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Lesson Transcript

Culture File - France, Lesson 17 - Create Your Own French Herb, Flower, or Vegetable Garden!
Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: France series at FrenchPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential cultural information about France, French culture, and French people. In this lesson, we’re going to learn about gardening in France. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 17 - Create Your Own French Herb, Flower, or Vegetable Garden!
One of the unique passions of the French people is gardening, or jardinage. Many people own their own yard, even if it only covers a few square meters. Those who don't have one still have the opportunity to rent a plot in the huge communal gardens in the city where they live.
In the past few years, a number of big brand name stores of gardening products have opened around the country, including Jardiland and Truffault. The latter is even open on Sundays, a very rare occurrence in France. French people find the pastime of gardening very relaxing—the contact with the earth, or terre, and the feeling of doing something useful are truly rewarding.
One of the more common plants in most people’s yards is aromatic herbs, or herbes aromatiques. In the north of France you can find lots of chives and parsley, which are used very often in French cooking. Toward the south we find more gardens with basil, which is used a lot along with tomato sauce, as well as thyme and rosemary.
Some people choose only to grow flowers, or fleurs in their garden, such as roses, honeysuckle, tulips, and so on. Sometimes, you can find dried lavender, or lavande, in markets, picked straight from a person’s own garden. This is usually put in fabric bags and then placed in a wardrobe to give the laundry a fresh, pleasant smell.
Of course, we can’t go without mentioning one of the important pleasures of French people, which is eating vegetables, or légumes, that they grow themselves. If you’re lucky enough to be invited to eat at a French family’s home in the summer, you’ll certainly be served a tomato salad and maybe strawberries for dessert, all of which come straight from the family’s own garden. This kind of organic, or in French biologique, production is currently very trendy in France.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do many people enjoy gardening in your country?
Leave a comment telling us at FrenchPod101.com! Until next time!

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