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Provence / Côte d’Azur – Activities in 2012

Visit to the town’s gardens in Hyères
With the help of the Mayor of Hyères, we had a conducted tour in the morning of 20 April of the classic and historical garden of Castel Sainte-Claire, which was created by Edith Wharton. After lunch, we were welcomed to Hyères’ glasshouses, where they grow the plants for the town’s parks and gardens, and we learned about their approach to waterwise gardening.

Wild flower walk in Sillans La Cascade and Moustier Sainte-Marie
On 3 May we enjoyed a wild flower walk with pépiniériste Benoît Beauvallet (of l’Armalette plant nursery at Sillans-la-Cascade) above Moustier Sainte-Marie, Gorges du Verdon.

Visit to Château Vignal
On 9 May we visited the lovely Château Vignal owned by Pierre and Henriette Chiesa-Gautier near Contes behind Nice.

Domaine de Gavaisson, Lorgues
There was a visit on 24 May to the historic wine-making Domaine de Gavaisson, followed by a ‘bring to share’ lunch in the lovely new gardens of Nicola d’Annunzio and Alan and Gill Robinson in Lorgues.

Garden visits and talk on Designing with Nature
We had coffee and brownies on 6 June at the Château de Beauregard, Mons, and an introduction to the unique, more than 400-year-old topiary garden at the Château. After a picnic lunch at the new garden of Jenny and George McNaught near Fayence/Mons, Jenny gave a talk about her approach to designing their garden entitled ‘Designing with Nature’.

Garden visits – Grasse
We visited the garden of La Jasminade, Bar sur Loup, followed by lunch at an auberge. The afternoon was spent at Domaine Saint Jacques du Couloubrier near Grasse.