The garden at ‘La Maison’

Nearly thirty years ago Clare started this garden on one hectare of agricultural land. Apart from three large oak trees at the edge of the property, there were no trees or hedges and the front of the house was a farmyard filled with stone.

The garden is particularly dry, with a free draining gravelly soil, slightly acidic. Spring lines provide some water but in summer the grass becomes brown and irrigation is not an option except for new plantings. This led to the development of the gravel garden to the front of the house, open and sunny. The house walls provide protection for many less hardy plants with a Mediterranean theme and also those from Southern Africa or New Zealand.

Converted outbuildings are set perpendicular to the house with just a narrow passage to the west effectively dividing the garden in two so that as one moves through the garden there are also distinct changes in atmosphere. The grass garden and wild areas are situated naturally to the north with shrub and perennial plantings to the west.

The garden has appeared in books and articles over the years but Clare moved from the garden in 2021 and it is now closed to the public. Following are some images of the garden from her years there:

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