Mediterranean Gardening France

FAQ

Members' Gardens / Jardins de membres

Chantal’s city garden in Montpellier

General Description: Our city garden was created in 2004, at first using plants from my previous garden which had been waiting in pots since 2001 – Helleborus orientalis, Viburnum bodnantense, Viburnum opulus, Hemerocallis, Thalictrum flavum, and Cotinus.

My husband’s grandfather bought this piece of land as a second house to grow vines and enjoy the countryside during the weekends. Now, however, the town of Montpellier has expanded and we are surrounded by buildings and concrete everywhere.

The garden can be divided into several zones. These are – the kitchen and fruit garden at the entrance established by the previous generation, the Matricaria tchihatchewii lawn with an olive tree and mixed hedge to hide the cars, the beds in front of the house that have not been irrigated at all since summer 2008, the east-facing mixed border which is irrigated in summer, the somewhat tropical border, also irrigated, with a small fish pond and the north-facing mixed border planted with evergreen trees, shrubs and perennials.

There are two Mediterranean beds in the middle bordered by a small bamboo grove. In this zone, some of the plants are watered once a week in summer and some not. These raised beds were created in 2006 and since then the plants have increased threefold. Our aim was first of all to hide the surrounding buildings with trees and bamboos then to cover the walls surrounding the garden with greenery. This was an opportunity to plant lots of different climbers.

Soil and climate: Le sol est calcaire devenant compact en été et retenant l’eau en hiver, donc pas de tout drainant.

Le climat est méditerranéen, avec des pluies abondantes au printemps et à l’automne. Des hivers pas trop froid (température nocturne minimum en 2010 -6˚C, en 2012 -10˚C) et des étés chauds et secs. Je dispose d’un puits et j’ai un système d’arrosage goutte à goutte pour chaque zone.

Le défi ; se sentir à l’abri de la vue, de la pollution citadine et du bruit causés par l’environnement.

Iris et Rosa ‘Cornelia’

Plants and Projects: J’aime beaucoup les plantes grimpantes et les bulbes. J’aime aussi faire des semis.

Je suis toujours en train d’essayer des plantes à la limite de la rusticité, donc, bien entendu, lors d’hivers comme 2012, je perds des choses magnifiques. L’hiver de 2010, j’ai perdu un Lagunaria patersonii de trois mètres de haut.

Mon dernier projet a été la création du potager, mais j’ai beaucoup de difficultés à produire des légumes. Comme les résultats ne sont pas probants, je vais petit à petit convertir le potager en verger.

I am still learning and enjoying experimenting with new plants. There is no doubt that gardening in our area is much more challenging than in the northern parts of Europe.

Leonotis leonorus – Queue de lion

Visits: Je peux accueillir des visiteurs dès cette année.

Je parle français couramment, l’anglais moyennement et je me débrouille en espagnol.

Contact me by email.

You can read more about Chantal’s garden in the Garden Diary section: ‘A City Garden in Montpellier’.