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Colourful autumn garden in Provence

We are experiencing the most wonderful autumn in the South of France.  For several weeks now, the mercury has been hitting the 20s, with a high of 28°c last week!  November is often lovely on the French Riviera, but these temperatures are even higher than normal.  The garden is still full of colour, with a mix of autumnal berries

Continue reading here to walk through Phoebe’s garden and learn about the colours of the fall season in Provencal gardens.

Autumn in Provence

In Provence, autumn’s arrival can be subtle. Not long after the grape harvest, the vines start changing colour. Vineyards turn shades of golden-yellow and deep-red, signalling that the rootstock is ready to rest. The Plane trees (Platanes) that provided welcome summer shade drop their large brown leaves in noisy, crunchy piles. Along the roadsides, Pyracantha bushes step forward on the natural stage, showing off their bright berries in orange, red and yellow tones.

Provence Fall Pyracantha bushes (Firethorns)

The Colors of Fall in Provence

One September morning in Provence, you wake up to notice a difference. Something is missing. The chirping choir of the cicadas has stopped, and in their place, the abrupt sound of hunter’s dogs barking followed by gunshots. A slight dampness in the air makes its presence known when you walk. Despite a chilly start, it is possible to be in shirtsleeves by lunchtime. The annual grape harvest may occur in September, depending on Mother Nature’s whim.

October often rolls in like a lamb with a gentle touch. There is a soft pink hue, “painter’s light” in the evenings and mysterious foggy mornings. The smell of bonfires in agricultural zones scents the air, and the olives begin turning a deep shade of purple-black. Eye-catching red, orange and yellow berries of Pyracantha bushes (Firethorns) along the roadsides replace the fields of lavender and sunflowers. The Plane trees begin dropping their big, noisy brown leaves.

November is crisp like a freshly minted bill. The sunny skies remain a brilliant blue but leaving the house without an extra layer of clothing would be folly. The Mistral wind, which might be mild in the summer months, blows in an Artic chill from the NW, increasing in its forceful gusts as it rolls down the Rhône River. The grapes have been harvested and crushed. The winemakers watch the fermenting juice as the vines turn to gold and red in their fields.

Explore Fall Events in Provence

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Phoebe Thomas

Phoebe Thomas

Phoebe Thomas carries two passports British and Australian. She married a Frenchman and now the couple are living in Provence with their two children. This bilingual and multi-cultural family has travelled extensively to Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia before settling in Roquefort les Pins in 2007.

Read more about Lou Messugo the Cote d'Azur holiday home rental owned and managed by Phoebe and her husband here.

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