garden tales from a Brit at home and abroad
This weekend is the annual garden festival, Jardins, Jardin aux Tuileries, which takes place in a corner of Le Nôtre’s magnificent park in the middle of Paris.
It is tiny compared to many British garden shows – I strolled round it today in about an hour – but the setting is charming under the shade of the immense horse chestnuts, and there are worse ways to spend a scorching hot Saturday afternoon.
The display gardens are generally small, designed for the terraces and balconies that are all the green space most Parisians can hope for.
Among my favourites was a prettily planted terrace by Opus Paysage. All lilac flowers and small-leaved plants, it used individual specimens tucked in together, rather than the currently fashionable large swathes of single species, but still worked well and looked lovely. There was also a jolly (if unrealistic) little roof terrace by Truffaut, packed with foxgloves and tomatoes.
The best of the more obviously “designer” gardens in my view was by Christian Fournet, laid out in a modernist grid, with some striking grass loungers and bizarre fuchsia-stemmed trees.
Less successful was English designer Jinny Blom‘s garden for Laurent Perrier. It was a simple layout of grass, salvia and sculptures apparently representing seeds bursting open. In concept (and indeed in my photograph), it may seem intriguing and structural, but in reality I thought it odd and rather dull.
One of the joys of a show like this is the stands selling stuff. Here there were pots of two-metre tall climbing roses, scented herbs, books, prints, and some lovely second-hand garden ornaments from La Brocante Anglaise.