How to say mermaid in French?
How to say "stranded" in French?

What's a "marsouin"? + French garden tour!

les annonces dans la fenetre (c) Kristin Espinasse
A wild boar, a hedgehog, a dog... lion... chicken. I can't find a photo of a porpoise to illustrate today's word--thankfully these furry and feathery volunteers behind a shop window are happy to pose as one. (And the handwritten ads were taped to the window by students looking for work).

le marsouin (mar-swehn)

 : porpoise 

In old French le marsouin was pourpois (poisson-cochon, or fish-pig)

Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the following sentence Download MP3 or Wav file

Le marsouin est aussi appelé le cochon de mer.
The porpoise is also called the sea pig.

Porpoises are related to dolphins and whales. Do you have any other trivia or something to add for this marsouin entry? Do you collect marsouins or have you ever seen one? Where? Thanks for sharing here in the comments box. 

Entrance to kitchen garden, or potager (c) Kristin Espinasse

Smokey says Come along on a garden tour with me...

How to say arugula in French (c) Kristin Espinasse
And see poppies, roquette, and zucchini!

Kale, cucumbers, fava beans (c) Kristin Espinasse
Inside the stone beds there are cucumbers, kale, and lots of fèves

Stone restanque (c) Kristin Espinasse
There are stairs leading up to an ancient rock wall... once hidden behind masses of thorny brambles. 

King of the hill (c) Kristin Espinasse
That's me, says Smokey, humble King of the Hill. 

And these are tomatoes, peppers, and poppies from the field. 

Butiner or pollin gathering in French (c) Kristin Espinasse
Here's how bees and hummingbirds pollinate. Help save these creatures--allez make haste!

Raspberries and soucis, or marigolds... does the latter really work or is that an old wives' tale?

 Some of the materials have been reporpoised. (Sorry to interrupt your story, Smokey, but the word you are looking for is "repurposed".) 

Smokey: This re- re-puh... re-puh... reporpoised wood comes from the French railroad tracks below our house. 

Tourguide (c) Kristin Espinasse
Hope you enjoyed my garden tour. Be kind to bees, purposes, and the earth.

(Smokey, I think you meant "porpoises" this time.)

Future kitchen garden (c) Kristin Espinasse
Back in February, Jean-Marc and I planned out the garden. But we didn't always see eye to eye...

This old panier has had many reincarnations: once used in a produce shop, it has since held bath towels, dried herbs, fresh pots of lavender, bottles of shampoo and bath supplies. Currently it holds a tie from a bale of straw, the string could now be used to tie up the tomatoes... or mend a broken corner of the basket....

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.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety