A Courtyard Garden for a Woodland Cottage

On the outskirts of a small fishing village in Brittany, France, bordered by some woods, the original stone cottage was expanded over the years into a U-shape construction around a pleasant courtyard garden in the front, edged with rough stone walls.

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An Old Fashioned Flower and Vegetable Country Garden

This garden is very reminiscent of what the French used to call a “jardin ouvrier”. Literally meaning “workingman’s or bluecollar garden”, it refers to gardens that while having very much the look of cottage gardens served the very functional purpose of having to feed a family. Typically there will be a kitchen garden in the back or side of the house, with a flowered area in the front. I have featured other such gardens in my posts as they are often found in Brittany villages and around France.

The side of the house is dedicated to a vegetable patch towards the back with rows of tomatos, salads, cabbage, pumpkins, squashes, gourds and potatoes. Flowers are mixed in to help pollination. Towards the front are fruit trees and small vegetables.

The front of the house is planted with a riot of color from assorted annuals, perennials and dahlias, while potted floweres and container arrangements surround the front door and line the path.

Extra gourds and pumpkins go into a wheelbarrow by the gate.

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Barcelona’s Horta Labyrinth Gardens: The Maze and Pavilions

Located in the Horta district in northern Barcelona, the Labyrinth Garden was created in the late 18th century by the owner of the estate, marquis Joan Antoni Desvalls i d’Ardena, who commisioned Italian garden architect  Domenico Bagutti. This is when the maze was created and part of the gardens in the neo-classical style.

In the mid 19th century, the gardens were then expanded by the marquis descendants to expand the garden in the romantic style with a waterfall, large trees, gazebo, statues, and flower beds.

This garden is the oldest of its kind in Barcelona. The family turned it over to the city in 1967, and it opened as a public park in 1971.

To read more about this garden, click here, here, or here for Wikipedia.

The park can be roughly divided into three main areas: the first includes the country house and adjacent gardens, the second would be the 18th century maze and pavilion, the third includes  the romantic garden and waterfall.

In this post, I will feature the centerpiece of the park, the original 18th century maze.  Three terraces lead up to a large pavilion dedicated to the nine muses. The intermediate terrace is flanked by two small open pavilions, inspired by Roman temples.

The Roman temple
The Roman temple

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Fountain on the second terrace
Fountain on the second terrace

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Large pavilion on top terrace
Large pavilion on top terrace

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Grotto on maze lower level
Grotto on maze lower level
Grotto detail
Grotto detail
Small bridge over the stream intersects the stairs leading up to the upper terrrace
Small bridge over the stream intersects the stairs leading up to the upper terrrace

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To the side of the maze, incorporated into the gardens,  is a miniature maze:

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Barcelona’s Horta Labyrinth Gardens: The Walled Garden

Located in the Horta district in northern Barcelona, the Labyrinth Garden was created in the late 18th century by the owner of the estate, marquis Joan Antoni Desvalls i d’Ardena, who commisioned Italian garden architect  Domenico Bagutti. This is when the maze was created and part of the gardens in the neo-classical style.

In the mid 19th century, the gardens were then expanded by the marquis descendants to expand the garden in the romantic style with a waterfall, large trees, gazebo, statues, and flower beds.

This garden is the oldest of its kind in Barcelona. The family turned it over to the city in 1967, and it opened as a public park in 1971.

To read more about this garden, click here, here, or here for Wikipedia.

The park can be roughly divided into three main areas: the first includes the country house and adjacent gardens, the second would be the 18th century maze and pavilion, the third includes  the romantic garden and waterfall.

In this post, I will focus on the first area of the park. The house was originally built as a country house in the 14th century, but was substantially redone in the 19th century with a moorish inspiration. The walled gardens are done in a formal style.

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From the front of the house:

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Just outside the walls,  a round terrace is the starting point for alleys leading to other parts of the park, an arbor, a statue, or ornate stairs to a terraced garden area.

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The walls themselves are quite ornately decorated and lined with plantings.

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