Tag Archives: brittany

Abbaye of Daoulas in Brittany: Art in the Gardens

The romanesque style Abbaye of Daoulas in the Brittany region of France dates back to the 12th century. This site is of interest not only for the monastery itself but for a remarkable cloister unique in Brittany, large grounds with a pond, old washouse and integrating outdoor art exhibits, but also for its medicinal garden which has one of the largest collection of plants in Europe. I am writing about these in separate posts.

In this post, I am featuring the grounds and art exhibit.  The grounds of the abbaye form an unexpected background for large scale photos of  the Omi people by photographer Hans Sylvester. Showing people who are so strikingly different from us at first glance, he also captures a human commonality in everyday gestures and occupations.

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Unusual Post Office Perennial Borders in France

Not only is the architecture of this post office building in France a bit unusual and somewhat reminiscent of a ship with the round windows, but it has some stunning mixed borders in its front “garden”.

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Ploher’s Old Gothic Church Garden

In this small Brittany village, the gothic era church with its lacy steeple typical of this region of Brittany is decorated with colorful mixed borders, decorative grasses, hydrangea hedges, and seasonal containers boxes.

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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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