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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Intensive Gardening

I can’t call us friends. Or even, acquaintances. And we’re not neighbours. We’ve never exchanged more than fifteen seconds of conversation. And even that, only once every two weeks or so.

And yet, there is a very real, life-affirming bond between us, difficult to describe. The reason, of course, I must try.

In all weathers, he is there. In his modest garden pressed up against the sidewalk. Surveying his domain. With the contented smile of someone who is truly living his bliss. Be the task watering,weeding,digging or pruning, “M. Greenthumb’s” radiant smile alone is almost sufficient to nourish his lettuce and roses.


He is not “working” the land. But, rather, co-operating with it. Nuturing. Coaxing. Encouraging. Complimenting. He is both a craftsman and an artist. And his garden, as all our lives, is a work in progress.

M.Greenthumb exemplifies a dominant trait in the French character:

A genetic passion for the land. A realization that this is where food comes from. And that food should be treated with respect, not chemicals.

Virtually every Frenchman (and yes, I’m including the “fairer sex”here) regardless of profession, has a garden of some size. No matter how tiny. The height of French pride is to serve you garden goodies,”fabrication maison.” (home made.)

But for all the M., Mme. And Mlle. Greenthumbs, the process is equally important. It’s their culture. It’s a social event. A point of commonality. Sharing techniques. Sharing seeds. Sharing stories.

Each time I pass,donating an encouraging word or two, M. Greenthumb’s smiling ear to ear response is equally brief. But in that brief instant, we establish a genuine human connection. Reaffirming Dr. Johnson’s observation that: “True happiness is to be found in the texture of everyday life.” And everyday life, truly lived, is sharing the moments.

Enjoy the moments kid. Cause in the end,those moments will add  up to a life.”

– Humphrey Bogart –

(can’t recall the film’s title….can you?)

Got some gardening  moments to share?

Throw Me A Bone Here People!

What are ya thinkin?

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4 Responses to “French Intensive Gardening”

  1. hugo watless says:

    An unexpected, but very welcome overview of the essence of French

  2. helen patterson says:

    At last the secret of French Gardening revealed.The breadth of your interests never ceases to amaze! Don’t stop now!!

  3. ken overmander says:

    I think this post belongs in your “deep thoughts” section. very thoughtful and perceptive. Thanks again.

  4. soreau breze says:

    Enjoy all your posts. But this one especially. The quality of an essay, not just a bog post. Well done.

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