Mediterranean Gardening France

FAQ

March / mars 2018
Visits to /Visites du Domaine de l’Oisellerie, Var

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At the end of March, to coincide with the bulbs being in bloom, we had two delightful visits to a superb natural garden, luckily both on beautiful sunny days. Nigel and Alain, the owners, have created an oasis on their seven hectares, previously a small farm.

We ambled along terraces of old olive trees surrounded by colourful spring bulbs: hyacinth, narcissi, daffodils, anemones and emerging tulips; their fragrance filled the air in the heat of the sun.

Leucojum aestivum (Summer Snowflake)
Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Miss Saigon’ (purple)
Hyacinthus orientalis Atlantic (violet blue)
Tulipa ‘Purple Prince’ – good to naturalise
Anemone de Caen Hollandia

Descending to the wider terraces, we inspected the vegetable garden with its cane supports and an experimental bed for vegetables, created from a ditch filled with green oak and earth and covered with cardboard.

Following small water canals, we reached a ‘man-made’ pond with mallard ducks which breed there, all of it looking as if it had been there for ever, although only about ten years old. Climbing through the woods we discovered a hidden swimming pool, fed from a small cascade, nestled between six metre high rocks and leading to a rill and another pool, in an old vineyard.

The man-made pond
The rill and lower pool
Mallards

We returned to the house to picnic in the sun on the terrace, with liquid refreshments provided by our hosts. A most enjoyable day, thank you, Nigel and Alain.

Text: Janet Rowe
Photos: Janet Rowe and Ian Davis