October 2010 – A Garden Planting Day in Saint-Siffret
This practical ‘hands on’ event was the second stage of our project, following the hugely enjoyable Garden Design Workshop led by Hilary Ivey in February 2010 at Jocelyn van Riemsdijk’s new home.
This time, thirteen enthusiastic members descended on Jocelyn’s garden armed with spades and trowels ready to implement the final design drawn up by Hilary. The area to be planted comprised a large south-facing semi-circular bank which falls away from a paved terrace to the rear of the house. The ground had already been well prepared and planting conditions, after some earlier rain, were perfect. A large Quercus ilex provides shade to much of the area.
Members organised themselves into teams (some rather competitive!), were provided with copies of the planting plan and began the task of setting out, then digging in, a superb range of over thirty different plants including varieties of artemisia, ballota, cistus, geraniums, helichrysum, lavenders, rosemary, irises, salvias, sisyrinchium and santolina – all very suitable for a water-wise garden and taking into account Jocelyn’s preference for aromatic and grey-leaved plants.
A typically generous lunch followed the hard work with almost everyone having discovered a new variety or planting combination to try in their own gardens. Above all, our host was delighted with the finished result.
Text: Duncan Munford
Photographs: Christine Savage