Planted on a steep hill dropping sharply from the house to the street, this garden packs in a whole lot of greenery in a truly tiny space! The shrubs planted are low maintenance and also hold the soil in place on this slope. They include buddleia davidii, hebe, ceanothus, barberry, juniper and many more. Many are also blooming shrubs that provide color an interest spring through fall, in addition to all the varied foliage colors and shapes making this a charming setting for the house year round.
I am endlessly surprised and often delighted at the thought and effort French towns put into landscaping their roundabout. I will be writing other posts on more of those roundabouts, some with tropical plantings, other with cottage garden good looks. This is one is inspired by Japanese gardens.
Listed among France’s “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (most beautiful villages), Le Faou in Brittany puts out a display of stunning plantings and borders of shrub roses, cannas, silk trees, and many other shrubs and perennials. The mixed borders have the feel of a tropical garden.
Much like the Normandy region, Brittany, France is known for its apples. Countless varieties are grown in every garden of Brittany. This garden divided a small orchard from a vegetable garden area with a rustic wood arbor covered in vines. There is also a row of espaliered fruit trees hedging the side of the property.
Tis September and the season for pumpkins and assorted squashes that absolutely thrive in Brittany, France, and few vegetable gardens fail to have a patch of pumpkins spilling over. This one also has some rows of trellised tomatoes approaching the end of the growing season. Flowering shrubs hedges and a “flowered” wall covered in blooming groundcovers enclose the garden.
The elderly couple who owns the house tends this kitchen garden or “potager” as the French call it almost year round. Come September, a cover crop is coming out to replace the potatoes in the center patch, and fall vegetables such as leeks, pumpkin and artichokes still fill the garden. The marigolds at the end of the rows repel certain garden pests from the vegetables.
On the other side of the house, a row of kiwi vines, some over 30 years old, are trellised along the wall, and a garden bench offers a peaceful place to rest for a moment.
My first post on the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes was about the hothouses and scientific garden, the second one was on the art and statuary, this one focuses on the theme gardens and plantings.
Meandering through the park, from the scientific garden, I first came across the shade garden, ferns and hostas surrounded by an amazing variety of evergreen shrubs and trees.
The theme garden “the Mountain” is inspired by 19th century gardens such as Kew garden in England, and was installed in 1847 by the then director of the Jardin des Plantes. A labyrinth of plantings guides a circular ascension to the top and a lookout point to the Loire river.
Water features dot the park.
Thousand of annuals, perennials and shrubs create lush borders year round. Photos below show just a small sampling and include gunnera, pennisetum, gingko, silk tree, hydrangea borders and mixed borders throughout the park.