Posts tagged Louisa Jones
Lady Who?

Inspired by my trip to Provence, France in the fall of 2014, I finally finished a part of my garden which had been vacant for five years. I had been waiting for the design to come to me in my head. Mind you, I had played with the design on paper too. I had to consider several things, 1) it had to work seamlessly with my existing boxwood garden, 2) it had to be drought-tolerant, 3) it had to have pathways and access, 4) it had to have year-round interest, 5) it had to draw you into the garden as our west deck and home overlooks it--and it is part of our ocean view and horizon, and last 5) it had to call to my soul. That is a tall order!

My mind was fresh from visiting some of the best "earthy and elegant" world-class gardens Provence has to offer. It was a chance page-turning moment however, in Louisa Jones' Gardens in Provence where I saw a small 2-3/4" x 2" color photo of a garden similar to what I had envisioned in my head. I had my design, and could move forward.

The design is simple. It consists of four African boxwood parterres created by pathways. Within each parterre is a "Tiny Tower" Cypress, Goodwin Creek Lavender, and Irene rosemary. Goodwin Creek Lavender is an excellent landscape lavender as it blooms nearly year-round and has great gray foliage against purple blooming spikes. Irene rosemary also blooms profusely, with a low-mounding shape. The inside parterre hedging is flowering dwarf myrtle.

Soon after that, luck was on my side when I found this beautiful "Venus de Milo-esque" fountain at my favorite consignment shop. She was a "lady" with a presence, and the centerpiece for my new garden. She stands on a pedestal and a large basin. A small quiet stream of water arches out of a dolphins mouth at her base. She provides a cooling effect for the garden and a soft gurgle noise to tweak your senses.

Here she is on the first day in our garden when everything was still a vision. As the garden continues to grow, I think this fountain needs a name, Lady Who? Obvious ladies to name her after are Lady Di, Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum--you get the picture. Please comment and share, if you think you have a great name for her.

Provence: Gardens & Louisa Jones

Abbaye St.-Andre Gardens, Near Avignon 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.

Domaine Dalmeran, St. Etienne-du-Gres

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 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.