Oh how I love a gate…..especially one that partially obscures, that draws the eye and suggests that something wonderful is to be discovered when you step through to the other side! The gate to Le Jardin Plume suggests all these things, its rustic simplicity in keeping with what lies beyond. It’s my kind of gate, to a world of utter enchantment.
Le Jardin Plume has also been on my wish list to visit for a long time. By choice, I’d have visited in late summer or early autumn, but then I would have seen what I expected, instead of the pure thrill of the unexpected.…my desire to see bleached grass and amaranth, sunflower and kniphofia may have been sated, but it’s spring in the northern hemisphere and so a whirl of vivid foliage interspersed with flowers in pinks from pale to cerise, through the lavenders to yellow and white, enclosed (bounded, held…) by the spectacularly clipped wave hedge was what we discovered instead….in all its cheerful heralding of the season. A veritable tapestry of colour and texture, a wild recklessness of gay abandon. I was totally hooked! We both were…
Le Jardin Plume is relatively young…..it has sprouted from farmland purchased only in 1996 by Sylvie & Patrick Quibel, who live and garden there. The garden is their creation. And it is exquisite. This soft, romantic planting that almost hugs the house is full and inviting, combining informality, light and shade within a framework of structure and boundary….
…..that becomes surprisingly, geometrically regimented as you step through a hedge to the front of the house, setting up the grid pattern for what lies beyond….
a loose, soft, hazy version as the garden falls away towards the fields beyond. The pattern is simple yet complex and very, very clever….
Who can resist a mown path? Certainly not me!
I found the scale of this garden to be peculiarly satisfying and one of the best ever at marrying landscape with architecture. You can see in this image how the quite mad hedge echoes the wavy roof and timber supports of the barn, while doing the work of separating the very decorative, pretty and colourful garden from the simply laid out squares of meadow-like planting as the garden falls away into the surrounding landscape. It’s a very lovely, interesting, compelling place to be.
Another surprise was to be discovered in the Potager….remind you of something? I hadn’t thought of putting my rio panels to use as tall tunnels on stilts! These are in the Potager that lurks behind the simple timber fence enclosure that you see in the distance from the entrance gate (top image)…and you all know how I love an enclosure!
As much as I love a plant nursery! Just look at this one! Some lucky visitors were filling baskets with plants of their hearts’ desire…..number plates on their cars suggesting they’d come from far and wide! Le Jardin Plume is set in the very beautiful Normandy countryside, so if you’re planning a visit to France, it’s well worth a detour from wherever else you may be!