Bucket List of French Gardens

In my last post, I featured my bucket-list of gardens in the United Kingdom, a country which I have visited twice and could easily visit again! France falls into the same category. While I know there are many wonderful gardens to visit in other countries like Italy and Germany, I would still return to France to visit more gardens!

Please note that since I haven’t yet visited these gardens, I have used photographs of my own garden or other Australian gardens to illustrate this post. Below is my daughter Jen’s Spring photo of Giverny, one of the most famous French gardens. My feature photo for this post is the beautiful Guillot rose, Paul Bocuse.BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190241

We visited Monet’s beautiful and very popular garden at Giverny in 1994, but I would also love to visit Renoir’s garden, Les Collettes. We own the book Renoir’s Garden, written  by Derek Fell in 1991, in which it is described as ‘a vision of an earthly paradise’ and the photos certainly support that description! It looks like a lovely relaxed old garden and you can also explore the house and studio.

Musée Renoir
19 Chemin des Collettes
06800 Cagnes-sur-Mer

http://www.amb-cotedazur.com/renoir-museum-cagnes-sur-mer/

Originally a traditional working farm with ancient olive and orange groves and an old farmhouse, Renoir bought the 11 hectare estate in 1907, and commissioned architect, Jules Febvre, to design a new villa, which was finished in 1908. Here is a map of the garden and property from Page 100 – 101 of Derek Fell’s book:BlogBucketFranceReszd2517-09-18 18.50.02BlogBucketFranceReszd2517-09-18 18.50.19Despite his increasingly arthritic hands and a stroke in 1912, which left him bound to a wheelchair, Renoir still continued to work every day with assistance, spending each Winter at Les Collettes, and returning to Essoyes, the home town of his wife, Aline, in Burgundy each Summer.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1821Wide paths were constructed to accommodate a wheelchair and were lined with Nerium oleander, a Mediterranean native. Many  shade trees were planted like oaks, umbrella pines (Pinus pimea),  Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis), Irish Strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), a Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum), hawthorns (Crataegus species), Pepper trees (Schinus molle), Spindle trees (Euonymus species), loquat trees (photo above), Broad-leaved Lime or Linden trees (Tilia platyphyllos), flowering cherry and apricot trees, a golden bamboo grove (Phyllostachys aureosulcata), Pittosporum  tobira and Eucalyptus species, underplanted with blue bearded iris, red poppies, birds’ foot trefoil and ivy-leaved geraniums.blognovgarden20reszd2016-11-21-11-21-08Shrubs include Shrub Verbena, Lantana camara; Philadelphus coronarius (photo above); Pyracantha coccinea, Indian hawthorne (Raphiolepsis indica) and lilacs, Syringa vulgaris (photo below). The walls of the farmhouse provided support for Tree Fuchsias, Oleander, Cape Plumbago, Solanum laciniatum, and Brugsmansia ( both white and salmon forms of Angel’s Trumpets).blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-10-11-44-53The formal gardens contain 4 rows of citrus trees, seven to each row – mainly oranges, tangerines and cumquats, interplanted with many beautiful scented pink roses, Renoir’s favourite flower. In fact, Henri Estable, a local rose breeder, named a shrub rose after Renoir in 1909, Painter Renoir, which is naturally growing in the garden! There are many climbing roses, growing over arches, including a massive Banksia rose (photo below).blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0289Other plants include succulents like aloes, variegated agave (Agave americana variegata) and Mexican yuccas (Beschorneria yuccoides); Bearded and Dutch Iris (photo below), cannas and agapanthus;  Ivy-leafed pelargoniums;  Lavender, rosemary, santolinas and dusty millar (Senecio bicolour cineraria); Echium fastuosum, cistus and hebes; White Margeurite daisies (Argyranthemum frutescens); Calendulas, gaillardia and nasturtiums; Dahlias and zinnias; Anchusa azurea and Bergenia cordifolia; and carnations and pink poppies.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0121 There are pots of arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica), cinerarias, papyrus and spider plants. There are also vegetable gardens, vineyards and orchards. Here is a photo of Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’ in our hydrangea bed.BlogReignroses20%ReszdIMG_3039Renoir died in 1919, after which parts of  Les Collettes were sold off, so that by 1959, only 2½ hectares remained. In 1960, the house and the remaining estate were bought by the town of Cagnes-sur-Mer and turned  into a municipal museum, featuring the family’s furniture, fourteen original paintings and thirty sculptures by the master, including a version of Les Grandes Baigneuses.BlogFavNurseries50%Reszdjens visit jan 2010 051In July 2013, after 18 months of extensive renovation work, the Renoir Museum and the whole Collettes estate reopened their doors. For the first time, the museum also gave public access to the kitchen and hallway overlooking the gardens and added a set of seventeen plaster sculptures, donated by Renoir and Guion families, as well as two additional original canvasses.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.11.05Renoir’s final years at Les Collettes were depicted in a beautiful film simply titled Renoir (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2150332/), but the latter was in fact photographed in the gardens of Le Domaine du Rayol, my next bucket-list garden.

Le Domaine du Rayol

Avenue of the Belgians
83820 RAYOL-CANADEL-SUR-MER

http://www.domainedurayol.org/

A 20 ha botanical garden and arboretum in the Var, between Le Lavandou and Saint-Tropez.

It was bought in 1989 by the Conservatoire du Littoral, to protect the local maquis scrubland from the development of a housing estate, and the group then commissioned Gilles Clément and Philippe Deliau to redesign the old garden. It has since been listed as a Jardin Remarquable.

It is dedicated to Mediterranean and arid and subtropical biomes and is divided into a number of regional gardens, involving five continents:

The Canary Islands, off the NW coast of Africa: Three landscapes: the Malpaïs (coastal maquis) with its euphorbia (Euphorbia canariensis), echiums (photo below), convovulus and Aeonium; the Thermophilic Grove of dragon trees; and the high altitude Pinar, dominated by Canary Pine and Cistus;BlogFavNurseries30%ReszdIMG_9316California: The Chaparral (Californian maquis), growing tough Heteromeles, Leucophyllum frutescens, Prunus illicifolia , Romneya coulteri, Manzanitas; Carpentaria, Californian lilacs (Ceanothes), oaks, Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia), Coulter Pine and Monterey Cypress; Desert landscapes with Hesperaloe parviflora, the Yuccas, the cacti (photo below), cactus candles and Opuntias, and the Ocotillos; and Desert canyons with desert rose palm trees and the Washingtonia palm groves; as well as late Spring meadows of eschscholtzias and lupins;BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.01.29South Africa: The Fynbos of the Cape Peninsula , characterized by shrubs of the families of  Proteaceae (including King Protea, P. cynaroides), Ericaceae (heather) and Restionaceae (which resemble the rushes of the Mediterranean regions), underplanted with bulbs and rhizomes, such as Irises, Watsonias, Lilies and Amaryllis and shrubs like Carissa, Leonotis, Pelargoniums, and Polygala; and the Karoo, dominated by thorny acacias, aloes and succulents;BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.27.36Australia: The Mallee, dominated by eucalyptus, acacias (50 varieties), banksias, grevilleas, callistemons and melaleucas, as well as Kangaroo Paws, Anigozanthus; and the Kwongan, dominated by Black Boys;BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-08 14.30.02BlogAutumn colour20%Reszd2016-04-13 13.45.35New Zealand: Wet humid subtropical forests of tree ferns, dwarf palms and phormiums;  and a dry grass prairie, surrounded by Manuka (teatree) and olearias;Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 122Subtropical Asia: the bamboo groves, Cycas revoluta, glycines and fig trees from China; The photo below is an Australian member of the cycad family, Macrozamia communis.BlogBush Harvest20%Reszd2015-03-08 12.49.32Arid America: Large rock garden of Mexican plants from arid regions: Agaves, yuccas and Pipi cactus;BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 601Subtropical America: Plants of Northern Argentina and subtropical Mexico, characterized by palms, nolines (elephant foot – photo below), beaucarneas and erythrines, lantanas, salvias, duras, velvetleons, and hibiscus;BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2258Chile: High Moor landscapes of Puyas, including the Puya, members of the Bromeliaceae family (pineapple), Zigzag Bamboos (Chusquea species), Monkey Puzzle trees Araucaria and  the 10 metre high thorny Cactus Quisco, Echinopsis chilensis, as well as meadows of alstroemerias and nasturtiums; Savannah Espinal, dominated by Acacia caven; and the cooler inland palm groves of honey palm, Jubaea chilensis. Here are my bromeliads:BlogReignroses20%ReszdIMG_2983Mediterranean: Contains local plants: the Cistus; Arbutus, pistachio, filaria, heather and laurel. See Cistus in the right-hand bottom corner of the photo below.BlogPrivCountry50%Reszdearly nov 2010 147Cist Collection of 35 species of Cistus, as well as hybrids;blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9109Marine: Underwater plantings on the seabeds of the Baie du Figuier, including the seabed covered by sand or rock; the algal herbarium (posidonia); and deep water ; and

Local Marquis Scrub including cistus, brooms (photo below), terebinths and laurustinus.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1452Yvoire:  Labyrinthe of the Five Senses:  Jardin des Cinq Sens

Rue du Lac – 74 140 Yvoire
Haute-Savoie – France

https://www.jardin5sens.net/en/  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kq2JvXAhmI

I have always loved the notion of sensory gardens, so this famous garden, which has been cultivated the past 30 years and contains over 1300 types of plants, was definitely on my bucket list!

It was designed by Alain Richert and is situated in the former 0.25 ha walled potager of the 15th century Château d’Yvoire, one of France’s many beautiful villages, in the Haut-Savoie, overlooking Lake Geneva.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-25-09-54-55On the upper level near the entrance is an alpine meadow of fritillaries (photo above), violets, alpine tulips, jonquils, saxifrages, gentians and decorative grasses. Beyond the alpine rectangle is a geometric latticework (a tisage) composed of white rugosas Blanc Double de Coubert (photo below) and balls of silvery-blue wild oats.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0262On the upper side of the garden is an undergrowth garden, created to disguise ugly neighbouring walls and containing seven lime trees, Tilia x moltkei, underplanted with woodruff, soft ferns, Polystichum setiferum and Brunnera macrophylla.

On the other side of the tisage is a green cloister garden, with arches made of hornbeam columns and walls covered in honeysuckle. It is divided by low box hedges into 4 small gardens, containing medicinal and aromatic plants used in medieval times: Rue, santolina, thyme, rosemary, peppermint, chamomile, balm, salvia, savory, wild thyme and hyssop, all growing around a central granite bird pool. Here is a photo of Calendula, used in healing lotions for skin conditions and wounds.blognovgarden20reszd2016-10-28-13-45-45The Garden of the Five Senses is a few steps down from the Cloister Garden and is laid out like a labyrinth in the design of a medieval potager. It is composed of four rectangles (representing sight, taste, smell and touch) around a central aviary (representing sound). Each rectangle is surrounded by gravel paths and are divided by hedges of hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, interlaced with sweet peas and trellised apple trees.blognovgarden20reszd2016-11-23-15-09-04The ‘Jardin du Goût’ is all edible plants: Strawberries, raspberries, black currants, blueberries, rhubarb, onions, lovage, angelica and celery, as well as orange trees with edible flowers and apple trees.blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-11-03-15The ‘Jardin de l’Odorat ou des Parfums’ includes alliums, honeysuckles, viburnums, lemon balm, tobacco plants, mahonias, a medlar, daphnes and roses, including Cardinal de Richelieu and Moss roses like William Lobb and Blanche Moreau.blognovgarden20reszdimg_0457The ‘Jardin des Textures’ contains fine and coarse leaved plants in tones of silver, gold and grey: Euphorbias, mahonias, inulas, bronze fennel, wormwood and meadow rue, Thalictrum aquilegifolium, acanthus, asphodels, salvias, hellebores, irises, lady’s mantle (photo below) and Aruncus sylvester.blognovgarden20reszd2016-11-05-18-45-02In the ‘Jardin des Couleurs’ are variations of blue: Campanulas, primulas, Iris sibirica, violets, gentians, geraniums (Johnson’s Blue) and Meconopsis.blognovgarden20reszdimg_0048The sense of hearing is represented by a large bird aviary, built over a fountain and an ancient tank, and containing ducks, pheasants and turtle doves. There is also a smaller aviary, overgrown with Araujia sericofera, with doves, quails and other small birds.BlogMarchGarden20%ReszdIMG_0813Other plants in the garden include a Clematis montana grandiflora; a Rosa filipes Kiftsgate, Acanthus (photo below), a Syringa microphylla, Gaura lindheimeri, a persimmon and a Lagerstroemia indica.blognovgarden20reszdimg_0410Jardin des Herbes, La Garde Adhémar

Place de l’Église, 26700 La Garde-Adhémar, France

http://www.parcsetjardins.fr/rhone_alpes/drome/jardin_des_herbes-1234.html

I have also always loved herb gardens, so this garden, listed as a Jardin Remarquable in 2006, was very much on my radar! The Jardin des Herbes is a 3000 square metres terraced garden of a 12th century church at the foot of the ramparts of the village of La Garde-Adhémar.BlogPeonypoppy20%Reszd2015-11-13 11.58.57Created by Danielle Arcucci in 1990, it has two levels, with 300 medicinal and aromatic herbs. On the upper level, 200 species of medicinal plants, which are still used in the pharmacopoeia of the 21st century, are arranged in a square and are identified and their uses and effects described with coloured labels. This is feverfew, used to treat headaches.BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-19 10.08.10The lower level contains a collection of aromatic plants including yarrows, lavenders, roses, salvias, geraniums, rosemary and thymes, arranged in a design of a sun (the centre filled with begonias and other annuals) and its rays, the beds delineated by box. It is a place of great tranquillity and beauty with lots of colours, tastes, textures and fragrance.blognovgarden20reszdimg_0425Herb gardens were also very much a part of monastery gardens, so I would also love to visit this next very inspiring venue, the medieval priory gardens at Orsan, 50 km south of Bourges :

Le Prieuré Notre Dame d’Orsan

18170 Butonnais, Berry, southern part of Loire Valley

http://janellemccullochlibraryofdesign.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/prieure-dorsan-garden-created-by.html

https://www.thegoodlifefrance.com/beautiful-gardens-of-france-prieure-dorsan/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzZ74BQ4HPw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_yqgZJHFMs

Begun in 1991 and opened to visitors in 1995, it was created by Patrick Taravella and Sonia Lesot, who bought the ruined monastery with 40 acres of land and stone and turreted buildings from the 12th and 17th centuries. With the help of Head Gardener, Gilles Guillot, they created a 5 ha garden , based on the art of gardening during pre-Renaissance times, and made up of a series of square and rectangular formal garden rooms, partially enclosed with hornbeam hedging with peepholes and doorways.

Gardens include:

Medicinal Herb Garden with four raised beds of 52 different medicinal plant varieties, labelled with both botanical Latin and French names;BlogAutumn colour20%ReszdIMG_0545Cloister Garden: Including four rectangular beds of Chenin blanc grapes surrounding a central square fountain; glazed urns containing clipped box bushes, and woven wooden seats, each sheltered by quince trees (photo below) trained into hood-shaped arbours;BlogAutumn colour20%Reszd2016-04-15 15.41.46Two Formal Parterres of early food crops, including 3 old varieties of wheat, rye and fava bean; chards; leeks and cabbages;BlogChinasReszd20%IMG_0207The Mary Garden, a rose garden dedicated to the Virgin and inspired by the Songs of the Songs (Hortus Conclusus of Secret Garden) with two cloister-like enclosures: a square of pink ramblers (including Cécile Brunner (photo above)and Mme Caroline Testout), and a square of white roses (Aimée Vibert and Reines des Belges). The pink square has an arch of white standard Iceberg and Gruss an Aachen, while the white square has an arch of pink Cornelia (photo below) and The Fairy.blognovgarden20reszd2016-11-03-10-04-21 The roses climb over the arches, arbours and tunnels that are constructed of the typical wooden poles. Madonna lilies also grow here as roses and lilies were virtually inseparable in medieval illustrated manuscripts and paintings. Other roses in the garden include Pierre de Ronsard, Mme Alfred Carrière, Albertine and Marguerite Hilling;BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 08.43.39Kitchen Garden with 24 inch raised beds of alternating layers of manure and  soil; supporting teppes and trellises; and a modern drip irrigation system. Here, they grow organic heirloom tomato cultivars, aromatic herbs, sweet peppers, carrots, salad vegetables and aubergines;BlogFestiveSeason20%Reszd2015-12-25 18.54.58Maze Garden, lined by walls of plum cordons: Greengage, Nancy and Saint Catherine. On each side of the paths are beds of pears, quinces, grapes, herbs and flowers like sweet peas, nasturtiums, cosmos and giant sunflowers. Rhubarb is encouraged upwards in bottomless cylindrical baskets woven from thick lengths of vine and clematis;BlogFestiveSeason20%Reszd2015-12-23 19.57.50BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2486Berry Avenue with espaliered gooseberries, grown on espalier fans; raspberries trained on wooden poles in V-shaped rows; black, red and white currants trained on diamond lattices; and blueberries, blackberries and strawberries;BlogMarchGarden20%ReszdIMG_0681blogdecgarden20reszd2016-12-13-18-47-54Orchard of three ancient pear trees and over 20 varieties of apples, planted in a quincuncial pattern, including Querine Florina, Patte de Loup, Drap d’Or, Belle of Boskoop, Short Hung Gray, Yellow, Big Locard, Judor, Reine des Reinettes, Reinette clochard, Reinette de Caux, Reinette fom Holland, Golden Reinette, Gray Reinette from Canada, and Starking;BlogEndofSpring20%Reszd2015-11-19 08.14.34BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-23 17.43.51Three Orchard Cloister : Three orchards of pear (planted concentrically with lavender beds on each corner and including pears: Duchesse d’Angoulême, Belle du Berry, André Desportes; sorbus and cherry trees (Marmotte, Burlat and Cœur de Pigeon); and aBlogFeb Garden20%ReszdIMG_7074Wildflower Meadow and a Woodland with an outdoor sculpture gallery;

All the beautiful garden structures and furniture are made in the medieval way from home-grown saplings and the garden produce is used in the hotel restaurant or preserved for later use. Wheat is ground into flour to be made into bread and a white wine produced from the grapes. The Table d’Orsan restaurant is open from March to November (book in advance). The medlars below were a popular medieval fruit.BlogAutumn colour20%Reszd2016-04-15 15.39.40You can also tour the gardens or attend workshops of one to three days focused on themes such as creating wooden structures like the ones in the gardens. There is also a small shop with a comprehensive range of traditionally-made products for sale, including jams, chutneys, and fruit juices, all made with Orsan Gardens produce, as well as baskets, natural soaps, and a range of books on cuisine, gardening or fine arts.BlogFeb Garden20%ReszdIMG_0004As keen organic gardeners and environmentalists, we would also have to visit the French version of the Centre for Alternative Energy (http://www.cat.org.uk), Machynlleth, Powys, Wales, which we visited in 1994:

Centre Terre Vivant

Domaine de Raud – 38710 MENS

http://www.terrevivante.org/

A wonderful ecological education centre with an organic garden, orchard, apiary and wilderness, 1 hour south of Grenoble and 2 hours from Lyon. It began in 1994 to trial and showcase everything to do with alternative farming and ecological living, reporting the results back to the readers of its founding magazine, Les Quatre Saisons du Jardinage. The 50 ha property lies in a broad river valley at an altitude of 750 m, surrounded by forest and high mountains.

The mudbrick Blue House contains the administrative centre, a shop and a library, specialising in alternative lifestyles. Nearby is a restaurant, Table de Raud, and an energy centre; a composting centre; a playground; a wildflower meadow; a garden shed showing four different methods of construction using earth; an aromatic spiral; a school garden; a handicapped garden; a plant nursery; two orchards; a poultry house; a marequarium to observe pond life, lots of other small pools and an artesian well; a solar beehive and numerous vegetable plots.BlogFeb Garden20%ReszdIMG_0175Gilles Clément was invited to help plan the gardens eg the Water Walk and the Garden of the Five Elements, as well as a series of woodland clearing gardens. There are lots of different irregularly shaped potagers: a special garden for curcubits; the 100-square-metre exploit, based on plant associations recommended by Gertrud Franck; a garden for the preservation of endangered heirloom vegetables; a garden for little-known varieties, which should be used more widely eg violet carrots; Jerusalem artichoke; Swedes, blue potatoes; Italian broccoli rab, parsnips, kale, hyacinth beans; amaranths and red and green orachs. The beds are delineated by split logs, paths covered with home-shredded bark and wood chip and flowers used as companion plants.Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1255The 200 square metre Family Garden contains vegetables; a flowering hedge; a cutting garden; a small fish pond; a shade tree with bird houses; an orchard; a herb plot; a compost corner with bins of nettle and comfrey tea; a wild flower strip to encourage bees; and a lawn for children to play.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1563The centre holds many conferences and workshops eg Traditional Dyeing with Anne Rigier, who rediscovered ancient methods for dyeing cloth with plant juices using lactofermentation, rather than boiling; Creating living buildings with willows; Permaculture; Organic gardening and cooking; Solar ovens; Crop roatation, pests and diseases; Seed saving; Composting and mulching; Worm farming; Making casein paints and homemade natural shampoos; Basketry; and Bee keeping.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%ReszdIMG_1764There is also an Open Day (with talks on pallet gardening, biodiversity, and organic flowers; a conference on ecology and biomimcry; music and kids’ entertainment; a photographic exhibition; and tours of the centre); Children’s Wednesdays (first three Wednesdays of August, involving gardening with kids, fishing, making seed bombs and natural play with large wooden games, tunnels and willow huts) and an event called The Great Lizard, with yoga workshops, outdoor Qi-Gong sessions, massages, a caravan sauna, siestas, icecreams, and music. In short, everything to promote relaxation!BlogEducationgardens25%Reszdoctober 2 135At the base of the web page are lots of recommendations with respect to the garden, home building and ecological living. There are also recipes, a climatic map; organic gardening and moon calendars; and articles on crafts in the garden (making nest boxes, garden tables, garden benches, chassis, dry stone walls, willow hurdles, compost bins and planters); encouraging birds and wildlife (pools, hedges, insect hotels, feeders, nest boxes and companion planting); keeping animals (best chook breeds; natural medicine for cats and dogs); permaculture and garden forests; water saving (rainwater tanks, mulching, water conservation) and pests and diseases.BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-15 09.13.27And now for my final garden, the private home of Nicole Arboireau:

Le Jardin de la Pomme Ambre

64 Impasse de l’Ancienne Route d’Italie – La Tour de Mare – 83600 Fréjus

http://www.lapommedambre.com/  and  http://jardinlapommedambre.blogspot.com.au/

An imaginative, intimate and eclectic 2000 square metre garden, developed since 1985 by owner, Nicole Arboireau, at the foot of the Esterel Massif. The steep block has been remodelled into a labyrinth of narrow curving terraces, supported by drystone walls and weathered railway sleepers.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-11 09.56.33The garden is managed organically with no chemical use, plenty of compost and a strong emphasis on recycling and the encouragement of biodiversity. It is a refuge for the League of the Protection of Birds and is home for lots of local wildlife from toads and frogs and  lizards, snakes and geckoes to squirrels, hedgehogs, badgers and many birds (including tits and wrens, magpies and jays, and owls), as well as a dog and 7 cats.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-28 19.23.45I love her use of old earthenware pots and ancient sewing machines, repurposing china crockery, like darkened casserole dishes for bird baths and tea-sets for cactus. She also grows plants in bicycle baskets and old clogs and has made an experimental dry garden from broken bricks, shells and clippings. She also likes to play with colour eg her Brazilian Terrace, based on fuchsia and orange tones.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0386The garden contains over 700 species. Nicole focuses on the conservation of the native flora of the Provence coast, as well as the heritage exotic plants of the old Belle Époque gardens of the Côte d’Azur. She also loves the cottage garden plants of her grandmother’s era, writing about them in her book: Jardins de Grand-mères, published in 2000.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-23-18-31-29Trees include: Cork oaks, a giant pepper tree, 13 types of acacia, eucalypts, Aleppo pines, tamarisks, oleanders, a persimmon, Arbutus unedo, palm trees and ficus, many of which support climbers like roses, bougainvillea, jasmines and wisteria.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 008Shrubs include Viburnum tinus; Erica arborea and Medicago arborea; lilacs and ceanothus; japonicas and kerrias; cassias; beauty bush and spireas; and the roses bred by Nabonnand. Other roses include: American Pillar, Albéric Barbier, Rosa laevigata and Mermaid and R. indica major, used extensively in the Grasse perfume industry.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.28.16Other plants include: the local Cistus of the nearby maquis scrub; Acanthus; Helleborus niger and H. argutifolius; Ayssum maritimum and Bellis perennis; Rosmarinus officinalis; Mahonias; Solanums; Flowering salvias (photo above); Euphorbia myrsinites; Echiums and Euryops; and salad vegetables and herbs.BlogAutumn colour25%Reszdaprilmay 128All her plants have a history, having been given to her or rescued from old decaying gardens. I was interested to read that Scilla, a bulb common to the old gardens of the Riviera, used to be made into omelettes to poison rats! Nicole is a well-known garden historian, an intervenor at the Mediterranean School of Gardening in Grasse, and the President and founder of Friends of Mediterranean Parks and Gardens, as well as being the organizer of many local plant festivals.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.22.05You can stay at her Bed-and-Breakfast or visit her garden for the day to learn all about the history of gardens of the Côte d’Azur, as well as the floral  and perfume industries and the history of herbs. She also runs workshops:

Botany, Ecology and History: Using native plants or subtropical plants from other Mediterranean climates in the garden; and the plants of the Belle Époque;

Using Native Flora in the Kitchen: Making tisanes (the photo below shows peppermint cut and tied into bunches for drying for future peppermint tea!), elixirs and wines;

The Scented Home: Making floral scents; herb cushions; scent collars; pot pourri and pomanders; and bouquets and tussie mussies;

Propagation: Taking Cuttings and Seed Saving.BlogSummerDays20%Reszd2015-12-26 12.06.26My final bucket-list garden post next week is focusing on roses and because of its size, it is divided into three sections, to be posted on consecutive days: United Kingdom (Tuesday); France (Wednesday); and Italy and Germany (Thursday)!

 

 

Inspirational and Dreamy Garden Books: Part Two: Books about Specific Gardens

Having had our appetite whetted by some  wonderful garden travel books in my last book post, it is now time to visit some of my garden books, devoted to specific gardens.

Books about Specific Gardens.

First stop, France…

Monet’s Garden: Through the Seasons at Giverny by Vivian Russell 1995

We were lucky enough to visit this beautiful garden in 1994, along with several busloads of tourists, though Ross was so clever that none of his photographs contained another living soul! This is such a lovely book and a wonderful reminder of our day there, enjoying the beautiful roses and the famous water garden, as seen in the first photo below. The second photo is my daughter, Jen, on her second visit years later, on the famous wisteria-covered bridge:BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0643BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%P1190188While we were there in early Summer and we also have seen my daughter’s photographs of Giverny in Spring with the tulips in full bloom, it is wonderful to be able to see photographs of the garden in other seasons as well. The photos in this book are absolutely stunning and well do justice to Monet’s vision! Here is our photo of the Summer roses in full bloom in 1994:BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0645Incidentally, Vivian Russell also directed Peter Beales’ romantic video ‘A Celebration of Old Roses’, which I discussed in my post on Favourite Rose Books (https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/), so she is the perfect author for a book about this celebrated artist. This is my daughter Jen’s Spring photo of Monet’s beautiful house:BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190241

I have always loved his paintings, indeed that of all the Impressionists, which we were lucky enough to see in their old light-filled venue at Jeu de Paume on my first trip to Paris in 1984.  In this book, Vivian explores the history of Impressionism, Monet’s life and the relationship between Monet, the artist, and Monet, the gardener, especially in relation to light and atmosphere, as well as the daily maintenance and practical aspects of the garden in all seasons. She has keyed watercolour maps of both the flower garden and water garden in the front. It is certainly a very beautiful book!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (444)

Renoir’s Garden by Derek Fell 1991

Renoir is another favourite Impressionist artist, but unfortunately we were not aware of his garden at Les Collettes until after our trip! Renoir’s garden is quite different to Giverny. While Monet was heavily influenced by informal English cottage gardens and Japanese stroll gardens and used plants like paints on a palette to transform a neglected site into his vision of a flowering paradise, Renoir cherished the age, history, peace, tranquillity and stability of the old farmhouse garden and was keen to preserve the ancient olive and orange groves and market garden. Situated in Cagnes in Southern France, the climate and plant selection are totally different too, although like Monet and myself, Renoir loved his roses and grew them everywhere, as well as painting them on all his women! I adore Renoir’s beautiful sumptuous nudes and portraits and I loved this book! We will definitely visit Les Collettes if we ever visit France again! I also loved the beautiful 2012 film, simply titled ‘Renoir’ about his final days and his last model Andrée Heuschling , who became his son Jean’s first wife and starred in nine of his silent movies under the name of Catherine Hessling (See: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2150332/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZTiQ_quEPA for the trailer), though I believe much of the footage was shot in the gardens of Domaine du Rayol. See: http://www.domainedurayol.org/. It can currently be seen on SBS On Demand and is such a sensuous romantic film. Like the previous book, there are watercolour plans of the garden, the formal and informal borders and a map of France, as well as a list of the plants in the back.

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Britain

The Lost Gardens of Heligan by Tim Smit 1997

We did however visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan (http://heligan.com/) in Cornwall in 1994, three years before the publication of this book, when they were in the middle of restoring this grand old Victorian garden, which had been neglected for 70 years. It has been described by The Times as ‘the garden restoration of the century’ and was masterminded by John Nelson and the author of this book, Tim Smit, who has since gone on to build the Eden Project. See: http://www.edenproject.com/. Here are our photos of Heligan from a distance:BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (465) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (466) - CopyThe book chronicles the whole restoration project from the rediscovery of the gardens in 1990 to the restoration of the Italian Garden  (1991) and the Northern Summerhouse (1992) and the opening of the garden in Easter 1992. Here are some of our 1994 photos:BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (465)BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (466)BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (470) - Copy This was followed by the redevelopment of the Ravine (old Alpine Garden); Flora’s Green, containing many hybrid rhododendrons of the Hooker collection; the New Zealand garden (1st photo above); the crystal-lined Grotto; the Jungle and its lake (2nd and 3rd photo above); the Walled Vegetable Garden with its straw bee skeps in hollows in the wall (1st photo below) and heated greenhouses (2nd and 3rd photos); and the Melon Garden, all by our visit in 1994.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (467) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (469) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (468) - Copy Since then, the Flower Garden and Sundial garden have come into their own and the Lost Valley and its Water Meadow have been restored. I can see we will have to pay a second visit, but in the mean time, we can watch one of the many videos about this highly popular garden in Britain!

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The book was published in conjunction with Channel Four, which produced a six part series directed by Vivianne Howard and winner of Best Documentary TV series by the Garden Writers Guild. An interview with the director and the people involved can be viewed on: https://vimeo.com/109851192.

More footage of the garden can also be seen on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c48IK05tOZg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq-vVJGmyOc, only two of the many choices on You Tube!

The Garden at Highgrove by H.R.H The Prince of Wales and Candida Lycett Green 2000  is another garden on my bucket-list! I so admire Prince Charles for his far-sighted vision and enthusiasm, his courage for supporting non-mainstream causes and viewpoints, which none-the-less are growing in popularity, like environment, organic agriculture, traditional arts and crafts, spiritual aspects or just sheer beauty in architecture! He is such an interesting and worthwhile man and I will have more on his enterprises in a future post on environmental books, but here I will focus on his wonderful garden at Highgrove House (https://www.highgrovegardens.com/), his home since 1980, in Gloucestershire, where he puts his principles and theories into action! It too is a highly visited gardening mecca, which must be booked way ahead, is quite expensive to visit (the proceeds all going to the Prince’s charities) and has a strict ‘No Photography’ rule, so I am happy to say that there is also a lovely dreamy video about this garden, which gives you an in-depth look without the crowds or time limits! See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbJgNXgppkI. David Attenborough has also narrated ‘Highgrove: A Prince’s Legacy’ in his 2003 series of ‘Natural World‘ (Season 21, Episode 13). There is even a garden blog on : https://www.highgrovegardens.com/about-highgrove-gardens/the-garden-now/.

This is a lovely book with a very logical sequence of chapters from the setting and history of the estate to the view from the house , which includes the Sundial Garden and Terrace Garden, the Thyme Walk (over 20 varieties of thyme) and the Fountain Garden; the Cottage Garden, which was developed under the guidance of Rosemary Verey, and the Savill Gardens; the Wildflower Meadow, a 4 acre wild garden containing 30 different species of endangered plants, and Woodland Garden with the National Collection of Beeches; William Bertram’s wonderful tree house ; Julian and Isabel Bannermans’ fern pyramid and Wall of Gifts; the Stumpery with its green oak temples and hosta collection; a recycled stone water feature and the Japanese Garden; and finally, the Arboretum with its Autumn Walk; Spring Walk, Azalea Walk and The Sanctuary, built in 1999 to commemorate the Millenium as an expression of thanksgiving to God and blessed by the Bishop of London in January 2000; and the highly productive Walled Garden, filled with roses, flowers, vegetables and espaliered fruit trees and sweet pea tunnels. The whole garden is run along organic lines with sustainable practices; recycling; rainwater tanks and a bore; reed bed sewage systems; solar panels and composting and other natural fertilizers. It is so inspiring and uplifting, as well as very practical! There are comprehensive plant listings for each area in the back of the book.

Since the publication of the book in 2000, Emma Clark has designed an Islamic Carpet Garden, based on two of the Turkish carpets in Highgrove house, the design winning silver at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2001: See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2591531/Prince-Charles-Highgrove-exclusive-JULY-Turkish-delight-glorious-green-spaces.html. Emma is an expert in the art of the Islamic garden, in fact that is the very title of her book: The Art of the Islamic Garden, 2004, an essential read for those interested in developing such a beautiful garden! See: https://www.psta.org.uk/about/publications/emma-clark and http://theislamicmonthly.com/the-art-of-the-islamic-garden/ and https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Art-Islamic-Garden-Emma-Clark/1847972047. She is also heavily involved with The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, but more about that wonderful institution in my future post on environmental books!

There is also a Southern Hemisphere Garden with ferns, tree ferns, palms and eucalypts; an Italian garden; a Black-and-White Garden (white lupins and peonies and black grasses) and a Topiary Walk with six-foot high rounded balls of yew.

A beautiful and inspirational book, which should be included in every horticultural library!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (442)Virginia Woolf’s Garden: The Story of the Garden at Monk’s House by Caroline Zoob 2013

When we left London, in 1994, we stayed at a Bed-and-Breakfast in Firle, a small village in East Sussex, which is still part of the estate of Lord Gage and his family and very near Virginia Woolf’s house, Monk’s House, at Rodmell, now owned by National Trust. See: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/monks-house. Caroline and her husband rented Monk’s House from the National Trust for 10 years and the result is this wonderful book. Caroline is a fellow hand embroiderer, so this was the perfect gift for me! How I would dearly love to join her for one of her week-long embroidery and mixed media workshops in France. See : http://carolinezoob.co.uk/join-me-for-a-week-of-workshops-in-france-september-2017/ and http://carolinezoob.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Caroline-Zoob-Workshop-France.pdf. But back to her book!

This is another one of those beautiful dreamy books, which I could not be without! The colour photographs of the house and garden are superb and are interspersed with original black-and-white photographs; and the watercolour garden map and keyed planting plans and embroidery panels of the different sections of the garden are so beautifully executed and reason enough to buy this book! The seven chapters tell the story of the house and garden from the time Virginia and Leonard Woolf owned Monk’s House (1919) to the present day. The Orchard, Fig Tree Garden, Millstone Terrace, Fishpond Garden, Virginia’s Bedroom Garden, the Flower Walk, The Italian Garden, the Terrace, the Writing Lodge, the Walled Garden, the Vegetable Garden, the Rear Lawn Garden and the Conservatory are all lovingly described in much detail and include many quotes by Leonard and Virginia and constant references to her writings. While Virginia enjoyed her garden, it was Leonard who was the main driving force. He also loved his roses and became an expert horticulturalist over the development of the garden, continuing well into his late 80s.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (443)

I have also always been fascinated by Virginia’s sister, Vanessa Bell, and the Bloomsbury Group and would also love to visit her home at Charleston, Firle (http://www.charleston.org.uk/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x28hGsR8Cvc). Virginia used to walk the six miles from Monk’s House, across the river and along the South Downs to Charleston, the journey retraced and described in this lovely blog post: http://thoughtsofthecommonreader.blogspot.com.au/2009/07/in-footsteps-of-virginia-woolf.html. Even though Charleston was closed during our stay, we did get to see the murals painted by Duncan Grant and Vanessa and Quentin Bell in the Church of St Michael and All Angels at Berwick: http://www.roughwood.net/ChurchAlbum/EastSussex/Berwick/BerwickStMichael2004.htm and http://www.berwickchurch.org.uk/bloomsbury%20at%20berwick%20home.html.

BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (464) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (464)Here is a link to the garden pages of the Charleston official website: http://www.charleston.org.uk/visit/at-charleston/garden/.

The 3,000 Mile Garden: A Magical Correspondence Between Two Passionate Gardeners  by Roger Phillips and Leslie Land 1992/ 1995

Without taking away from books with beautiful photos, if a book can grab you with its text alone, then it truly does belong in this post about dreamy and inspirational gardens. This delightful little paperback is based on a four-year long correspondence between Roger Phillips, the well-known British garden writer and horticulturalist and Leslie Land, an American cookery and garden writer. They each write about their own gardens – Roger at Eccleston Square, a three acre private locked community garden for use by the residents of the surrounding flats, which we saw on our first visit to London in 1984, 3 years after Roger started managing the garden, and Leslie at her small cottage garden in rural Cushing, Maine, on the east coast of America, 3000 miles away! The share their passions for gardening, food and the good life and exchange ideas, bed plans, pressed  flowers, practical tips and recipes. I loved Leslie’s description of poaching a large pair of salmon in a bath tub outside (page 267) and have often used her excuse for delay of ‘having had a severe attack of life’ (page 32)! The letters between the two gardeners are delightful – highly entertaining and amusing, as Leslie had quite an earthy sense of humour – I loved some of her slightly risqué sketches! Sadly, Leslie is no longer with us, having died too early at age 66 years in 2013. Channel Four produced a six-part series based on the book in 1994.

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United States of America

While I do not own many American garden books, one which I would not be without is:

Tasha Tudor’s Garden by Tovah Martin 1994

A new discovery and purchase, following a recommendation by a fellow blogger The Wildlife Gardener : https://wildlifegardenerblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/finding-my-happy-place/ and https://wildlifegardenerblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/my-favorite-american-gardener-tasha-tudor/. My thanks again for the recommendation! It is every bit as lovely as the above posts describe. For those of us, who espouse a simpler, more self-sufficient lifestyle, Tasha set a wonderful example! Not only did she grow all her own food, raise chickens and Nubian goats and make all her own dairy products on her 250 acre farm, 10 acres of which were devoted to vegetables and flowers, but she also spun her own yarn, weaving it into cloth, from which she made her own clothing and quilts, and even made marionettes and exquisite dolls’ houses! She gardened right up until her death in 2008, aged 92, and while her gardens may not be as beautiful as they once were, at least we can enjoy them through the wonderful photographs by Richard W. Brown in this lovely book, which also includes Tasha’s delightful artwork, more of which can be seen at: http://www.theworldoftashatudor.com/cgi-bin/cellardoor/index.html. It is such a romantic dreamy book and I am now keen to read: ‘The Private World of Tasha Tudor’ by the same author. See: https://www.amazon.com/Private-World-Tasha-Tudor/dp/0316112925/ref=la_B000APGDO2_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1357841060&sr=1-3.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (447)

My final post on Dreamy and Inspirational Gardens will be posted at the end of June and features books about Australian Gardens, as well as Specific Plants.

My Love Affair With France

I have always loved France, ever since my youth! I studied French at school to matriculation level, by which time I had started to automatically think in French! I loved the lyrical flow of the language and translating ‘La Gloire de Mon Père’ by Marcel Pagnol. This autobiography was later made into a film by Yves Robert called  ‘My Father’s Glory’, along with its sequel, ‘My Mother’s Castle’ , both very romantic movies, which showcase Provence through the eyes of a child. See : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099669/  and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099266/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt .

We love French films – their beauty, sensitivity and humour – and really enjoyed our visits to the French Film festival every year in Melbourne. Another two lovely French children’s films are ‘The Fox and the Child’, set in the beautiful countryside of the Jura Mountains in Eastern France (see trailer at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyqq87u4GPw ) and the magical ‘La Clé des Champs’ with a wonderful soundtrack by Bruno Coulais. You can see the film trailer at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbU-X_DCCoQ   and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1TlwvS1mPc . The film makers Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou also made ‘Genesis’ and ‘Microcosmos’.

Some of my favourite artists are also French. I love the light-filled joyous art work of the Impressionists, which we viewed at Jeu de Paume in Paris, on my first overseas trip. We loved every single painting! We visited Monet’s home in Giverny on our second trip to France ten years later – such a spectacular garden ! We loved all the roses and of course, the famous Waterlily pond. See : http://giverny.org/gardens/fcm/visitgb.htmBlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0643BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0642BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0645BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190241BlogFranceLoveAffair30%ReszdIMG_0644I also adore Renoir’s sumptuous women and would love to visit his home and garden, ‘Les Collettes’,  at Cagnes-sur-Mer in the South-East France one day. See : http://www.amb-cotedazur.com/renoir-museum-cagnes-sur-mer/. The recent film about his later years, titled ‘Renoir’ is another beautiful romantic movie, set in the Domaine du Rayol. The trailer can be viewed here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZTiQ_quEPA.

There are some wonderful French gardens from artistic potagers to medieval herb and physic gardens and of course, roses!!! The French have a long history of rose breeding and appreciation.

Empress Josephine, the first wife of Napoleon I, adored roses. Between 1804-1814, she amassed the greatest and largest rose collection in the world at her Château de Malmaison. The collection was made up of about 250 species and varieties, including 167 Gallicas, 27 Centifolias, 22 Chinas, 9 Damasks, 8 Albas, 4 Spinosissimas, 3 Luteas, R. moschata, R. carolina, and R. setigera. During the Napoleonic wars, the French Navy was enlisted to confiscate any plants or rose seeds from ships at sea and her large purchases from the British nursery, Kennedy and Lee, were permitted safe passage through the naval blockade. She commissioned artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté to paint all the roses in her collection  and he produced 3 beautiful volumes with 170 watercolour plates, ‘Les Roses’, which were published from 1817-1824. Josephine’s contribution to rose history is remembered in the names of 2 Old Roses : a Gallica called ‘Empress Josephine’ and one of my favourite Bourbons, ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ (2nd photo). The 1st photo is a Moss rose called Chapeau de Napoléon, with its buds shaped like his three cornered cockade hat.BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2014-11-22 14.26.37BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_2508France has produced a number of very famous rose breeders and growers from Josephine’s gardener, André Dupont, to Jacques-Louis Descamet, who produced 200 new varieties of roses between 1804-1814; Jean-Pierre Vibert, the first French rose-breeder, who bought Descemet’s nursery in 1815 and produced more than 600 new varieties and Alexandre Hardy, who was the chief horticulturalist at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris from 1817 to 1859 and left more than 80 cultivars with China genes in them, including the Damask rose in the photo below named after his wife, Mme Hardy. Her blooms each have a beautiful green eye and smell superb.BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_2506

There are some very famous rose breeding families in France :

  • Brothers Philippe and Louis Noisette  launched the Noisette rose group in Europe.
  • The Guillot family (with 6 generations involved)  are famous for producing the first Hybrid Tea, La France, in 1867.
  • The Pernet-Ducher  family produced the first yellow Hybrid Tea ‘Soleil d’Or’ in 1900 and also boast 6 generations of rose breeders.
  • The Delbard family has operated a rose nursery in Allier for over 75 years and
  • The Meilland Family are also very famous, especially with their breeding of the Hybrid Tea, ‘Peace’, released in 1945 . Its story is recounted in that delightfully charming book : ‘For Love of a Rose’ by Antonia Ridge. Peace is photographed below and also goes by the name of ‘Madame A. Meilland’ (the name of the breeder’s deceased mother), Gioia (Italy) and Gloria Dei (Germany).

BlogFranceLoveAffair30%ReszdIMG_2507Other well-known French rose breeders include :

  • Réné Barbier, who developed the Wichuriana ramblers;
  • Gilbert Nabonnand, who bred a number of Chinas and Teas;
  • Jules Gravereaux, who developed Roseraie de l’Hay, the first garden devoted exclusively to roses;
  • Jean Deprez, who bred one of my favourite Noisettes: Deprez à Fleurs Jaunes, featured on the top of my blog page and in the photo below               and
  • André Eve, a passionate collector and disseminator of Old Roses.

BlogFranceLoveAffair30%ReszdIMG_2501If we are ever lucky enough to travel overseas and visit France again, I would dearly love to visit ‘La Bonne Maison’, Lyons,  the wonderful rose garden developed by Old Rose expert, Odile Masquelier. My daughter acted as proxy on her overseas trip a few years ago and returned with Odile’s book about the development of her garden, unfortunately written in French! I spent a lovely dreamy week translating her book and hope I did it justice!!! You can view her website here : http://www.labonnemaison.org/ . These are a few of my daughter’s photos in tulip time, unfortunately a little too early for the roses!BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190592BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190546BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190564BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190597

I would also love to visit Eléonore Cruse’s amazing rose garden ‘Roseraie de Berty‘ at Largentière, Ardeche. See http://www.roseraie-de-berty.com/  and for an English version : http://roseraiedeberty.free.fr/english_catalogues.html .

As well as Roseraie de l’Hay, les Jardins de l’Imaginaire, Les Chemins de la Rose in Doué la Fontaine, Château de Miromesnil, Coulommiers Medieval Garden, Jardin aux Plantes parfumées la Bouichère, Terre Vivante and Jardin le Vasterival to name a few….

For a taster, see : http://www.french-gardens.com/gardens/gardenstovisit.php

and  http://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens/in/france .

The French Motorways are lined with huge hedges of Rugosa roses : Rugosa Alba (white) and Scabrosa (purple).

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Also read any books by Louisa Jones : Gardens of the French Riviera 1992; The Art of French Vegetable Gardening 1995; Kitchen Gardens of France 1999; Provence : A Country Almanac 1999; The French Country Garden : Where the Past Flourishes in the Present 2000; Gardens in Provence 2001;  and The French Country Garden 2006    or

Mirabel Osler : The Secret Gardens of France 1993; A Spoon with Every Course: In Search of the Legendary Food of France 1996; and The Elusive Truffle: Travels in Search of the Legendary Food of France 2000)

One garden we did visit on our second trip was Château de Villandry, an amazing potager with wonderful abstract patterns created by clipped box hedges . See : http://www.chateauvillandry.fr/en/ .BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0632BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0631BlogFranceLoveAffair30%ReszdIMG_0630BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0633We have so many wonderful memories of our two trips to France. Some of the highlights included :

My 35th birthday at a private château near Limoges;

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My infant daughter’s first totally independent hike for 11 km in the Pyrenees;BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.28.13BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.28.30The flamingoes in the Camargue;BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.19.40The wonderful artist villages like Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the photos below;BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.59.42BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.59.23The 20,000 year old prehistoric cave art in the Dordogne. This photo is a bas relief of aurochs from Forneau du Diable, Bordeilles;BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.59.07The Cathar ruins : Roquefixade in the top photo; Montesegur in the 2nd photo.BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2015-10-13 08.29.04BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.18.36The Standing Stones of Carnac;BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 09.01.55BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.59.56And the beautiful countryside, wild flowers and poppies in wheat fields, rustic villages and the generosity of the French people, who love children and opened their homes and hearts to us!BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.26.55BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.28.50BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.25.26BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.25.35Mean time, we enjoy our little corner of France in our Candelo garden at ‘Maison Rose’ and enjoy the beautiful fragrant blooms of roses with French names : Mme Alfred Carrière (1st photo), Mme Isaac Péreire (2nd and 3rd photo), Lamarque (4th photo), Gloire de Dijon, Chapeau de Napoleon, Madame Louis Lévêque, Aimée Vibert, Mme Hardy, Mme Georges Bruant, Roseraie de l’Hay…!!!BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_2502BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_2505BlogFranceLoveAffair30%ReszdIMG_2503BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_2500And there is always the annual pilgrimage to Werribee Mansion, Melbourne (photos below), or St. John’s College, Sydney in January, to enjoy the wonderful music, French food and champagne and French fashions at ‘So Frenchy So Chic’ (http://www.sofrenchysochic.com.au/).Blog PubHxH&G20%Reszd2013-01-20 12.52.53BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2013-01-20 17.10.04BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2013-01-20 15.06.19BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2013-01-20 15.50.43

Or ‘Paris to Provence’ at Como House every November (http://www.paristoprovence.com.au/) . Both are wonderful days out and incredibly civilized!!!

BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2014-11-22 10.20.17BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2014-11-22 12.03.06BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2014-11-22 13.33.39BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2014-11-22 10.28.06I believe there is also a very active Alliance Francaise community in Canberra, our closest city (http://www.afcanberra.com.au/culture-and-events/events-to-experience-french-culture/), so we look forward to fuelling our passion further in the years to come! Vive la France!!!