Poisson d'Avril - April Fool's Day in France & Paper Fish Tradition


"Leaves of Grass" (c) Kristin Espinasse
A veritable "Lawn Chair". You know you have work to do in the garden... when the grass grows high enough to tickle your lazy butt into gear! Read on.

semer (seuh may) verb

    1. to sow

Audio File: hear Jean-Marc pronounce the French word "semer", along with its conjugation and the example sentence, just below. Download MP3 or Wav file

Verb conjugation: je sème, tu sèmes, il/elle sème, nous semons, vous semez, ils/elles sèment (pp = semé)

L'amour est comme une plante: il faut le semer et il poussera.
Love is like a plant: you need to sow it and it will grow. Chow Ching Lie

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

"Altruism in the garden"

The Dirt Divas came over on Friday and I am sad to say that this is the last we will hear of them... for dorénavant they will be known as Garden Divas!

After receiving a few letters from the UK—in reference to "dirt"—it began to dawn on me that dirt is something you wash off and not, as we hicks know, an affectionate term for soil. (Truth-be-told "soil" kind of creeps me out, ever since the movie "Soilent Soylent Green"—soil/soilent soylent...) Thank you, English (as distinguished from North American) readers, for the suggestion to use "earth" in the place of "dirt" when talking about soil. I will try to remember that. And, hereafter, we'll call the earth angels in question "Garden Divas".    

But back to our story. The Garden Divas showed up, opened the car's trunk and bada bing bada boom! what did they produce? Another carload of future blooms!

Next, the Dirt, or Garden, Divas quickly went into action lugging a motley crew of plants to the nearest shady spot. Any and all sorts of containers were used: there were buckets, cardboard boxes, wooden crates, and pots in tin and terra-cotta! The divas' no-fuss flower-farming was a lesson in itself (I'll never forget a previous "delivery" in which the baby plants arrived... in plastic yogurt cups! I guessed at the Divas' no-fuss philosophy: "If it's sturdy and you can poke holes in it, then you're good to go!")

After several aller-retours to the car and back to the shady spot, the Garden Divas went to work using their own tools to "crack" the cement-like earth that is our flower bed... and by the end of the afternoon bada bing bada boom!, the beds were looking very nearly groomed!

I noticed the Divas' discretion in overlooking those plants that had withered and died since their previous visit.... The frost accounted for one or two of the potted plants (it had been suggested to me that they come inside for winter)... the remaining losses were the result of precarious planting (on my part).  

Watching the Garden Divas toil, I had that humbling feeling, the kind you get when witnessing others give "without strings": they help, asking nothing in return, they reach out... and we mortals eventually learn.  

After the Garden Divas left, I remained outside until sundown, tossing California poppy seeds and wondering about that altruistic "do unto others" mystery: doing, giving, helping, smiling, encouraging, nourishing... flourishing!

I told the Garden Divas that I did not know how to thank them. Mais, il n'y a pas de quoi! Their reward, they said, will be in watching my garden grow.

The next day, while out planting more of the seedlings, I caught myself daydreaming. In my mind's eye, I was taking a motley crew of potted plants that I'd grown from seed... to a friend in need. That is when the full meaning of the Garden Divas "reward" revealed itself to me.

Le Coin Commentaires
Join us now in the community corner. Ask and answer each others questions and help to make this an enriching place in cyberspace. Click here to participate by leaving a message.

French Vocabulary

dorénavant = from now on
aller-retour = round trip
Mais, il n'y a pas de quoi! = why, it's nothing! 


Merci encore to Malou and Doreen, the Garden Divas. Read another garden story, click here.

Kissing Bench In garden seating: The French Kissing bench! Click here for more info.

Bestselling books on the French language:
 1. The Ultimate French Verb Review and Practice  
 2. Exercises in French Phonics

Not so best-selling... but a fun book on the French language!
Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France 


A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety