In broad terms that part of our garden is a rough square enclosed between buildings or stone walls facing happily due south. In the centre is a timber obelisk I knocked up from trellis. There are four parterres with 1 metre gravel paths between and around the edges. The gravel is laid on geotextile to stop most weeds but some get through! The box hedges in the middle are described on a circle centred on the obelisk. In theory you can tell the time from the shadow cast by the obelisk (utter pretension!). In the centre of each parterre is a metal frame with a climbing rose. The rest of the planting was originally designed on pure symetry (I am an architect after all!) but nature took over. Villandry it is not! I ALWAYS have a problem with late summer colour and usually the best months are May and June. There is a mix of perennials, bulbs (mainly black tulips and daffs) but I have to do some replanting this winter. Weeds "pousse" all year here! Vita Sackville-West always said that you have to change about 25% of any plants every year which is a terrifying thought. I am about to buy some more roses "en tige" from David Austin. Their flowering heads will get the sun but their stems will be mainly in the shade of a two metre plus stone wall. It's not v clear but go to 48deg25'55.62"N 3deg40'39.06"W on Google Earth for the gist. Elev 244m. We've done a few changes and built a gazebo since that shot. The Maire took his inspiration for the new and in shot rond point from my garden. Soil quite loamy although the area generally is clay/boulder clay/rocks etc! I have, allegedly, the best soil in the village. Incidentally I looked at Jardin Express later this morning but they don't seem to do box any more. There are some cheap hedging sites in the UK, and off course some nurseries supply overseas. Some of our French neighbours buy their roses in the UK but they are not always successful. Incidentally this year fruit and tomatoes here have been utter rubbish. The snails have been very happy on the other hand! My young daughter has been wreaking havoc on my seedlings of lupins, poppies etc taken from last year's seeds. A garden can be a delight but is a committment! Mine has certainly cost me more that I paid for the unrestored house and land! Happy designing/digging! The man who actually laid out my garden who was a friend too died three weeks ago and the place brings many memories of him and my late wife when we all worked on the garden starting about 10 years ago.
Thanks Brian, I don’t know if I dare look at their catalogue …
For hedging, perhaps you could try Abre & Paysage. We re-hedged the whole of our garden through them about three years ago. They specialise in hedging that is natural to the area and give you lots of advise, and better still, if you use their plants they maintain them for 3 years replacing any that have died. When we did our garden (275 plants), the cost was 1,110 Euros, but we received a reimbursement of 400 Euros from the Federation Departementale des Chasseurs.
I only have the contact number for the department of the Gers, but if you get in touch with them they should be able to give you details of a branch near you. Tel: 0562601269, email: email@example.com.
Hope this is useful.
That’s also a great site, though I wasn’t sure if they were delivering plants or seeds. Incidentally, David, what did you put in the middle of the parterre? I was thinking of a mini one, but the grass will be fiddly to look after so does gravel look good? Cheers
I used to run a garden shop in the Dodogne when I first came here but being a bit naieve I fell foul of the system & got hammered by rsi & tva, it was an expensive mistake.
I,ve been thinking of starting again now armed with a bit more knowledge
I was able to supply a very wide range of plants but didn,t have the money to set up a large English style centre like the one I used to run in Leicester.
I wonder if sufficient people would be interested to be able to give it another go if the prices & range were more interesting?
Thanks Alison, they have some beautiful trees… Fantastic!
Thanks Helen, an excellent site, and lots of unusual varieties too. Cheers
The main Jardiland store is outside Bergerac, it belongs to the Desmartis family who have a brilliant pépinière not so far away. Much of the land around about Bergerac airport is their tree nurseries. Their site is: http://www.pepinieres-desmartis.com/ which is actually for professionals but worth a try. I have bought all of my soft fruit, etc from them and they are really good quality. I asked at the pépinière not so long ago and they did not seem to deliver to private people but why not have a look at their catalogue then have a try anyway.
It's a few years ago now but I bought 280 box (buxus, buis) hedge plants from Jardin Express France on line at about 3.50 euros each. They were admittedly small but 8 years later I have an excellent parterre a la Sissinghurst. Didn't lose one plant despite our exposure and relative altitude (for Brittany). A couple went dodgy but are growing back. Some suggest spraying annually but I have not. To replace each plant to the same size now would be at least 40 euros each so an "instant" garden would be a tad expensive! On line was much cheaper! www.jardinexpress.fr
http://www.jardiland.com/recrutement/metiers_magasin-implantations.html These are a large garden Centre chain, like Wyevale etc.. I looked and there is one in Dept 87 but as someone else said, Pepinieres (or nurseries) are great for trees and hedging. We bought a large quantity of trees from our local guy and each tree averaged about 10 euro and they were approx 2m
Thanks Mike, much appreciated. That is an ace site, and the £2 delivery to France is good. cheers
Try these I found them very helpful for seeds
Thanks Brian. My initial searches have proved fruitless LOL. It’s looking like ordering a couple of pallets from Germany or Holland. Even eBay.fr is not so great. Hopefully someone will know something.
Kwashie, look for a pépinière - that is where they sell trees, shrubs and so on. I would be surprised if there is not one close by. Garden centres are all 'tiny' compared to some of the ones there are in the UK. If not in your yellow pages, then do a search within your two post codes. You'll get them. Once you find a place, it'll be like falling off a log (if you will excuse the pun).
I am interested in finding the same. I have purchased some seeds on Ebay.fr. I would like to purchase some Pecan trees which I think will do well in the south of France. I understand there is someone that has been successful with pecans in this area but have not been able to locate a source.