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Author Topic: a garden of exception, the work of a life  (Read 1969 times)

scalpasurfer

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a garden of exception, the work of a life
« on: October 27, 2007, 06:19:59 PM »


I will never forget this day in february 2004 when I visited for the 1st time « le Vastérival », certainly one of the best garden in the world. I knew better later the owner and creator, Princess Greta Sturdza.
Since, I have returned every year, until this year 2007 for a training period for my personal and non professional experience.
The garden was begun more than 50 years ago, the result is amazing. But the Princess never stopps. New parts of the forest are cleared and new plants arrive by friends, nurseries…
I advise the visit of this garden. For me the Princess is an example. I hope to have the same will when I am 92…She has developped personnal methods for planting, cultivation, combined to an artistic sense to harmonize colours, foliage. She still makes visit her creation.

Although each part of the garden has an interest each season, the best is to come from January to May. Winter is the favorite time of the Princess, the period of hellebores that she loves so much like me, this strange freshness so indescribable. Nobody can expect so many trees, shrubs and plants can give this heat in January/February when the low sun lights the barks of the prunus maackii amber beauty, acer davidii, betula jacquemontii... The collection of helleborus orientalis is incredible, most given by John Massey. I have never seen true blacks and double blacks so beautiful and strong. 
The Princess Sturdza has had and has always a large influence in France concerning gardening. 
Near Dieppe : Sainte Marguerite sur Mer (also « Le Bois des Moutiers » to visit in Varengeville and the national collection of snowdrops owned by Marc Brown)



Pascal,
 France (Between Tours and Orléans, South of the Loire)
interests : hellebores, winter bloomings, peonies

Maggi Young

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Re: a garden of exception, the work of a life
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2007, 06:54:24 PM »
You must have made a great impression on the Princess, Pascal: I understood that she does not allow photography by visitors in her garden  ::)
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

scalpasurfer

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Re: a garden of exception, the work of a life
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2007, 08:09:38 PM »
Hello Maggi

these photos were taken the 1rst time I visited. At this moment I didn't know it was forbidden. I learnt it at the end of the visit by Sybille, that makes 50% of the visit after the Princess.
During my training period, I heard that she had the bad suprise to see books, articles and postcards with pics of her garden but it was written nowhere which garden it is...
I posted a few personnal pics to give a small summary of this garden, I don't do it for my personnal interest but because I think gardeners can learn a lot by visiting this garden and meeting the Princess.  She may seem quite distant for some people, but if you show you are really motivated she will be very comprehensive and generous. Despite her age, she's a real modern woman.
Pascal,
 France (Between Tours and Orléans, South of the Loire)
interests : hellebores, winter bloomings, peonies

Maggi Young

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Re: a garden of exception, the work of a life
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2007, 08:18:00 PM »
I have read quite a bit about the Princesss and her famous garden. Also, I THINK I remember seeing a television programme about her and the garden. Not sure about that, but I THINK so!
I hope I am not confusing this with the garden of Lady Walton , La Mortadella, isn't it?
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

 


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