French Provincial Garden

The inspiration for this garden comes from John’s visits to Versailles in France in the 1970’s. He was impressed by the serenity of the very simple but intriguing design elements of the expansive gardens and has tried to use some of the ideas on a very small scale. This part of the garden is about 7,000 square metres, divided into four fields. Two of the fields have Buxus sempervirens planted and pruned into the shape of clouds. The third field is a lavender field and the fourth has changing displays of sunflowers, poppies, dahlias and amaranth. Amaranth is an ancient food crop grown by the Aztecs in South America. The French Garden is an excellent place for picnics.

Right through the centre of the French garden, as an extension of the main wisteria archway are two long water rills with a central round pond with a sculpture made with 700 recycled horse shoes, built by our craftsman Sebastian. Running North/South is a central walkway that will eventually lead to a folly, fashioned like a country chateau. On both sides of the main walkway are 60 pyramid shaped Buxus, 2 metres high.

Surrounding the whole of this garden are avenues of trees, offering different experiences throughout the year. Acer freemania , Canadian maple, wonderful lush foliage with truly magnificent red autumn colour. Also, in about 20 years’ time they will provide us with maple syrup. Ulmus parvifolia, Chinese elms, the only elm tree not affected by the elm leaf beetle and will soon give us wonder trunk colours. Malus floribunda, flowering crab apple, this is the closest we can get to cherry blossom without suffering cherry and pear slug damage. Amazing Spring colour, deep pink buds opening up to clear white. Amazing bee food!! This is a stand out avenue in late September, looking like an avenue of fairy floss.