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.

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Wild spring garden

Every year around this time I write about the flowers in the garden; every year the new growth amazes and inspires me.  Every day there are more leaves, more blooms and even more plants pushing their way into the world.  Nature really is clever!  This year though, what surprises me more than ever are all the wild and self-seeded flowers at Lou Messugo.

wild flower at Lou Messugo gîte Côte dAzur France

We named our house after a wild cistus (messuge) that grew in the area but the very fact of cutting down the forest and creating a building site looked like we might have wiped out pretty much all of them.  Five and a half years later however there are more cistus than ever.  This morning I counted 4 different types and we've only planted one of them.  They are all over the garden in great big bushes, small clumps and single stems, covering 4 different colours too. (Photos of the 3 wild types below)....

cistus messuge

This year for the first time we've also got plenty of wild valerian.  Last year there were one or two plants, now there are probably fifty or sixty dotted around the garden and the great thing is, they'll flower for months and months.  I noticed too that there are two different shades of pink, which I don't think I've seen before.

valerian at Lou Messugo

Walking around the garden with my camera this morning I found several plants I can't identify, all wild and pretty.  I'd love help finding names for any of the flowers in the 2 collages below.

unidentified flowers

more unidentified flowers

And looking out from where I sit at my desk I can see a great big clump of self-seeded osteospermum.  We planted some of these at the front of the house and they've worked so well spreading beautifully over the dry stone wall.  But we never planted any in the gravel at the top of the steps, they did it themselves!

out of my window at Lou Messugo

Amongst all these wild flowers we also have the most spectacular display of jasmine which we did plant (tiny).  It gets better every year and this year it's exploded over the railings of the pool too.

jasmine at Lou Messugo

I don't think there's much else I need to say...the flowers speak for themselves.  If anyone can identify any of the unidentified blooms, I'd love to hear from you.

Lou Messugo garden in May 5

Lou Messugo garden in May 6

Lou Messugo garden in May 2

Lou Messugo garden in May 4

Lou Messugo garden in May 3

Lou Messugo garden in May

What's growing in your garden at the moment?  Do you have any wild flowers? 

You might like these other posts about the garden at Lou Messugo:

September Mediterranean garden

Summer garden

Oleander - the flower with power

From forest to garden - 4 years in the making

Last modified on


  • Guest
    Sara-Jayne mardi, 19 mai 2015

    I spot a sweet pea and snapdragon [the yellow one] but only because they were in my garden as a child! Beautiful!!

  • Guest
    agata lundi, 18 mai 2015

    I adore garden this time of the year... so many beautiful colours and shapes

  • Guest
    kriss macdonald dimanche, 17 mai 2015

    Your wild and beautiful garden must smell heavenly. It's been great lesson for me reading the comments and finding out too the names of some of them.

  • Guest
    Jaime Oliver samedi, 16 mai 2015

    oh wow what a really stunning garden you have! .. sorry i can't help identifying your random blooms .. but beautiful none the less

  • Guest
    Ben @Eco-Gites of Lenault samedi, 16 mai 2015

    Hi, Ben here from Eco-Gites of Lenault - I'm right next to you with my first #HDYGG blog post - long live the French gardeners!

  • Guest
    Katie samedi, 16 mai 2015

    You have a really gorgeous garden!

  • Guest
    chickenruby vendredi, 15 mai 2015

    the only one i know in the collage is the yellow one, snap dragon

  • Guest
    Ninjacat jeudi, 14 mai 2015

    I truly love Spring flowers so very much

  • Guest
    Stephanie Robinson jeudi, 14 mai 2015

    the first pink flower is definitely an everlasting sweet pea as rosie says and the blue one below could be an agapanthus - hope you get to find out all of them :) #hdygg

  • Guest
    Ness jeudi, 14 mai 2015

    I love that fact you named your house after a local wild flower. It must have been so pleasing to see them back again. We have red valerian in our garden too. I really like it but by the end of summer it becomes a bit of a bully and starts taking over and the base gets huge and woody. I dug it up in the front garden last September but it has reappeared again in the same spot!

  • Guest
    Claudia jeudi, 14 mai 2015

    looks like you live in a beautiful place. what a great garden!

  • Guest
    Kara jeudi, 14 mai 2015

    We have just planted lots of plants to encourage butterflies into the garden - you have a gorgeous garden x

  • Guest
    Gemma jeudi, 14 mai 2015

    Absolutely gorgeous photos. I'm reading this on my morning commute to work and its put a smile on my face :) Jasmine is one of my favourite smells. I use to work in a little studio that had a big jasmine plant in the courtyard. Lovely smell. Thanks for joining in and sharing your beautiful photos!

  • Guest
    Sarah Bailey mercredi, 13 mai 2015

    What some gorgeous photos - it is so nice seeing all the flowers in bloom.

  • Guest
    Catherine mercredi, 13 mai 2015

    I think all the flowers that I would know in your garden have been identified. Those pesky chickens did do some good in spreading seeds and now you are enjoying the results. Happy gardening.

  • Guest
    globalmouse mercredi, 13 mai 2015

    Oh gosh you're so lucky, what a gorgeous mix of colours and beautiful wild flowers. My garden is a bit too green, I need to get planting!

  • Guest
    Michelle (@ A Family Chatter) mercredi, 13 mai 2015

    The garden is lovely! So beautiful! We don't have many flowers. We seem to buy plants that don't flower until later in the year so our garden is looking not very Spring-like at the moment :(

  • Guest
    Mrs Tubbs mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Beautiful flowers!

  • Guest
    Richard mardi, 12 mai 2015

    It looks as though you've recovered from most of the chicken-induced degradation? Over to Catherine for some serious identification. Valerian is not only prolific; it's also international. We've got masses here in Sussex - where incidentally the wisteria has at last come out.

  • Guest
    hannah staveley mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Wow looks amazing our garden has now been taken over by the kids playhouse.

  • Guest mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Do I spy some clover in there? I'm not an expert though, so I may well be wrong! It must be delightful to see all these blooms coming out.

  • Guest
    Monkey and Mouse mardi, 12 mai 2015

    What a gorgeous garden you have, I love all the flowers! The yellow unidentified flower looks a bit like either an orchid or snapdragon. They all look beautiful! :) x

  • Guest
    http://Ickle Pickle mardi, 12 mai 2015

    You have a beautiful garden. We have a gorgeous clematis in full bloom in ours at the moment. Kaz x

  • Guest
    Sam Thurley mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Such a lovely garden, great colours. I think the pink ones are Snap Dragons, i bet the bees and butterflies are going to love you for ever more xxx

  • Guest
    cass mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Such pretty flowers - the colours are beautiful. I'd love a garden like yours x x

  • Guest
    Emily Davies mardi, 12 mai 2015

    These are beautiful photographs of your flowers! How I wish I was a little more green fingered!

  • Guest
    Mums do travel mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Your flowers are lovely. We have some patches of bluebells in our garden at the moment as the woods nearby are full of them.

  • Guest
    Sam@happyhomebird mardi, 12 mai 2015

    A gorgeous garden, I love the flowers against the stone, a different type of garden to here in England and I love it. Bet it smells beautiful. I see others have said aquilegia (columbine) and I'd agree with that too and the yellow snapdragon - I used to snap away with them between my fingers as a child.

  • Guest
    Jen mardi, 12 mai 2015

    What a stunning garden. Mine is full of veggies and grass (it was a new build house) and we are seriously lacking in flowers. I would love your garden

  • Guest
    angela hamilton mardi, 12 mai 2015

    What a beautiful garden! I love flowers and quite happily walk around our local wooded area looking at them all.

  • Guest
    Erica Price mardi, 12 mai 2015

    We have valerian growing in our garden too. I brought some with us from our last house where it looked magnificent with some enormous geraniums.

  • Guest
    Lisa mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Hello Phoebe
    What a beautiful garden you have . I agree with Rosie, I think you have aquilegias - and I was going to suggest bottom left antirrhinums [remember now, they are called snapdragons] but that's about the sum total of my knowledge! I am afraid your photos also brought out a little of the little 'green eyed monster' in me too - I left my 'family' home and garden in Suffolk UK at the beginning of 2014 and made an 'executive decision' to have a modern lock up and go property as I spend so much time away and this means I have a garden the size of a handkerchief - hard landscaped! I do so miss my proper garden but then I don't miss the amount of time and money spent on it's upkeep! Here in Villefranche sur Mer we have a couple of planters on the balcony!! I'm not really whingeing, I have a charmed existence and am able to visit other people's gardens!! Loving your blog and the other blogs who join in the All About France linky too.

  • Guest
    Domestic Goddesque mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Defintely Granny's bonnet, snapdragon (antirhinnum?) possibly wild orchid. I only know because I've just planted some!

  • Guest
    Michelle mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Aquilegias are some of my favourite flowers. They're also known as Granny's bonnet!
    We planted 2 jasmine plants, one either side of of our arch and after about 3 years we got our first flowers.
    That same year we decided to move and took the plants and arch with us. They don't seem to happy about being moved and I fear it's going to take another couple of years for them to flower as they didn't flower last year and are not showing any signs this year!
    I've planted some sweet peas against the arch now so hopefully, in the absence of jasmine scent, at least there'll be the wonderful sweet pea scent when I walk through to the lawn :)

  • Guest
    Phoebe mardi, 12 mai 2015

    I hope your jasmine recovers Michelle, it would be a shame if you lost it. The scent from ours right now is *almost* overwhelming.

  • Guest
    Ashley Beolens mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Your garden looks amazing I bet as well as the huge number of stunning flowers it gets filled with bees, butterflies and other pollinators, wonderful.

  • Guest
    Phoebe mardi, 12 mai 2015

    Yes there are plenty of bees which is lovely in this day when they are dying out and a fair amount of butterflies too. I guess that's how we have so many wild flowers.

  • Guest
    Our French Oasis lundi, 11 mai 2015

    There is little quite so perfect as wandering around the garden at this time of year, camera in hand, snapping away at all the new flowers and the best part is then being able to share those photos on the internet. Thank you, loved seeing all of your plants, looks beautiful

  • Guest
    Phoebe lundi, 11 mai 2015

    It's great isn't it? Thanks for you kind comment. :)

  • Guest
    Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault lundi, 11 mai 2015

    Bonjour - in your first collage the top left flower looks like an everlasting sweet pea and the top right an aquilegia (columbine). Not sure of the other 2.
    On your next collage the left one looks like a wild snapdragon and the bottom right is another aquilegia.

    Hope that helps and great pictures.

  • Guest
    Phoebe lundi, 11 mai 2015

    Thanks Rosie, I thought the pink one looked like a sweet pea but wasn't sure they happened wild and now you mention snapdragon I remember the name too. But I had never heard of aquilegia.

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