I recently took some time out of the studio and made a trip to France to visit a few gardens that have been on my ‘to visit’ list for quite a while.
First was Le Jardin Plume in Normandy, a contemporary naturalistic garden created by owners Patrick and Sylvie Quibel. I first came across the garden when researching meadow gardens for my Family Garden Design in Hertfordshire and have been hoping to visit since.
At the centre of the space around the original orchard the grass has been allowed to grow and mown into a modern take on the classic French parterre gardens. Close to the house the central square was later turned into a dramatic reflective pool.
Above the orchard in front of the main house is the summer garden. Here clipped Buxus sempervirens topiary contrasts loose brightly coloured summer planting and provides an evergreen framework throughout the year.
Anemanthele lessoniana and Euphorbia characias subsp. ‘Wulfenii’ are repeated along the house giving a soft wild feel against the traditional brick on edge paving.
On the other side of the house a shady terrace is covered by a simple rusted steel pergola and mature vines. An impressive block of Buxus sempervirens leads onto the wild prairie style planting of the autumn garden.
Giant perennials tower over you in the autumn garden.
Screened by an imposing wall of Miscanthus grasses a second reflecting pool is surrounded by wide rustic deck boards.
A narrow path leads to a seemingly wild area of the garden. Planted primarilly with Chamerion angustifolium ‘Album’ (goats bay willow herb) which was going to seed, the fluffy white plumes floated in the air as you pushed your way through creating a magical feel.
It felt slightly surreal to finally visit this beautiful garden after admiring it for some time and it really lived up to my expectations. There was just one other couple there when we arrived on an extremely hot afternoon and it was lovely to have such a private view of the space. We felt very welcome by Sylvie and I hope I managed to express my appreciation for the garden to her in my rather rusty school French.