Tag Archives: riverfront

Quimper Park: A Public Garden by the Riverfront

In the heart of old Quimper, near the cathedral and along other historic buildings on the waterfront, this lovely park provides a pleasant promenade by the river. It is lined with a colorful mix of banana trees, grasses, perennials and shrubs, as well as very old wisteria growing over arbors.

The lushness of the perennial borders and the choice of foliage give it an almost tropical feel, while the upcycled barrels used as planters give it a more modern edge.

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Container Gardening Ideas: Flowered Bridges of Quimper

The Odet river goes right by the cathedral and through the old town in Quimper, Brittany. The bridges are absolutely covered in the lushest, most elaborate flower box arrangements throughout all  the historic neighborhoods.

 

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France: A Japanese Zen Garden on an Island in Nantes

The island of Versailles on the Erdre river in Nantes was man made in 1831 and originally used by naval builders. It was transformed in 1983 into a Japanese garden with three Japanese inspired buildings, one a café and the others used for exhibits about the river and its environment.

The garden features meandering paths, benches, a waterfall, bamboo groves, water features, and numerous shade tolerant plants including hostas, as well as spireas and a variety of evergreens.

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Brittany Canals, Cottage Gardens at the Locks – Part 2

This post features more of the lovely cottage gardens dotting the canal at the locks in Brittany near Nantes.

The first garden has a lush display of roses, palms, dahlias and perennials, as a large trumpet vine (Bignonia) covers the pergola (in the last photo)

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Next is an old fashioned garden mixing edibles such as the pumpkin patch with a cutting garden, and embellished with some perennials as well. Young apple trees are tutored and espaliered.

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Brittany Canals, Cottage Gardens at the Locks – Part 1

While visitors may on occasion complain about the weather, the gardens of Brittany benefit from abundant rainfall and moderately high temperatures in the summer. The Brittany countryside is lush and green year round, and so are the gardens. I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days on a boat navigating the Canal of Nantes in Southern Brittany.

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The canal is dotted with locks every couple of kilometers, and each lock has a lockmaster house, many of which display lush front gardens in a casual cottage style.

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The next one mixes banana trees (musa basjoo probably) with perennial borders in shades of yellow and orange on one side (black eyed susans, marigolds), pinks and blues on the other.

The green circle on the sign indicates there is someone to assist you through the lock; a blue one would mean you can go through but it is self service, red indicates it is closed.

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Another garden contrasts the blue shutters so typical of Brittany with lush mixed perennial borders.

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The last one features a quirky bird sculpture in a mixed border next to red nasturtiums for a touch of whimsy.

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