Louisa Jones, a Canadian, who has lived and gardened in Provence for over twenty years has become known as the English-speaking voice on Provence gardens. A prolific writer on French gardens, click on Louisa Jones' Books.
One of her favorite gardens in Provence is Abbaye St.-Andre. Pictured here is its wonderful pergola with banksia roses and wisteria. The garden was created in the 1920's, on the steep hillside of a Benedictine abbey, on a hilltop opposite the city of Avignon. Other wonderful elements of this garden are an olive orchard, a prizewinning formal rose garden, idyllic romantic statues, and incredible views of the Rhone Valley. The best way to find this garden is to contact the Villaneuve-les-Avignons, Tourist Office, (tel) (0)4-90-25-61-33.
For those of you who can't get enough of Louisa Jones' garden books, and would like to experience wonderful Provencal gardens first hand, Louisa offers "Garden Week in Provence". Every year, the third week of April, she takes up to 16 very lucky people on her special garden tour. Louisa partners with the famous Mirande Hotel in Avignon, and escorts you through six full days of private family style gardens, well-known designer gardens, and classic Provence gardens, many of which are not open to the public. Besides the escorted garden tours, the tour includes a cooking class, visits to the local markets, and a general emphasis on food and lifestyle enjoyment. Each year Louisa Jones plans a new itinerary, with new gardens. Her "Garden Week in Provence" is very popular and limited in size. Please visit www.louisajones.fr for more information on her, and her garden tour week.
Pictured above is Domaine Dalmeran, a beautiful chateau and winery, complete with 18th century picturesque landscaping and Roman aqueduct ruins. This storybook chateau was featured on one of Louisa Jones' tours a few years back. In our travels last year, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit Domaine Dalmeran, tour, and taste their wine. New English owners were renovating the chateau, winery, and building a cooking school. Domaine Dalmeran, avenue Notre-Dame-du-Chateau, St. Etienne-du-Gres, (tel) (0)4 90-49-04-04.