Tag Archives: brittany

Castle of Trevarez in France: The Vegetable Garden & Greenhouses

The castle of Trevarez near Chateauneuf du Faou in northern Brittany, France, is one of the last great castles built in France. Construction began in 1892 for a French politician and brought together all the faste and excess of the Belle Epoque, frescoes, carvings, marble, mosaics, ornate panels and fireplaces.

It is often referred to as the pink or red castle, because of the pink color it gets from the bricks used.  It was unfortunately bombed in the 1940s, and has not been occupied since, but it is being renovated by the government who purchased it in the 70s.

The gardens were neglected as well for many years and have been slowly brought back to their original glory, one area at a time. The grounds are extensive, with stables, a large wash house, theme gardens, formal gardens and much more.

In this post, I am featuring the potager, or kitchen garden and the greenhouses. They have been under renovation since 2013 after being abandoned for many years. Historians, landscape designers, gardeners and staff cleared out the brush while cataloguing  the plants found and located the original concrete edging to the borders and the central water pond. They were able to begin to recreate the four large quadrants that made up the walled kitchen garden. A large greenhouse closes in the potager at one end, and on the other side of one wall are the rest of the greenhouses.

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DSC01652DSC01647 DSC01648DSC01642 DSC01643 DSC01640 DSC01641The other  greenhouses for the potager are still standing but also in need of renovation.

DSC01639 DSC01613 DSC01614 DSC01617The gardener’s cottage and annex has a lean in hothouse that was used at the time for exotic plants and hothouse flowers.

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Brest Botanical Gardens Part II: The Preservation Gardens

In northern Brittany, the Botanical Gardens in Brest enjoy a privileged location in a small valley with a stream throughout, and creating a microclimate allowing endangered species to grow with additional protection. Long and narrow, these gardens are divided into the park area at one end, end the botanical gardens proper at the other.

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In this second post, I am featuring the botanical gardens, which are largely dedicated to the preservation of endangered species of plants. The water features here are more extensive than in the park area, with large ponds and ducks in addition to the stream running the length of the park. Here again, the areas around the stream are reminiscent of Japanese rock gardens, and landscaped with a profusion of bridges, ferns or bamboo groves. Note the beautiful planting of Tasmanian tree ferns along the banks, as well as some particularly large gunneras.

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Brest Botanical Gardens Part 1: The Park

In northern Brittany, the Botanical Gardens in Brest enjoy a privileged location in a small valley with a stream throughout, and creating a microclimate allowing endangered species to grow with additional protection. Long and narrow, these gardens are divided into the park area at one end, end thebotanical gardens proper at the other.

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In this post, I am featuring the park. Common to both areas is the stream and therefore an abundance of water features. The park has the feel of a woodland garden, with more greenery, bamboos, mature trees, gunnera and the likes, than landscaped borders and flowers. The choice of plants as well as the use of rocky elements and bridges give it very much the feel of a Japanese garden, in certain areas of the park in particular.

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A Small Rose Garden in Brittany Adds Curb Appeal

This house in a small coastal town in Brittany, France would be just one of many like it if it weren’t for the lush display of blooms from the small rose garden in the front yard. Shrub roses, climbing roses, old fashioned roses, bloom from spring to fall. Geraniums, cannas, dahlias and hydrangeas are mixed in for foliage and texture as well as extra blooms.

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More Planter & Container Ideas From Brittany Villages

This is my second post featuring some of the fantastic container arrangements, planters and hanging baskets that villages in Brittany put together from spring until late fall.

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Castle of Trevarez in France: The Art of Jacques Henri Lartigue in the Gardens

The castle of Trevarez near Chateauneuf du Faou in northern Brittany, France, is one of the last great castles built in France. Construction began in 1892 for a French politician and brought together all the faste and excess of the Belle Epoque, frescoes, carvings, marble, mosaics, ornate panels and fireplaces.

It is often referred to as the pink or red castle, because of the pink color it gets from the bricks used.  It was unfortunately bombed in the 1940s, and has not been occupied since, but it is being renovated by the government who purchased it in the 70s.

The gardens were neglected as well for many years and have been slowly brought back to their original glory, one area at a time. The grounds are extensive, with stables, a large wash house, theme gardens, formal gardens and much more.

In this post, I am featuring the ART IN THEGARDENS, here the photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue, renowned French photographer and chronicler of the lives of the wealthy in the heyday of Trevarez, in the teens and twenties until the war.

Trevarez seamlessly integrates large scale photos in black and white to the gardens in a series of garden “rooms” enclosed by hedges, with a series of paths create a perfect rhythm for viewing the art against the formal and almost stark background of that part of the gardens.  Of course, in the spring, the formal gardens would be softened by the many azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom. I have included a few photos of the shrub borders for reference.

The exhibit starts by the theme gardens and ends past the hothouses and the stunning hydrangeas alley blooming into September.

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Flowered Garden at the Old Stone Church in Crozon, France

This church is at the center of the village square in Crozon, Brittany. It has a small front garden planted with a lush mix of annuals and perennials, including banana trees, brugmansias, lion’s ear,  papyrus, erigeron for ground cover, and black eyed susans.

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The back of the church is flowered with hydrangeas and mixed arrangements of blooming plants.

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A formal French Garden on a Locronan Roundabout

Next in my series of posts on French landscaped roundabouts, is this very elegantly landscaped one in Locronan, Brittany. Round shaped boxwoods, bonsai shaped trees, topiaries and assorted evergreens give it year round beauty, while hydrangeas which have a long blooming season in Brittany) add some color.

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General view
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General view

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Container Gardening Ideas From Brittany Villages

As small towns and villages throughout Brittany and the rest of France try to outdo one another with their floral displays, they put out some stunning and lush container plantings, full of great ideas for inspiration!

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An Unusual French Roundabout with a Pacific Island Theme

Next in my series of posts on French landscaped roundabouts, is this very unusual island themed roundabout in Brittany. I never cease to be impressed not only by the amount of work involved, but the sheer ingenuity that goes into the design and landscaping of roundabouts in France.

Each section of this roundabout garden makes an individual vignette to be seen depending on the road entering the intersection: underwater scene with fish and coral, beach loungers, tikki roofs and hammock, or boats. And all of it lushly landscaped in a wide array of mixed perennials that thrive in the climate of the region.

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