Welcome to my blog @thewater…

I’m originally from Ireland and grew up right beside the sea. I now live in land-locked Switzerland so this might help explain why my site is called ‘The Water’. I chose the domain name after I was at the University in Lausanne and had visited Corbusier’s Villa ‘Le Lac’, the house which he built for his parents on the shore of Lake Geneva in a village called Corseaux, near Vevey.

It’s said that Corbusier’s buildings are living machines. I would add that they are also seeing machines. I kept going back to visit and was completely taken by the play of light, the reflection of sun and moon-light on the ceilings and floors of the building. When I came home I claimed the domain ‘The Water’ for my own…

(Photo A.Butz)

Water is a precious commodity and was the subject of one of my earliest pieces of writing which I hope to get around to posting sometime.

This site is based on things that are dear to me… I will sporadically post articles on, or links to whatever I find interesting at that particular moment in time – so don’t be surprised to find subject matter that has absolutely nothing to do with water, except in that it strikes a chord within and thus leads me back to my own inner ‘source’.

Enjoy and do leave a comment or link – great to meet you here.



‘Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly sure of that.
Poetry is as precise as geometry.

Gustave Flaubert

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Above photo: Courtesy of Andreas Butz

All other photos, unless otherwise mentioned, taken by me

The photo below was taken at my sister’s wedding in Scotland when I was ten…

@Rose and Richard's wedding in Scotland

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  • I’m so glad to have stumbled across your blog, Frances. I had no idea it was there. I’ve been a fan of your husband’s gardening page in the Natürlich for many years, and have long been curious about the mention of his irish wife! I too am a Frances, though not Irish. We have recently moved to a new home here in Zizers (Rheintal near Chur), and I now have the priviledge of being able to reinvent the garden here. So now it’s high time I buy The Lazy Gardener – which is what I was looking up when I found your blog.
    I look forward to reading more and hopefully meeting you one day. I have also long wanted to visit your gardens in Appenzell, it’s just never worked out til now.
    Enjoy the spring, best regards

  • Hello Frances Mary,
    How lovely to find your comment here – and I am so glad that you wrote! My mother’s name was Mary and all our three daughters have Mary as their second or third name…
    I have always loved my name – and felt a bit confused when peers spoke about wanting a different name – I have always felt I was / am very much a Frances!
    As for the new garden – lucky you! Such fun! We also just moved albeit to a smaller place (our girls are all grown up) and to a smaller garden too. We still do gardening workshops in a nearby spa hotel where we designed a beautiful herb and show garden a few years ago and are now very excited to be able to offer workshops there to interested people – perhaps we will see you there sometime. If you like I can send you some information – it is not too far away from Zizers. Where do you come from originally – ps you can also write per email to frances@thewater.ch – I would love to hear from you!
    Once again thanks for your interest and for leaving a comment.
    Ps Our latest book, which just came out this March, is a gardening ‘to-do’ book, full of helpful tips and practical advice – the first book which is now out of print was more about our gardening philosophy… so your timing is perfect

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