Open Gardens / Jardins Ouverts, the association that encourages gardeners of all nationalities to open their gardens, young and old, to the public, to raise funds for charities, has opened gardens with health protocols in place. This year, many are asking visitors to reserve a slot during the day via email, limiting numbers to around six per hour.
Responsible for the development of gardens for Open Gardens, Sue Lambert opens her garden in Valaize, Saint-Pardoux-les-Cards, Creux on June 13 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm by appointment by email at [email protected]
It is separated from her house as she and her husband Mick bought a neighboring field with the property, with the aim of growing organic vegetables for food and flowers and shrubs for beauty. Today it is a flourishing garden divided into “rooms” dedicated to different themes. There is a spring garden, a rose garden, a wildflower area, a memorial garden for their son and a vegetable patch.
“It’s a two-part garden where you can see a range of trees, shrubs, and flowers for warm, shady areas,” says Sue Lambert. “This month, irises and roses will be in bloom. I practice the no-dig method which has worked very well. I started because my soil is very stony and digging my first bed almost killed me and my first harvest was not great. To start, I lay cardboard on the grass, sprinkle water on it, then layer whatever I can, including compost, leaves, and manure.
“Snow and rain bring it all down and the grass rots in the ground and you plant right in the top layer. I am now getting a good crop of carrots, which was not possible before.
She hopes that some of her neighbors will join her: “A man from the village has a traditional French vegetable garden and a sculptor is ready to open his little garden and his incredible workshop. Another woman new to my area has no garden to show yet, but is happy to sell some refreshments.
“I’m very keen to get across the idea that even if you don’t have a garden, there are many ways to help raise funds for Open Gardens which is also a wonderful way to bring a local community together. We would like to extend the season so we are looking for owners who have good spring and fall flower shows and I am sure there are many gardens in the city that people would love to visit. ”
Rosemary Raine will open her garden in Montmoreau-Saint-Cybard, Charente on June 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment by email at [email protected].
His garden is on the side of a hill with three terraces leading down to what used to be a field and is now an orchard and a newly developed vegetable patch with herbaceous borders: “It was quite a challenge to find what would grow on a slope. in poor soil. , says Ms. Raine. “We have plants that like drought at the top in the gravel, especially grasses and agapanthus, and other shrubs and plants lower down that require very little watering. In the lower field I started with a vegetable garden and I have just added four new large raised beds.
“There is a mini-orchard with six or seven fruit trees that we planted five years ago and are growing well now. Gradually, I added flower beds. One is white themed and I have a warm border with oranges and yellows which should bloom in late June. There will also be late peonies and I love the traditional roses which will also be in bloom.
Another charity that raises funds by opening its gardens in France, Jardin & Santé, which supports the creation and development of therapeutic gardens in hospitals and medical centers.
Six close gardens in Saône-et-Loire and one in the Rhône will be open from June 5 to 6 to coincide with Meeting point of the Gardens with an entrance fee of € 5 for each garden or € 20 for the six for the association.
There is a 44 km route that allows you to see all six over the weekend.
One of them, Les Jardins de Charolles, in the commune of the same name, belongs to Chris and Tamsin Anstey, with two gardens to visit. Behind their house is a small courtyard with a surprisingly wide variety of plants.
Since the couple bought the property in 2015, they’ve changed almost everything except a Catalpa that’s over a hundred years old and will be in bloom; a Pierre de Ronsard rose; a Lagerstromie and a magnificent wisteria.
“The challenge was to get the right plant in the right place because even in a small area conditions can vary greatly, and we wanted to achieve color and shape for maximum duration. There are shaded parts and others very sunny in summer and during the year the temperature range has been -12 ° to 40 ° C.
Mr. Ansty is keen to include unusual plants that he finds with the help of a local nursery. One is the rare Billbergia nutans, native to South America and cousin to pineapple which has an ‘unlikely mix of pink, pale green and navy blue’.
There are also two extraordinary climbing and semi-evergreen plants, Abutilon megapotamicum which have green leaves and beautiful red and yellow flowers in the shape of a trumpet every day of the year. In June, he says, his collection of peonies will be magnificent.
His second garden is a vegetable garden 400 m away on foot, which he shares with André Lavergnat, a retired market gardener. Mr Anstey was the manager of a fruit farm in East Kent and they combined their skills to produce vegetables and fruits that are the envy of their neighbors.
To combat extreme temperatures, they warm the soil by covering it with plastic sheeting in winter so their vegetables start early and protect hot, sunny parts in summer with shade nets. “Our goal is to provide fresh vegetables and salad all year round, and we’re almost there. It was a real pleasure to collaborate with André and I made several friends in the region to talk together about our passion for growth.
Herbal expert teaching the “essential” properties of plants and flowers
Explore the alpine village of France where winter is only coming to an end