Saturday, May 15, 2010

Genêt à balais

At least, that's what I think this is. Scotch broom (cytisus scoparius). Every year there's more and more of it on the edges of the vineyard. These are the flower heads just getting ready to open. It's interesting to me to see the very young petals with their red color just before they open. Once the flower is open, all the red is gone and just the yellow remains.

Bloomin' broom.

I read that the plant is called "broom" because the stems are (or were) dried and used to make brooms.

Again, I took this picture on Wednesday under heavy gray morning skies. The 11th, 12th, and 13th of May are known as les saints de glace (the ice saints), referring to the last days of frost in the spring of the year. And this year, the saints lived up to their name; the first half of May has been cold and miserable. But on Friday, May 14, almost as if on cue, the morning dawned sunny and clear and the weather feels like it will improve.

Then comes this morning. Sunny, but a chilly 5.9ºC. Arrrgh!


  1. Hi, I am the fellow expat living in Arthenay, I enjoy the blog.
    Is the Genet a balais related to the "Plantagenet" flower Henri's father stuck in his cap?
    I lived in northern California near Cape Mendocino, and the roads were covered in Scotch Broom there.

    congrats on the addition!

  2. 5.9ºC is not chilly. It's downright cold.

  3. Same here. We had frost the last two nights. We were worried about our runner bean plants but they seem to have survived. I don't think I could survive without our usual supply of home-grown runner beans.

  4. it is nearly 100 degrees here.

  5. tim, hello! I think yes, genêt is the plant that family is named for.

    nadege, thanks!

    starman, where you live, that's for sure!

    jean, Dog save the beans!

    michael, show off!


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