assume).  Look closely and you can see plenty of buds.  

oleander and magazine

magazine and oleander at Lou Messugo

The callistemon, or bottlebrush as it is known in Australia (a huge favourite of mine), isn't as happy this year as previous summers, but there's plenty of time for it to improve, it's early days.

mag and callistemon

The lavender is just starting to go purple.

lavender and magazine

The jasmine on the terrace of the gite smells wonderful, it's the best it's ever been.  Sitting in these deck chairs in the shade (in the morning, by midday this is in the full sun), you catch wafts of delicate perfume.  magazine and jasmine on gite terrace

Here's the actual article, you need good eyesight to read it!July article by Lou Messugo for Living France

And here's the one from April. April article for Living France

There are two other lovely bloggers in France filling in the other months and showcasing their different areas:  Rosie in Calvados and Katherine in Limousin.  Between us we have the whole year covered.  This month's issue is out now, available in all good newsagents in UK or online here.

Living France magazine July 2016

Living France is a great magazine for anyone thinking of moving to France, planning a move to France, actually already living in France or just a lover of France.  My next article will be published in the Autumn issue (out on 31 August).

mags by Lou Messugo pool

If you'd like to see the garden for yourself and read magazines around the pool, then get  in touch to find out what availability we have left, but hurry, much of summer 2017 is already full and the whole of the school summer holidays this year is booked.  Don't forget however that our summer lasts well into October usually and every season here has its charm.

You can read plenty more posts about the garden at Lou Messugo by clicking here.  I hope you enjoy my foray into the world of magazine writing and as always I'd love to hear from you in the comments.


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  • Guest
    Rin Sunday, 12 June 2016

    A gorgeous garden which you should, and obviously do, take great pride in.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 12 June 2016

    Thanks Rin :)

  • Guest
    Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault Saturday, 11 June 2016

    Yay - thanks for the mention fellow garden writer and it is lovely to see your articles too (I've only had one in print so far). I know what you mean about writing in advance - it felt very odd writing about spring vegetables in the polytunnel when outside it was still definitely winter. And don't photos take a long time to find? I really must start labelling them better.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 12 June 2016

    Luckily I'm pretty manic about my photos and they are well organised so finding them isn't difficult. What has been tricky is finding any big enough as I usually store them quite small resolution.

  • Guest
    Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault Sunday, 12 June 2016

    I used to reduce photos for blogs but now I tend to keep the original larger one ... and I am getting better at tagging photos. I once wanted a photo of B holding a duckling and searched and searched Mar to June of several years for it ... only to remember later when I found it looking for something else that on that year we had ducklings in September! It is now tagged. I have tried to tag the page it is on the website but not sure it if it had worked!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 12 June 2016

    That should have said "used to store", I now keep everything as big as possible

  • Guest
    the Pigeon Pair and Me Saturday, 11 June 2016

    This magazine looks very interesting - especially as we're thinking of trying to buy a place in France over the next 5 years or so. Your garden is beautiful!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 12 June 2016

    Thank you. Yes you might find it useful to dip into this magazine from time to time. I wonder where you want to buy?

  • Guest
    Little Wandering Wren Friday, 10 June 2016

    Well done Phoebe, I'm not surprised you are in hot demand you write so well, and yes I was able to read your article. My husband has a dream to love in France, I should get him this magazine! Thank you for your lovely and enthusiastic reception of my All about France post at Roland Garros :)
    Wren x

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 12 June 2016

    Thank Wren :)

  • Guest
    Paulita Friday, 10 June 2016

    What a coup! You should brag about it. And so glad more people will get to learn about your garden.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 12 June 2016

    Thank you Paulita

  • Guest
    Ruth Thursday, 09 June 2016

    I love jasmine too - it's my favourite floral scent - must be fantastic in the gite at this time of year.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 12 June 2016

    We have 2 different jasmines, one that starts flowering in April and then this one than takes over for summer. It's lovely.

  • Guest
    Cheryl Thursday, 09 June 2016

    How wonderful to be writing for such a beautiful magazine! Your pictures are gorgeous! I look so forward to checking out more of your posts.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 12 June 2016

    Thanks Cheryl :)

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