I have just returned from a visit to the Jardin Plume in Normandy – where I was not feeling particularly hot but was feeling very excited by the hot colours in their Summer Garden.
Much of the garden is given to ethereal looking grasses (see last week’s post) with muted colours that blend seamlessly with the agricultural landscape beyond.
There is much to admire in the late summer garden here as one idea gives way to another. However, the area directly in front of the house is a bit like stepping into Carnival time in Rio after wandering through the old town in Copenhagen.
Here it is in Spring (by the way, just look at the lovely camassia in the blooming orchard). As you can see there is a strict formality to the compartments walled off by box hedging. This geometry reflects the design beyond and, like the design beyond, there is a tension between the formal frame and the informal planting. It looks very tame in the image above but here it is later in the year:
As the autumn mists start to move in the summer garden is at its ripest.
Actually, none of the images above really captures the sheer energy and joyful abandon of this planting. But this excess only works for me because it is contained in a pleasing structure. Next week I will show you a garden which does colour like a master – but with not much form. I wonder which you will prefer?
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