Category Archives: Cottage gardens

A Tiny and Lush Terraced Front Garden in Brittany

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.

DSC00154 DSC00142 DSC00143 DSC00144 DSC00146 DSC00147 DSC00148 DSC00149 DSC00150 DSC00151 DSC00152

 

Landscaped Orchard Garden and arbor near the sea

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.

DSC00135 DSC00136 DSC00140 DSC00141 DSC00122 DSC00123 DSC00125 DSC00126 DSC00127 DSC00128 DSC00129 DSC00132 DSC00134

 

Brittany Garden and Pumpkin patch

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.

DSC00119 DSC00120 DSC00112 DSC00113 DSC00114 DSC00115 DSC00116 DSC00117 DSC00118

 

A Picture perfect kitchen garden in northern France

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.

DSC00105
Row of trellised kiwis
DSC00107
Kiwis (Actinidia)
DSC00104
Mixed shrubs hedges

DSC00109 DSC00108 DSC00103 DSC00102 DSC00101 DSC00100 DSC00099 DSC00098 DSC00097 DSC00111

 

Fairytale Cottage Rose Garden in France

Climbing roses and purple clematis cover the arch at the entrance to this stone cottage straight out of a fairy tale in a small fishing village of northern Brittany, France. More climbing roses cover the front of the house, although they have finished blooming for the summer, and yet more roses, old fashioned knockout roses,  cover the hedge. Hydrangeas flourish in the shade of the side wall.

DSC00093 DSC00085 DSC00086 DSC00087 DSC00088 DSC00089 DSC00091 DSC00092

The photos above were taken in August. The ones below were taken in September when the roses were reblooming in a stunning display of color!

DSC01114 DSC01113 DSC01112 DSC01111 DSC01110 DSC01109 DSC01108 DSC01107 DSC01104 DSC01103 DSC01117

 

Roscanvel, Brittany Garden with Outdoor Fireplace

This is a very traditional French country cottage garden with such features as climbing roses trellised over the hedge, hydrangea borders, mixed perennial borders, a collection of potted floral arrangements throughout the garden, and a brick outdoor fireplace.

 DSC00072 DSC00074 DSC00075 DSC00076 DSC00077 DSC00078 DSC00079 DSC00080 DSC00081 DSC00082 DSC00083 DSC00084 DSC00069 DSC00070

A Seaside Kitchen Garden with Raised Beds

I happened upon this lovely seaside garden in the village of Roscanvel. The plants and flowers in the raised beds are all carefully labeled. The beds are arranged in a grid pattern with grapevines and apple trees growing along the back wall.  When the vegetables in a raised bed have been harvested, wildflowers are planted as cover crops. The ocean view of course is beautiful!

DSC00045 DSC00050 DSC00051 DSC00022 DSC00025 DSC00030 DSC00031 DSC00033 DSC00034 DSC00038 DSC00039 DSC00040 DSC00042 DSC00043 DSC00028 DSC00026

A Narrow Orchard Garden Overlooking the Ocean

If I had visited this garden somewhere in the countryside, I would merely have thought it was a pretty garden like many others. What makes this one truly exceptional is its location on the coast of Roscanvel in Bittany. It is on a narrow stretch of land overlooking the ocean and the edge of the garden plunges straight down below to the water.

Some of the plantings include apple and pear trees, a hedge of fuschias (a variety common to this coastal region which is winter hardy there and will grow over six feet tall), blue agapanthus, and oleander. Box hedges on the ocean side open to narrow stairs leading down to the water. Just imagine puttering around the garden in such a setting!

DSC09971
Fuschia hedge
DSC09980
Stairs lead down to the water
DSC09969
Oleander
DSC09976
Agapanthus, oleander

DSC09981 DSC09982 DSC09984 DSC09986 DSC09987   DSC09973 DSC09974 DSC09978

 

Xeriscape Oceanfront Garden in Northern Brittany

This truly exceptional garden was created in the small village of Roscanvel, in Brittany, overlooking the ocean. It is terraced to accommodate a hilly lot and also affords some protection from the sea spray and wind, and of course winter storms that are commonplace in the region.

A variety of hardy and low maintenance shrubs and evergreens add visual interest with different shapes and foliage colors. A few flowering shrubs and perennials such as pink oleander or lambs ear add touches of color. The grey foliage of the lambs ear by the garden remains when they are finished blooming.

DSC00018
Lambs ear and purple ice plant
DSC00014
Amazing ocean view
DSC00012
Hebe in bloom
DSC00011
Mixed shrubs
DSC09994
Various shapes add interest

DSC00009 DSC00006 DSC00004 DSC00020 DSC00017 DSC00016 DSC00013 DSC09995 DSC09993 DSC09990 DSC09989 DSC09988 DSC09998

 

A French Wash House and Cottage Garden in Roscanvel

I came across this lovely cottage garden and old stone wash house or “lavoir” in French in Roscanvel, a small village on the coast of Brittany (I will be posting about other gardens in this area of the coast as well).

This is an example of a very simple wash house with a stone fountain going into a wash basin for women to do their laundry. Similar ones can be found all over French villages.

Note the extremely tall viperine, which in Brittany can grow well over 10 ft tall for some species. The valeriane growing on the side of a wall thrives in the poorest conditions and will not live as long in a garden border and richer soil.

DSC09960
Viperine
DSC09959
Back of fountain
DSC09958
Roses in mixed border
DSC09966
Valeriane

DSC09957 DSC09956 DSC09954 DSC09953 DSC09952 DSC09949 DSC09947 DSC09965