Monday, 19 June 2017

30 May 2017 - Garden visit to Le Jardin d'Eguilles de Max Sauze in Eguilles & Bastide de Romégas in Aix-en-Provence

Le Jardin d'Eguilles

Sue wrote:
Max Sauze is an incredibly creative man who is heavily into creative re-cycling (paper, wine bottle corks, plastic bottles etc.) and the town garden of nearly  900 sq.m. is an intriguing outdoor exhibition of a lifetime of inventiveness and  what can be achieved with the combined effect of a glue-gun and nimble fingers.

His delightful wife Anne welcomed us and explained that her husband was an artist until marriage and the arrival of three hungry children had him casting around for a better paid occupation.   He set about designing modern lighting for the domestic market which became internationally successful , (and featured in films too) and the garden shed was at one end a busy workshop and at the other end the order despatch department of a  busy enterprise.   This is now continued by their son in nearby Lambesq.

The shady garden achieved Jardin Remarquable status in 2005 and has been created by Max and Anne Sauze from scratch, starting with just one large existing  tree.   It is now a haven of shade against the harsh provencale sun with bamboos interspersed wit the amazing, often whimsical and quirky, creations of an inventive man.  For my info visit the website:

Bastide de Romegas

In the afternoon we took a short drive east to the Bastide de Romegas where the current owner, Mme. Rater, is the sixth generation of the family who built the house in the 17th century.   The garden joined the ranks of Jardins Remarqables in 2011 and is maintained by Mme. Rater herself with the help of two gardeners twice a month.   The property has two unique features, the first is an underground water system (réseau souterrain de mines d’eau and the tèse (curiously the website mentions both these but offers no photos or description and Google has failed me on both!)
It was only thanks to GPS that we arrived at the house on time for our visit since the Aix-en-Provence Tourist Office map shows the house to the south of the Aix-en-Provence to Pertuis road whereas the house is to the north (it will be interesting to see if the tourist offices corrects their map following my email).

A short tree-lined drive leads to the house with a large almost circular stone 18th century wheat threshing floor surrounded by majestic trees amongst which a cedar of Lebanon.   The house is more imposing on the entrance elevation and simpler on the facade overlooking the garden where a broad gravelled terrace with a line of magnificent Anduze pots are planted with XXXXXXXXXX.  

Beyond the terrace is a meticulously trimmed box parterre with white Iceberg roses planted around (the box lines are so close that there are no beds in between the lines of box).  This was created in 1864 and replanted in the 1960s.   

A central walk leads to a small formal circular pond and continues through the box to a long narrow shady path through the tèse where small birds were netted in the 18th century.

Turn left at the bottom of the walk and head back to the house parallel to the tèse up a broad grassy area with a widely scalloped planting on the right with olive trees planted at the points of the curves.   An extensive collection of cistas are planted in between the olive.

At the end and just past the tiny chapel is a rose bed with a new vegetable garden planted in the style of a potagier which is Mme. Rater’s pride and joy!

Photo's Cees Bos

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