Tag Archives: garden art

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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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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A Fanciful Garden at the School of Applied Arts in Cordoba

The School of Applied Art in Cordoba, Spain, is perhaps best known for famed Spanish artist Angel Lopez Obrero. He was born in Cordoba, and after some time living in Barcelona he returned to his hometown and taught at the School of Applied Arts there. The school, housed in an old building in one of Cordoba’s historic neighborhoods,  also has some stunning stained glass. And of course, a lovely walled-in sculpture garden.

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Inner patio
Inner patio
Stained glass
Stained glass
Artwork on exhibit by the students
Artwork on exhibit by the students

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“Crafty” Country Garden in a Small Brittany Village

The front display at this garden gate is not for every one, but it certainly stands out. Gardening clay pots are arranged into “sculpture” of story book characters such as Little Red Riding Hood or the French Becassine. The garden itself, while fairly small, has a nice variety of fruit trees underplanted with flowers and perennials, lavender or roses, and in some areas, bordered by small hedges for traditional French style borders.

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Woodland Shade and Bamboo Garden

The far end of this property has been is planted with tall trees and has bee turned into a woodland shaded garden accented with statues and still lives, and edged in a bamboo grove transitioning to the rest of the garden. Other plantings such as Japanese maple emphasize the Asian garden feel of this garden.

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Nantes “Jardin des Plantes” Part 2: Art at the Botanical Gardens

My first post on the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes was about the hothouses and scientific garden, this one focuses on the  art installations and statues.

Art ranges from classic to modern with planted “totems” and an installation by Claude Ponti.  Also dotting the park are other features, some quirky, such as a  bird house, wavy benches, or a lookout point with a frame for photo taking.

Not only are the planting stunning, but this garden offers unexpected and delightful surprises at every turn.

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