Jardin de Lavande: month 4

block four montage.jpg

Welcome to month four of the Jardin de Lavande, Arrosoir.

This month we are heading south to visit a Provencal garden. Le Jardin de la Louve, created thirty years ago by textile designer Nicole de Vesian, is the tiniest garden we will visit at just 500 square metres spread over a steep hillside a few miles north of Aix-en-Provence.

In her last decade Nicole artfully sculpted this unpromising site into a work of art: hand-clipping every plant and sourcing vintage stone ornaments to enhance her creation, including a beautiful stone water trough. Photographs of the garden usually show it holding a vintage galvanised watering can. 

But there are no hedges or parterres. All of the plants are clipped into soft pillows of foliage, gently framing the ravishing views across the valley. Nicole chose a palette of plants to cope with the dry soil, mainly evergreen, including Cypress, Box, Rock Roses, Silverberry, Rosemary, Santolina, Germander and, of course, Lavender, which adds a haze of purple over its tightly clipped neighbours. The resulting garden is elegant, restrained and - although it borrows much from Japanese gardens - quintessentially French. 

The Arrosoir - or watering can - block that we are making this month shares a few elements with the Pannier block that we made in November. It also features a quarter square triangle block, which we are going to trim down using the custom washi tape in this month's parcel. 

As well as the gorgeous Maple Farm Pauline in umber and lavender Gracie prints for our block, you'll notice that there are two additional prints in this month's parcel: Wheatflower in dijon and rosehip Farm Flowers. I want you to set these aside for next month's block. And I also want you to set aside the spare quarter square triangle you'll be making, as I have plans for that one too! 

PLEASE NOTE: there is an error in the cutting instructions and you will need to cut an additional 4½" square of background fabric to make the QST in step 3 and 2 1½" x 3½" umber pieces to join to the QST sides in step 5. Apologies friends. 

This month's techniques...

Oversizing a block slightly - like this month's quarter square triangle - and then trimming it down is a really useful way of improving your accuracy



Finding the corner on my ruler with a marked diagonal line, I used washi tape to mark an additional diagonal line which made it easier to find the centre of the QST


{the photo shows the unit half way through trimming}