After our visit to Chateau Val Joanis, our group had lunch in Cucuron, a village made famous in the film "A Good Year", featuring Russell Crow, not too far from our next venue "Jardin La Louve".
Jardin La Louve is situated on the south facing side of the village of Bonnieux.
The conception of the garden started in 1986 when its creator, Nicole de Vesian, a fabric designer and stylist for Hermes, decided to construct the garden.
The garden is built on several levels, each level is planted with mainly evergreens, most of the shrubs are clipped into a particular shape:
She mixed different textures and colours for contrast and constructed benches, walls, alcoves to give interest to the garden, very few flowering plants were used.
When she turned 80, she sold the property to Judy Pillsbury, an art dealer, who had an interest in the area and loved the garden. Judy Pillsbury continued in the same tradition of pruning the evergreens into a shape but introduced a few features of her own.
In the swimming pool area, Romneya coulteri (Tree Poppy):
and Stipa arundinacea:
It is a very peaceful, very well maintained garden, a little haven in busy Bonnieux. Two gardeners look after the garden in the pruning season, with one gardener coming in every morning.
The lowest level:
As is shown in this garden, virtually every evergreen shrub can be pruned into a shape. Even Feijoa sellowiana (Acca sellowiana) a fruit tree with lovely flowers, in this garden is a rounded bush.
Some of the shrubs that can be pruned into a specific shape:
Abelia x grandiflora, Bupleurum fruticosum, Buxus sempervirens, Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Kew Blue', Choisya ternata, Cistus's. Elaeagnus x ebbengei, Euonymus communis, Feijoa sellowiana, Myrtus communis, Ligustrum japonicum, Lonicera nitida (the poor man's Buxus, grows faster and is cheaper), Osmanthus x burkwoodii, Phillyrea angustifolia, Pittosporum tenuifolium, Pittosporum tobira, Rosmarinus officinalis, Santolina chamaecyparissus, Sarcococca ruscifolia, Taxus baccata, Teucrium polium, Trachelospermum jasminiodes, Viburnum tinus.
Two tubs around the house were planted with the Orchid "Bletilla striata".
Photos: Elisabeth Boutevin, Jacqueline Hodkinson, Gerda Nagtegaal.