top of page

GARDEN SURROUNDINGS: Living A European Lifestyle

Words and pictures by Francesca Filanc, for Let’s Talk Plants! October 2023.

Living A European Lifestyle

Joy is important in life. As gardeners, we receive joy when the vegetables that we’ve planted come up. It feels good to cook from our gardens and to feed family and friends from the vegetables and fruits that we have grown. And when we have bountiful crops to share with neighbors, family, and friends.

As long as I can remember I love pretending that I live in Europe. Specifically, the French countryside. I consider myself a Francophile and love everything French. But bien sur at the same time, my family lives in Spain, so I love Spain and also Italy. Pretending that I live in Europe I have developed the European country lifestyle, and I include Great Britain in this statement.

When at home, I eat all of my meals outside. The other day there was a light rain falling. I still enjoyed breakfast and lunch in the garden under the covered porch. Even when the weather is cold and blustery that does not stop me from enjoying nature while I eat a meal. I just bundle up for the cold.

Francesca Filanc.
Home cooked salmon with figs and vegetables from the garden.

When my grandkids were here last spring from San Francisco we had some unusually cold weather. We all bundled up to do art in the garden. I actually suggested we go inside because it was so cold. Jade and Ruby were happily painting, drawing and doing sculptures with clay, so we stayed.

We have dear French friends that couldn’t wait to see Barstow, California when they came to visit years ago. I since learned that Barstow, deserts and even Death Valley are favorite destinations for many Europeans.

Vive la difference.

The sun has come out and I will take my lunch to the garden. A frog is croaking in the garden as I write this article.

New painting by Francesca Filanc called 'Sense of Autumn'.

Enjoy planting winter vegetables in October and living a European lifestyle in your garden!

~ Francesca


Artist, author, photographer, fly-fisher woman, Francesca Filanc grew up in old Del Mar and these days lives, paints and gardens in historic Olivenhain with two dogs.

Find her art and writings here:

She can be found on social media here:

Have gardening questions or want to learn more about Francie’s art? Contact:


bottom of page