Thank you Monty Don, for making me aware of this garden. Only a relatively short distance away from where I live in France, this extraordinary garden is really unlike any other. Made as a very private space this garden can now be enjoyed by the intrepid visitor. We had some difficulty finding it as there are two villages with very similar names, separated by a mountain. And we went to the wrong one. But we did find our way eventually and on entering the garden my heart lifted as I could see immediately that this was a garden for the mind, the heart and the soul.
Set in a wild and peaceful valley in the Cevennes the garden doesn’t intrude on the tranquillity but invites exploration of it. Narrow paths and steps thread up the mountain through largely native planting, but nothing is merely arbitrary. Its management has clearly been a process of selective weeding, allowing plants to grow how and where they chose, within reason ! Impossible pinnacles of stones rise up through the lush greenery, the sculpture punctuates the space and reminds one that this place is not the work of nature but of art. A truly elemental garden, it also brings water to every level. Reflective, in movement or as planting medium. And as you wander, loosing your way among the terraces, there are many delightful places to sit and gaze out over the green hills beyond.
If all that wasn’t enough there is also the prettiest organic restaurant under big parasols in the heart of the garden. Next time I will go early, make a reservation for lunch, and take a book to while away the afternoon in the nicest of places.
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