graine (grehn) noun, feminine
Le plus grand arbre est né d'une graine menue.
The tallest tree is born of one small seed. --Lao-Tseu
Download graine.mp3. Download graine.wav
It began in the flower-seed aisle at Carrefour, after tossing an extra packet of sunflower graines* into the shopping cart. I looked up at my husband's face to assess his disapproval. "You know you'll need to water them?" said he.
Jean-Marc's comment was more of concern than insulting. Still, I could sense a flood of indignation coursing through my veins, which, admittedly, do not lead to a green thumb; witness an abandoned flower/vegetable-seed collection that never made it to pot, nor garden lot. The seed packets of courgettes,* carrots, and sweet peas no longer collect dust on a kitchen shelf. They were packed with the "fine china" and the good intentions last summer. I still haven't unpacked the dishes.
Turning to address Monsieur Waste-Not-Want-Not, I reminded him that a Rhone-destined ruisseau* flowed alongside our future rock star potager.* Never mind that you have to pitch a broken ladder from the river bank, climb down to the narrow stream, scream (on seeing the furry water rodents,* real or imagined) and, bucket by bucket, haul up the flower refreshments.
"Won't the garden hose reach that far?" I asked. Jean-Marc answered that it would, but that the garden wouldn't miraculously water itself. Someone would actually have to turn on the hose.
"Tournesols* are under two euros a pack!" I affirmed. "Why, for that price, I could have the very CHEAP thrill of adding them to my seed collection and watching them GROW DUST," I cried, reinstating my rights, forgetting about the unpacked dishes. As for those seeds... they quit growing even dust when I sealed them into that sturdy malle* along with those weak intentions so many months ago.
If Scarlett O'Hara were French, she would know how to answer back to my husband. Meantime, I did as she would do and tossed another packet of seeds (for the cute French name: "Ipomée"* and the pretty blue flower on the cover) into the caddy. Harrumph! Triumph! After all, even if seeds in a packet don't grow, people do. Besides, demain est un autre jour*....
la graine (f) = seed; la courgette (f) = zucchini; le ruisseau (m) = stream; le potager (m) = kitchen vegetable garden; water rodent = nutria (le ragondin); le tournesol (m) = sunflower; la malle (f) = trunk; une ipomée (f) = morning glory; demain est un autre jour = tomorrow is another day
Read "Kitchen Gardens of France" by Louisa Jones & French Dirt by Richard Goodman.
Terms & Expressions :
la graine de lin = linseed
la graine de moutarde = mustard seed
la graine d'anis = aniseed
en prendre de la graine = to profit from someone's example
c'est une mauvaise graine = s/he's a bad example
les graines pour oiseaux = birdseed
la petite graine = the male reproductive cell, gamete
Michel Thomas Speak French For Beginners: 10-CD Beginner's Program
In French music: French Playground, a musical rendez-vous of fun French and French Creole songs that will delight children of all ages.
Art Poster Print - Au Potager D'emile
A sugar splurge : La Perruche Rough Cut Brown Sugar Cubes
Ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue this French word journal, now in its 18th year! If you enjoy these posts and would like to keep this site going, please know your donation makes a difference! A contribution by check (click here) or via PayPal (below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!
♥ Give $10
♥ Give $25
♥ Give the amount of your choice
To purchase our book-in-progress, click here.