Longer days and good weather can only mean one thing: it’s time to get out into the garden. This weekend, I’ve been repotting and tidying up after the winter. It didn’t take long. After all, my small city garden will never match the scale a classic French jardin.
Plus, a symmetrical knot garden is never quite going to work in a plot that’s 10m x 6m.
I’ve gone for a more typical English layout – informal planting around a paved and gravel centre. It is designed to complement the structure provided by a blue agave, a yucca, several palms and a rather lush castor oil plant.
These architectural plants thrive on Britain’s south coast, where I live, and succeed in suggesting warmer climes.
With some lavender, I could almost be in Provence.
The geometric French garden became popular during the reign of Louis XIV. That’s thanks to the fact that in 1661, he commissioned André le Nôtre to design formal gardens at his palace in Versailles. There, formal fountains and pools are key components of the style.
“The geometric French garden became popular during the reign of Louis XIV, thanks to his palace in Versailles”
The important thing about a garden is that it should be enjoyed. A glass of Muscadet – or two – at the end of an afternoon is just reward for my labour.
With Easter less than a month away, it can’t be long before it’s not lavender I can smell in the garden but sausages on the barbecue.