Spring, into summer ,tripping into autumn and finally the cold winter months in the Languedoc region of France brings surprises, trajedies, new discoveries, and a wide and varied wealth of mediterranean plants that are able to withstand and survive the very great changes in temperature and climate in this region.
From year to year the seasons can vary from month to month. If the autumn rains come late the spring bulbs that would normally be slowly growing through the winter months come late. Many plants (grasses in paricular and shallow rooted plants) that are hanging on through the harsh hot July and August for the September showers do not survive if the rains don't arriave on time. Nothing is certain!
Snow is a rare occurence but once arrived in the garden in March 2010. It did not last long but melted away within days, giving a much welcomed watering to the garden. The ground rarely freezes for long and never below a few cms of depth. Therefore most plants can survive a short spell of frost ( down to -5 to -8°C) and die back of foliage soon regrows within a few weeks. Tender plants such as some salvias and succulents are protected with a layer of straw or hessian, or brought under cover in the greenhouses.