Poppies looking up
Who would want to hurt these?

In general, the French manage to live up to their national stereotype of a people with good taste. But there are lapses.

View before
The view from my kitchen window, not entirely before because I see he already attacked the bottom swathe. The top photo shows the same poppies a few days ago.
Weed eater
Weed eater

Someone affiliated with the retirement community across the street decided to chop down the poppies on the berm that protects the village from the architectural horror of the retirement pavilions (though I think the residents of the retirement community think the berm is to protect them from the road traffic). Because of course it’s prettier to see black plastic for keeping down weeds (didn’t work so well, did it?) than to see terrible, terrible red poppies that people actually stop and park to photograph.

View after

The horror

On our side of the street, we love poppies. With all the rain, the weeds have grown ferociously. On Sunday, we took advantage of the sun and the soft ground to pull them out. We cleaned the area in front of our gate, careful not to bother the poppies.

poppies entry
A welcoming pop of color, no? Anyway, the irises on the other side are long gone.

We have a bit of a red theme going on. The roses are blooming like they’ve never done before. #rosesnofilter!

Don’t ask me names; I don’t know. The rose bushes were a wedding present from my co-workers. An excellent idea, better than a third toaster. Of course, my co-workers were uncommonly intelligent and I miss them terribly.

That big red rose shown alone could be smelled from three feet away. Heavenly.

And the poppy field behind our house just keeps getting redder.

Poppy field

Sorry for another poppy post so soon but it was provoked.

23 thoughts on “Criminal behavior

  1. Technically they’re weeds. Or wildflowers.
    The worst is seeing that black plastic now. It started out covered with grass, but the residents had arguments about the cost of maintenance and got rid of their gardener. Then it became a bank of weeds (not pretty ones). They called in somebody who SET IT ON FIRE and then they covered the bare ground with black plastic. But weeds poked through anyway, as weeds will do.
    I remember taking an elderly relative for a walk through a park near her nursing home. All she did was complain about the landscaping. I asked what she would prefer. Her answer: grass. Get rid of all these trees and bushes. They just attract pests like squirrels and birds.
    Good thing she wasn’t in charge.


  2. Oh, for goodness sake. Luckily, we don’t have to see that but our next door neighbor
    (French) constantly “Roundups” everything in sight, including along OUR front wall….I’ve had to make a big show of planting things along it to get him to stop! He’s a vine grower and it seems many farmers in this part of France are less than appreciative of what nature can do if they perceive it as a threat to their income.


    1. Although my neighbor/vigneron had some interesting insights about spraying and organic/bio production. At the market, I always operated on the assumption that the locals were such cheapskates that they wouldn’t use anything unless they absolutely had to. My neighbor confirmed it, and explained that some bio products might be all-natural but they are actually more broadly toxic, killing bees and butterflies, etc. I will do a separate post on this when I’ve gathered more info.


    1. Most of the village can’t stand the retirement community. It’s gated–like telling everyone to keep out. And they stick to themselves. The villagers roll their eyes about everything that happens behind the gates. One of the residents there died and his body was discovered three months (or more–it was hard to tell) later.


      1. We have some spots like that in my area too. One of them is on the site of an historic naval hospital that a McMansion builder was sitting and neglecting for ages. There was a mysterious fire shortly before they developed the site and somehow (in a city with really weak historic protections) they were required not just to rebuild the buildings but to replicate the original structural members holding the roof up. The restored original buildings are fantastic although they are surrounded with schlocky infill and there are tall brick walls around the whole complex


      2. Well, the walls are original, though they could have made the site more permeable. And the neighborhood around it was dodgy when they started, though 10 years later you’d be hard pressed to find anything under a half a million there.


      3. The proposal was as crazy as the approval process – a building that fills the entire 4.5 acre lot (that used to have streets running through it) with a 4-story garage and retail shops laid out to emulate Aix-en-Provence on the roof, 2 towers poking out of it, and street level big box stores


  3. It really is amazing how people can look at the same thing and see something completely different. One persons idea of beauty is another’s eyesore.
    I’m the red poppy kind of person.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m with you. But then I pack in the flowers, leaving little room for weeds. And the look keeps changing as different perennials bloom. I have not had any luck with poppies, though, and that red is gorgeous! Would love roses too, but the deer like them too, despite the thorns.
    And what is it about birds that at least one resident so dislikes?That they chirp??

    Liked by 1 person

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