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!
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.
Along the old wall, next to the Quimper cathedral on one side and the Odet river on the other with its flowered bridges, is this small park. It is landscaped in the style typical of the formal French gardens, with the low growing edges of boxwood around the symmetrical curved borders, and with topiaries at the corners.
The less traditional border at one end is filled with elephant ears.
In my earlier post, I talked about the history and significance of this garden, and showcase the aromatics and medicinal plant garden. Here, I am featuring the center portion of the garden including the rose garden and pergola, and the pavilion with the fountain representing the source of the four fountains of Eden.
Work on this garden was started in 1997 to create a medieval garden in the style of a convent garden in the days of Anne of Brittany (1477-1514). The population at the time resorted to plants for most of their needs: food, medicine and clothing.
The garden has three essential components. The medicinal and herb garden, used by monks to make their own remedies from plants not readily available in the surrounding areas and therefore grown in the garden.
The edible garden: nutritious roots, fruit, fresh or dried, beans, barley, and other garden crops made up the menu of the time.
The tinctorial garden grew plants used for clothing such as hemp, linen or catharmus which was used for red coloring.
Note also that the medival garden is a representation of Paradise, with the fountain in the center representing the pure source from which the four rivers of Eden originate. Plants such as white lilies and other white flowers represent the virgin.
In this first post, I am featuring the front portion of the garden, with the medicinal and herb section.
This is one of the loveliest gardens in this style I have had the chance to visit and it was also awarded “Jardin Remarquable” (remarkable garden”. It was designed not only for function but also form, with a pavilion, arbors, pergolas, benches in cozy nooks, decorative borders for raised beds, woven Plessis, and a fountain, making it a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. It also overlooks the river Odet, making it a truly enchanting setting.
Lined by benches and surrounded by historic buildings and one of Quimper’s premier theatre venues, this formally landscaped garden in the French style provides a sheltered oasis in the old own, to sit on sunny afternoons or bring a picnic.
Mixed borders are edged with low trimmed boxwood, and more boxwood and evergreens in round shapes mix with roses, sedums and other plants.
I have written other posts on some of the beautiful and lush planters, borders or roundabouts to be found throughout France, as many small towns compete with one another for the most lavish and sometimes wildly creative floral displays. Here are some of the flowered boxes decorating the town of Daoulas in northwestern France, in particular the small bridges dotting the river.