Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Lost in France - an unexpected find on a buttery yellow cliff-side.

Whilst holidaying in the lot et garonne region of France a few years back Ian and I happened upon this garden - Marqueyssac, near Castelnaud in the Dordogne - almost by accident. I was just starting out on my career as a garden designer at the time, and although I thought it was an fantastic place, I don't think I completely appreciated how well crafted and beautifully designed it is until later. Was looking through some of my reference material for some design inspiration, and thought I'd post up some of the photos we took. It feels like the gardens are clinging to a lovely buttery yellow stone cliff-side, with a river winding it's way in the valley below. You enter through a loggia, and are faced with a lovely ch√Ęteau:
But it's what's nearby that really blew me away - they call it the Bastion, and it is full of the most amazing topiary I have ever seen. Lots of billowy cloudy shapes, lollipops and spirals.
There are even rows of tall 'soldiers' which really made us feel as if we weren't alone...
A walk towards to the chapel allowed us to peer right over the cliff to the Dordogne below.
After a stop to play on the see saw on the esplanade we carried on past the Waterwalls through into the forest, where we saw the most unusual sculpture. Ever.
At the peak of the forest/cliff was a poet's hut where we huddled out of the rain in for a while.
Even the paths were imaginative!

A great, magical, mysterious garden that I can highly recommend. Made all the better for finding it by accident! The website could be a bit better, but you get the idea http://www.marqueyssac.com/index1.html


1 comment:

Martin Ritchie said...

Fabulous! Lucky you to have actually gone there. There was a feature (I think) in Gardens Illustrated recently. Another world!