My Mazamet

Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho

Coincidences that aren’t coincidences; The Mother of Hydrangeas


2.5 metres tall by 4.5 metres wide, and the flower heads are the size of a cauliflowers

They’re just glorious. At the moment we’re mainly using the kitchen doors (which are open in the picture) and it’s lovely to see those flowers as we go in and out.

As the garden blooms it feels slightly surreal. It’s basically my own plant list. The same plants in the same colours I had in our garden in Spain, or their close counterparts. Hydrangeas, irises, gladioli, hibiscus syriacus in purple and even rhododendrons in the same colour as the oleanders I had.

If I were religiously inclined, I’d probably say there’s a supernatural connection between the late Mrs. Stanton and myself. Rather, it’s quite obvious our connection is aesthetic. Before I chose this house, she’s the one who chose it. She tried to maintain the most important features, and so do I- and so there’s nothing supernatural about the fact that our taste in the garden coincides.

It’s a very nice feeling because it feels right and also because it saves me a tremendous amount of work. I don’t have to change anything. Just edit, which is my preferred way of approaching design.

The concrete for the terrace is poured. Next week we’ll choose the tiles. I haven’t considered much more than that. We have round and rectangular outdoor tables, so I’ll try both to see which looks best; and then we have to choose sofas and armchairs. It turned out to be the perfect size. The table will be to the left, and then the sofas to the right.


The lawn specialist came in to give us his ideas, and we decided to just re-do the whole lawn area. He’ll prepare the earth in mid August, then turf will be laid in September. He says doing it now would be an extraordinary waste of water (hence money.)

This evening we’re invited to a restaurant in the mountains above Mazamet, it’s supposed to have the most stunning views. I’ll try to remember to take the camera so I can take pictures.


12 comments on “Coincidences that aren’t coincidences; The Mother of Hydrangeas

  1. foolsmusings
    June 20, 2015

    They’re beautiful and the yard is lovely 🙂


  2. jerbearinsantafe
    June 20, 2015

    Yes we Americans have less astheticly pleasing word yard for the expanse in front of and behind the house. To us a garden is a plot planted with vegetables or flowers. It would seem your place qualifies as a garden in any venacular – as your beautiful flowers attest.


  3. Hariod Brawn
    June 20, 2015

    Nice stoop and yard Mr. M. 😉


  4. acflory
    June 20, 2015

    The hydrangea is gorgeous, but what is it growing /in/? A very big pot???


    • Mr. Merveilleux
      June 21, 2015

      There are holes cut into the steps each side of the front door, so sort of ‘buried’ planters.


  5. anne54
    June 20, 2015

    I envy you those hydrangeas!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charmaine Martin
    June 22, 2015

    I have a front yard, but a back garden. Last summer, when my brother visited, I invited him to take our margaritas to the garden. His friend looked around and asked, “where’s the garden?” Being from the American South, I guess he was expecting vegetables.


  7. Charmaine Martin
    June 22, 2015

    Nothing supernatural about a shared aesthetic. (Good thing: it would be awful to picture Mme. Stanton going after you with spectral garden shears because you changed something.)
    It may seem to be a series of happy surprises as the garden blooms, but remember you had a bit of foreshadowing in that gorgeous wallpaper – Mme. Stanton’s way of bringing her beloved garden indoors for the winter.


    • Mr. Merveilleux
      June 22, 2015

      I’ve put great effort into saving all her plants.
      When I first walked into the greenhouse I realized she must have been working in there in the days immediately preceding her death. There were plants that had been put there for the winter, some removed from pots and not yet placed in other pots. Shears, potting soil, bigger pots, everything just sitting on the table, nicely organized- just waiting. A humbling experience; confronting the ephemerality of being. I’m just one more of the custodians of this house. One day someone else we be in the greenhouse trying to save what I leave behind 🙂


  8. appletonavenue
    June 22, 2015

    I can’t wait to see the garden unfold as you put your mark on it.


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This entry was posted on June 20, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .
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