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Grower’s digest - October 2019

Tips and tricks for gardeners indoors and out. This month: plant your winter bulbs, jam–making, and an elephant’s foot plant

Prepare your hyacinth bouquets

Now is the time to plant your winter bulbs such as hyacinth (jacinthe), for a touch of indoor colour and fragrance in time for Christmas.

Choose specifically heat-treated ones which have been in a dark place for several weeks to allow flower buds to develop.

Forcing indoor flowering is known as “le forçage” in French.

Put your pots in a cool, dark place, such as a garage or shed for about ten weeks to allow the roots to grow.


Fruits of your labour

If you are lucky enough to have amassed a big récolte (harvest) of garden fruits and vegetables for the freezer, the onset of autumn means one thing: chutney- and jam-making.

There is a range of electric jam-making equipment out there.

Look for an Appareil à confiture électrique, online at websites such as


Trunk call

According to home stylists in the know, the ornamental indoor plant de rigueur is the Beaucarnea recurvata from the Agavaceae family.

With its impressive shock of long, slender foliage, this native to Mexico and Central America is single-stemmed and gets its nickname – Elephant’s foot (pied d’éléphant) – thanks to the swollen base of its, ahem, trunk...

The leaves can be trimmed into your preferred silhouette; however, be warned that the plant does not tolerate humidity.

Available in all leading garden centres, including GammVert and Truffaut.



Social media app Instagram is a brilliant way to enjoy other people’s gardens in France, with everyone from chateau visitors to chambre d’hôtes owners posting seasonal snaps and quirky updates from their gardens (users can search using the hashtag #jardins or #jardinage).

This month’s image is from Château de Miromesnil near Dieppe.It was taken by instagrammer eva_nemeth

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