Tag Archives: mixed borders

A Formal French Garden in Historic Quimper

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.

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Quimper Old Priory Medieval Gardens Part I: Medicinal & Aromatic Plants

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.

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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.

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Quimper: A Park on a Historic Square in the Old Town

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.

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Blooming Seaside Cottage Garden in Brittany, France

As in one of my previous posts, this cottage garden is also in the coastal village of Landevennec in northern Brittany, France. This garden right by the water puts out a stunning show of fall blooms in September, with a riot of color from hydrangeas, roses, and foliage from grasses and perennials mixed into lush border.

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A Courtyard Garden for a Woodland Cottage

On the outskirts of a small fishing village in Brittany, France, bordered by some woods, the original stone cottage was expanded over the years into a U-shape construction around a pleasant courtyard garden in the front, edged with rough stone walls.

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A Long and Narrow Front Garden Framing an Alley

The house in a small French village is sited towards the back of this narrow lot, away from the road, making it look like a woodland cottage nested in all that vegetation.

The plantings are mostly shrubs and perennials with a variety of foliage color and shape for year round interest,

A few trees, including a small pear tree in the front, add structure and make it look like an older, well established garden mixed border. Some of the plantings include fuchsias, pampas grasses, barberry, hydrangeas, roses, black eyed susan, and large patches of pink and white erigeron ground cover.

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Landscaped Terraced Garden in Brittany

This lovely garden is terraced on a small hill in a picturesque coastal village in norther Brittany, France, with lovely stone retaining walls and steps leading from the house up to the higher levels.  It is landscaped with many of the shrubs and perennials that are seen in many other Brittany gardens and are very well suited to the climate: hebe, hydrangeas, roses, wisteria, alyssum, viburnum …

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