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  • Nicola

Jardin de Lavande sampler: block nine

Over the past few weeks I've been introducing you to my new Jardin de Lavande blocks - prior to their release in July - and taking you on a leisurely virtual tour of France's most beautiful gardens. This week I'm introducing the last sampler block before we move on to the lavender borders...



We have reached the penultimate stop on our garden tour of France and this week we return to the Loire valley to visit a garden that has taken ornamental kitchen gardening to new heights and inspired us all to plant our winter window boxes with frilly, purple cabbages: Villandry.

Like many renaissance chateaus, Villandry's formal gardens were swept away in the C18th. Two centuries later the chateau was rescued by Spanish doctor Joachim Carvallo and his American wife Ann, who restored the buildings and painstakingly reinstated the terraced gardens.

The Carvallos created a music-themed ornamental garden - a symphony of lavender and box - a water garden, a maze and herb garden, but it is their re-imagining of the potager décoratif - or ornamental kitchen garden - with its complex geometry which steals the show and could inspire a quilt all on its own, as Carvallo's plan, below, will attest.

Join me next week when we reach our destination: the lavender fields of Provence...

Nicola xx


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