poetry and prose about place

seaweed for gardens and vines for trees 6-11

with 10 comments


6-11 g

greenery in a walled yard (image from Street View)


6-11 1 Logbook


6-11 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)


I am nearing the end of Phase 6 of my virtual cycling trip through central France, but I am seeing so many interesting things, it is hard to look forward to the end.  Today I saw a man digging seaweed into his garden.  He had spread the seaweed uniformly across his garden and was slowly digging it into the soil …


6-11 f

man digging seaweed into the garden (image from Street View)


I am interested in gardening, so of course, I stopped to talk …

Jane:  Bonjour.  ‘Qu-est-ce que vous ajoutez au jardin???’ (‘Hello!  What is it you are digging into your garden?’)

Gardener:  ‘Bonjour.  Ce sont des algues marines!  Il sont très bon pour le sol.’  (‘Hello.  I am adding seaweed.   It is very good for the soil.’)

Jane:  ‘Bon pour le sol?  C’est vrai?’   (‘Good for the soil.  Is that true?’)

Gardener: ‘Mais oui!  Ils ajoutent la nourriture et les matières organiques aux sol!’  (‘Of course!  They add nutrients and organic matter to the soil!’)

Jane:  ‘D’où est-ce que vous avez obtainer ces algues marines?’  (‘Where did you get the seaweed?’)

Gardener: ‘Ah, juste à côté de l’ocean! Ils ne coûtent rien!’ (‘Ah, just by the ocean!’ It’s free!!!’)


Using seaweed on gardens is common on this side of the Atlantic Ocean also.  For example, in his book Vineyard Chill (Scribner, New York, 2008), Phillip R. Craig opened his mystery novel with a family going to the beach to gather seaweed for their garden on Martha’s Vineyard.


There was lots of evidence of gardening and green thumbs on this part of my bike drive across Ile de Ré …

6-11 r

greenhouses on Ile de Ré (image from Street View)


Best View: old trees, their trunks covered with vines  (I loved doing this watercolor so much, I tried three versions) …


'vine-covered trees #1'

June 17, 2013 ‘vine-covered trees #1’ Jane Tims


'vine-covered trees #2'

June 17, 2013 ‘vine-covered trees #2’ Jane Tims


June 18, 2013 ‘vine-covered trees #3’ Jane Tims


This is the view that inspired the paintings …


along the road

vine-covered trees (image from Street View)


Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

July 3, 2013 at 7:04 am

10 Responses

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  1. The paintings are beautiful. I like all three. 🙂 We used to use the weeds from our pond in our garden. May try that here, too, if we can ever gain access to the pond.



    July 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    • Hi Robin. Thanks. Nice to have a pond. I don’t know if raking seaweed from the shore is legal where you are. We thought about preventing it but it would be too hard to enforce and so few rake the seaweed, it really doesn’t create an erosion problem. jane


      jane tims

      July 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm

  2. Nice sketches Jane.



    July 8, 2013 at 7:58 am

  3. I don’t know which I like better, the French dialogue or the watercolour!


    Jane Fritz

    July 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm

  4. I never knew that about seaweed! Your drawings are so alike the original – I am a hopeless artist so very intrigued x


    Gemma Hawdon

    July 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

    • Hi Gemma. Thanks! I am just learning the techniques of watercolor. It is harder to maintain control than with acrylics or oils. Jane


      jane tims

      July 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm

  5. The vine covered trees, the view and the watercolours are vibrant. Each painting pulls something new from the view. We’ve often hauled seaweed from the front of my sister’s cottage for our gardens. We can’t do it anymore as she has moved; the new people might not like it.


    Carol Steel

    July 3, 2013 at 10:24 am

    • Hi. They probably wouldn’t mind if you ask them. Thanks for your comments on the watercolors. Trees are my favorite subject matter so far. Jane


      jane tims

      July 3, 2013 at 7:11 pm

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