Jardin de Lavande sampler: block five
Over the next few weeks I'll be 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 we are in the depths of the Normandy countryside where, half way between Bayeaux and Caen, we find the exquisite Chateau de Brecy.
The 17th-century château is hidden away behind a high wall with a beautiful sky blue gate. The gardens were laid out as an homage to the goddess Flora, reputedly by the architect Mansart (he of the attic roof) and rise in four terraces, each slightly wider than the last to play with your sense of perspective in a slightly more modest way than Versailles. Its sleepy location meant it remained undisturbed, falling into gentle decline after the French Revolution and somehow avoiding destruction during the second world war. It was awoken from its slumber in the 1950s by novelist Jacques de Lacretelle and his wife Yolande, who revived the gardens and planted the delicate parterre de broderie on the house terrace. So beautifully maintained it looks as if it's trimmed with embroidery scissors. He described the garden as the “finery of an Italian princess thrown over the shoulders of a little Normandy peasant girl”.
photo from the Belle, Belle, Belle Normandie blog
The sky blue paintwork seen on the gate is repeated on the benches and planters throughout the garden and inspired my choice of a blue door and shutters on next week's block, the Maison de Jardiniere...