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Friday, January 31, 2014


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Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
I remember reading about Mr. Farjon in your blog post in 2008 and what a sweet post it was. I love the photo of him and the story! What a special remembrance of him and I'm sure he will treasure it! Love the back cover too!

Chaille Reed

Absolutely, use the fortunate you are!!
Chaille Reed

Leslie NYC

I love the post and think it would fit perfectly in the book. I would use the photo of the two of you on the back without any of the words. Your subtitle and the photos(front and back) sell the book. It's more enticing and confident that way, in my opinion.


Sweet story! I vote to use it.

Linda R.

Omgosh - I'm so glad you chose the photo you did. Perfect ... and so is the story. Since it might go to print I just want to make mention that "its" as in "Lily of Spain. That's just it's common name" shouldn't have an apostrophe. Best advice: when in doubt, break the word down. It's becomes "it is". Leslie NYC is correct as well - photos front and back as is, then the story (perhaps the last one in the book itself)standing alone. Nicely done, Kristin.

Nancy Mulloy-Bonn

Most definitely explain , briefly, your relation to Monsieur Farjon. Your story today is SO you.
Back cover layout is lovely.

Diane Gravitt

Sorry I can't make the book signing...I will be in Paris for 3 weeks in July....maybe you will have another one then?

I think your story of Mr. Farjon is very touching and would be a nice addition as the last chapter.

Also...if you were an unknown author to me the words on the back cover would draw me in to your warmth and style of writing.

Great job!

Bonjour Kristi,

I vote to include all of today's story in a chapter "A Note about the Book's Cover"!

Merci for today's lovely story.

Tish from Powhatan VA

MJH DesignArts

Hi Kristin, Congratulations on so many fronts. And to reconnect with M. farjon; to know that he is well is a wonderful gift. Just wish that Paris were a bit closer on Feb. 6th.

Joyce White

It's a wonderful story and I look forward to reading it again in your book. I'm glad you chose my favorite book cover. The story makes it even more special.


Its adorable. But what about the 100 pages left at the cultural center? What becomes of them? Another lovely book would be publishing them along with english translations? Perhaps a biography of him?

Miss Footloose | Life in the Expatlane

Add the chapter about Mr. Jardon, absolutely. It's a lovely story. We see so many "anonymous" book covers that are designed to fit a book, but not that actually have a direct relationship to the book and have a story to tell. I'm always intrigued when I read "About the cover."

The front and back are very appealing. You are lucky to have such great designers!

Adrienne Kinkaid

Oh yes, use this story at the end. That was my favorite cover and love knowing the delightful story behind it, one that made me smile and almost cry.

Kathryn in San Antonio

Charming story! A few corrections respectfully submitted. "If there are 2 things I is...." Should be "they are" since the subject is plural (things). Also, should be serendipitous with a t. Agree with the comment about your usage of it's and its. Good luck with the new book. Love the cover.


I love it!
And I agree with the comments above. Do include the story as a chapter. The covers will draw people into the book. It's lovely!


Kristin, You have another book in the making right before you eyes,"Mardis avec Mr Farjon",
think about it.... your story, his notes - as inserts (love seeing his handwriting on the lined paper), and perhaps finding a watercolorist to do the illustrations.
what a lovely informative book that would be!


You must use this story as an explanation of the book cover. But it is more than that. It is a story of "passion". You have a passion for what you do, he has a passion for what he does. Your passion is capturing the passion of others using your photography and writing. His passion is loving all things that grow in the ground and passing that love on to others. Really not a great deal of difference between you two!


You should definitely include this story in your book. What a wonderful character.

Cynthia Gillespie-Smith

Charming story and perfect book cover, Kristi! And I've learned something -- we live just off rue des Immortelles and now I find that les immortelles are PLANTS! OH, how I wish I could be in Paris for your book signing - please post lots of photos.

Nancy S.

Please include the story! It is wonderful! I learned beekeeping from a very knowledgeable and experienced man in his late 80's. Les plus agés amongst us have a knowledge about our world that came from experiences with the world--not google--and are priceless. How lucky that you were able to learn so much from him.

Rick Spring

Kristi, I really enjoyed today's story. I like the proposed book cover photo, also. It seems to have just a little mystery about it. Your proposal to have an ending chapter as an attribution to the man in the picture is great! Robert Farjon reminds me of my grandfather, who was a chemist, archeologist, and for the last 30+ years of his life owned and managed a successful nursery. Many people called it Mr. Spring's weed patch, but they still came from all parts to buy plants (especially the dwarf crepe myrtles he developed) or get a free kitten if they wanted. I spent many hours there, playing, working (actually for pay!) and soaking up lots of stories and what some would call trivial nonsense, but most of it has proven to be useful, informative, and fun. Merci for a great story and reminder of my eccentric older "plant" man.

Jane Hoppe

A charming story, Kristin, and I hope you do include it as you suggested toward the end of your book.


Yes, include the photo of the two of you on the back cover. Wonderful idea......What a heart-warming story. I do remember him from a former tale.....How so very French his writing perfect. Perhaps you could include a page with that? Makes it all so personal. And how historical - who today will fill his footsteps?? His writings should also be preserved for posterity......

Heather in Arles

As the interaction between Monsieur Farjon and yourself is the quintessence of your forays or essais into French life (one that you are happily still doing), I think that the chapter is just perfect and very touching. That is unless you consider the suggestions to write "Mardis with Mr. Farjon" as a book in itself!
And I love the back cover as it is...I agree with Diane's comment for people discovering you for the first time, it is essential.
Bon Weekend!

Angela George

Most certainly, use the story and the 2 photos. I loved the way you cropped the photo for the cover. Voila! The entire image appears on the back cover. Very imaginative. Everyone has a story and I love this one. Go for it!

Allen Laskin

The story about Mr. Fajon adds a great deal to the book. It's a great story, and knowing who that mysterious man on the cover is is very important. And I am intrigued by the 100 entries at the cultural center--surely they should not remain hidden.


J Newsom

Kristi, What a precious story! Reminds me of a favorite memory I have of meeting a little Welsh lady on a park bench in the Brecon Mountains. She was laughing to herself, noticed me & began to explain that she had gone to the grocery & ordered a pasty. The young man at the counter had given her a cream filled pastry by mistake! What a good sense of fun she had as she laughed & told me she couldn't eat that messy pastry without a fork! When she heard my Alabama accent she became my instant friend even begging me to go home & stay with her. Thus began our eight year friendship as pen pals. I receive all the latest news on the royal family and best of all her stories of her younger days after the war. What a joy!


Ne changez rien! C'est une belle histoire.

Kathy Acton

I love the story and the back cover! Delightful!

Della - where there are oceans of snow today

I thought maybe that was your Monsieur Farjon! He has not only inspired you to see plants more - but here across the ocean to Colorado USA (where we have a severe shortage of oceans)I have been inspired to see plants differently too.

Peggy Welborn

I have missed having Monsieur Farjon as part of your life/stories and so glad to learn he is still able to ride his bike!


What a wonderful story! Yes! Use it as the last chapter of your book! I


Marvelous! The story and pictures delighted me. Looking at the book cover caused me to reflect on my trip to Provence, thank you! For me, your new book is a must! I concur with the above posts, the pictures and story will make it complete.

Patricia Sands

What a wonderful story and isn't meeting someone like Monsieur Farjon one of the very best things about life anywhere! Congratulations on your new release which I look forward to reading. I'm sure all of us will be with you in spirit in Paris!

Nancy Zuercher

I love that story! Do include it all with only one minor change: title it "The Story of the Cover."

Donna Grieder

Monsieur Farjon! I should have realized.Yes!to including the story. I recall thinking you were fortunate to have connected with him. His sharing of plants and knowledge and your appreciation of them are gifts that will keep on giving through the generations.

Chris Miasnik

Kristin, When he said he made a "centaine de fiches", I think he means he made glass slides of his flowers...the kind you would put under a microscope...or samples like we put as kids between two pieces of wax paper (puis repasser...then iron), with biological titles and explanations for the school.

Janine Cortell

This is such an extraordinary story!
You might want to consider a future book entitled RENCONTRES in which you write anecdotes about all the wonderful village people you have met over the years.
Amities, Janine

Jim in always sunny and 72 Carlsbad

You're an angel, Kristin. Thanks for bringing these wonderful characters to life for us.

Kar Hofmann

Such a lovely story should indeed be included
at the books end!!! And the back cover picture
I think, is perfect!!:-)


It should definitely be included, but perhaps simplified and shortened a bit. This mirrors the saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime....and sometimes they overlap!


Oh, and I love the handwritten notes-include for sure!

Ruth Massaro

I, too, love the whole story---charmant, perfect as is --(one other little typo, probably already changed: "Adieu," he said with simply and with warmth.")…I love the back cover, too. Congratulations.

CiCi Butler

Hi Kristin:

My first post with you...I'm CiCi from Park City, Utah.....David above captured the aura of this story in one word...."Passion"

Bless you and your magical life you are sharing with all of us!


Monsieur Farjon is a treasure, and his story will be a great add to the book. I agree with Leslie in NYC about all of the verbiage on the back cover promoting the book; not really necessary and perhaps a bit amateurish? Your photos and writing speak for themselves. If anything a brief statement about great stories and characters from France brought to life that are guaranteed to improve your French vocab.

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for every encouraging comments, for the corrections and for the very helpful suggestions. I am deeply touched by your support and will keep your words in mind! Im delighted to add this chapter and hope to delight Monsieur Farjon, too! Yes, those botanical notes and, as Chris noted, possible dried examples, are a treasure. Who knows what is in store for them. It is wonderful to imagine!


I remember your last post about Monsieur Farjon and what you thought would be your last visit with him and that caused me to guess that you were moving. So he is back and his story deserves to be at the back of your new book. I love the layout for the back cover. The front is a bit of a tease and the back brings the two of you together.

Joanne Ablan

By all means include the letter of permission. You most certainly
will give M. Farjon's work a reciprocal boost if you mention his
botanical contribution to the cultural center in Set. Cecile. Writers
should help one another! Joanne, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA.

Kit Wilson-Pote

It's unanimous -- yes and yes! Wonderful story and back cover, featuring two of our favourite wondrous human characters!


Our dear Kristi,
How totally,absolutely wonderful!
You've given us--your fortunate readers--
the gift of a warm and entertaining story,and given M.Farjon an even more special gift: that of being acknowledged and regarded as a person of worth.
How appreciated he must feel!
How we all wish to be found this way!
Love, Natalia XO

Rose Johnson

I love your pictures and this very touching story. Thank you. Wish I could see you in Paris!

edie schmidt


I particularly liked the first part of your post about your initial meeting with the "plant man" and think it's an excellent idea to include that or all of your musing about M.Farjon.
Bon chance in Paris!

Edie from Savannah

Alastair Grant

What a lovely story Kristin. M Farjon is a wonderful example of the French love for horticulture, trees and plants. They are a nation of horticulturists. Love and respect for their landscape shows so clearly when one travels through France. Although almost entirely modified by horticultural activities France is still really beautiful after thousands of years of good husbandry. Salut M Farjon! From South Africa.

Chris Allin

Endearing, indeed, Kristin. Mr Farjon and
your story! It reminds me of a greeting card by Flavia Weedn: "Some people come into our
lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same."


What a darling man, and what a story to unleash the mystery of your cover. By the way I'm so delighted you are using this photo! I agree by adding the story to the book, there's a lead right to the sequel. Really enjoyed reading about your inspiration from meeting him.

Your photos of your gardens and activities surrounding them are wonderful and motivating for us out here too. Today's blog story seems to provide more intricacies of your experiences surrounding the connection with plants. All those connects with others and relationships communicate the heart. Thank you Kristin.


What a wonderful stry, and I love the cover, it's full of warmth and character. I hope it goes really well. I wish I was in aparis to visit you atnd Ann at the signing, alas I am Downunder where there are a myriad of weeds in the cracks of concrete and at every old electricity station frontage :-)

Priscilla Fleming Vayda

Love the story and the photos. Please do include them in your book. What a lovely man and how nice for you two to have formed a friendship. Great front and back covers! Keep up the good work, Kristin. And how I wish I were going to be in Paris for your book signing.
Priscilla in La Nouvelle Orleans

Karen from Phoenix

When I see Mr Farjon with a twinkle in his eye, I smile and wish I could meet him. I just love the beautiful story and it will be a wonderful chapter in your book. What a wonderful memory.

Zoe Willet

Definitely use the story! That is exactly the kind of stories I love to read! As for the picture, in my opinion it needs a little work: I don't like the white margins; I find it unbalanced- you should crop a lot from the left side; it's a shame you are all dressed up in a gaily colored dress, which contrasts muchly with M Farjon's attire (but then it does make kind of a philosophical statement). By the way, totally unrelated: if you don't show a picture of Braise/Smokey frequently, I start to worry! Please!

Chris Allin

Endearing indeed, Kristin! Mr Farjon and your story. It reminds me of my favorite Flavia greeting card: "Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people stay for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same."


I think it would be very interesting to include this story about M. Farjon and how he contributed to your book. I love the back cover with both of you!

Birdie Cutair

Yes, please add his story to your book. And I love the picture on the back as well.

Ronni Ebbers

Great story and photo. Thanks.
Won't be in town until 21 Feb ... how disappointing for me.

Hope it's a huge success.


Pat Cargill


june furey

Kristin how beautifully you tell the story of Mr Farjon and his plants, and above all the joy he has provided in your life with his knowledge of theflowers you have around you. Because I also was intrigued with the wild flowers I encountered when wandering the fields and by-ways of France when seeking suitable subjects for my paintings, I have memories worth all the treasure in the world, thank you, I so love your stories
I am sure you will choose the the correct picture for your cover whatever it is.
June, Gold Coast Qld

Cynthia Lewis (Eastern Shore of Maryland)

After all of these favorable comments and "aye" votes, I'm certain that you will include the story of M. Farjon as a chapter in your beautiful new book. Congratulations! The cover is wonderful with the blues of the side bag on Monsieur's bicycle; the blue shirt and trousers ;the blue writing on the post box......all making us think of France. And then you solve the mystery with the totally charming photo of you and M. Farjon on the back cover. Nothing could be more perfect. Have a wonderful book signing. Best regards.

Audrey Wilson

What a lovely character Kristin . You must include this in your book . These wonderful village characters need to be preserved. We had them in my village & sadly now most have gone . We had a M. Garel (92 years old), who insisted on helping take nails out of the old shutters from our barn when we were restauring it to make our home. Then there was M.Gispert, who had come over the Pyrénées during the Spanish Civil War, had been a barber & was a terrible flirt !! Such rich characters . I miss them so.
Trust you have a great book signing,


Adieu, oh my god! What a spécial store & to have Côme a cross such a déar gentleman . I had tears when reading this story today. I think it would be very important to share such a wonderful tréasure.

Sarah LaBelle, near Chicago

You are lucky to meet such a rural expert, who knows his plants from a long life of learning them. It is the best way to learn about plants, from someone who knows them personally. The Story of the Cover, very interesting indeed.

The story is sweet to read. Some other reader/commenter thought it could be a little shorter, and I agree with that, if it is to be the Story of the Cover. That is, be a bit shorter than the other stories in the book?

Janine Burge

Dear Kristen,
Wow, I love simplicities in life brought about by the Mr. F's of the world. These gentle ones teach us so much about caring, sharing, patience, and love. It always seems so cliche, but you don't meet special people like him everyday. Some how they transforms in those lessons, whether daily, weekly or yearly. I know that you know to consider yourself more than lucky for meeting him. Now your job is to be the messenger of his message. In my case, "he" is a "she" and I love her. If I were putting my thought onto paper and needed a final chapter in my book--you bet it would be her and even better a captured picture together. She is so rich in spirit, aging gracefully, and very content because they understand what we don't yet and its beyond weeds.
Janine Burge

Sandy Maberly

Kristi, love the story and the new book. All the previous comments mirror my own thoughts so I won't repeat it all. I will say that I definitely like Jeanne's idea of a new book featuring M. Farjon, his flowers and plants, anecdotal stories, watercolor pictures, etc. it would make a beautiful "coffee table" reference book! Looking forward to getting a copy of your Essais soon!

Lee Isbell

I come in at the tail end of the voting here, but concur in it all. I did want to make a comment related to the Ste Cécile market where you met M Farjon. I've frequently visited many of the well-known markets in Provence, but must say I like the modest one in Ste Cécile the best. It's on a more human scale, seems primarily populated by the local people, and is a lovely place to be. I'll be back!

Nancy, San Antonio, Texas

What a lovely encounter and friendship. Please do include it in the book and the picture is so charming. I hope you use it as well. I wish to run into a M Farjon in San Antonio. Enjoy your weekend.

Pam in New Mexico

You must absolument include the story. I am so jealous of your time with him for you see I am a paleoethnobotanist and always extremely interested in what people have to say about plants who are knowledgeable and above all, passionate about them.

Georgia from Northern CA

Hi Kristin,
Would love to be able to jet over to Paris to see and meet you and Ann. Alas, it is not in the cards, but I wish you and Ann all good wishes!
Love the book cover and back, and by all means, do include the story of M Farjon. It is all very touching and heart warming!

Julia ~ Falling Off Bicycles

Just wonderful, Kristin. So happy to read about M. Farjon again.

Lanier Cordell

Rarely is a book's cover so meaningful and the story so charming. Include it but all means. If you are interested, I can also recommend a very old French herbal that lists uses for many of the plants you mentioned. The book if a free google book.

Marianne Rankin

Yes, include the story of Mr. Farjon in the book. If you can, maybe also include the photo at the end of today's FWAD - a great one of both of you.


Yes you should use it. I loved the first book and I am sure this one will be sweet taste of France also.


Kristin, je suis très touchée par votre description de votre rencontre avec Mr Farjon à Sainte Cécile les vignes! Je suis ravie que des personnes comme vous, nous rappelle 'les gens de souche' les trésors de notre campagne que nous prenons souvent comme acquis! Merci, j'irai à Sainte Cécile pour voir les planches que Mr Farjon à faite sur les sois disant 'Mauvaises herbes'! A bientôt de vous lire Jos

Marshall Morton

Terrific story that says as much about you as about M. Farjon. As I think about it, it also says quite alot about the wonders of rural France. I hope you use the whole story.

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