Les Jardins de Clogs 65

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Les Jardins de Clogs, Gaussan 65, June 2018

Last week, there were about 4 hours in total when it didn’t rain in stair-rods.  Some villages really suffered with flooding, and our local pepinière, Bernard Lacrouts, was almost washed away by a wave of runoff water from local fields.  It was wet.  Biblically wet.  Again.

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The other view from the Basque red gates, Les Jardins de Clogs 65, June 2018

But in those grey, but not wet hours, with the occasional glimpse of watery sunlight, we visited a garden near Gaussan, between Castelnau-Magnoac and Lannemezan.  Les Jardins de Clogs was created by Adrienne Child, who, like us, moved to South West France from Scotland in 2004.  She has cleverly thought about and responded to her garden site that sits to the side of her house.  The site has beautiful mature trees and she has accentuated their planting with some very choice trees and shrubs of her own choosing.  The garden weaves through the landscape, with her paths and interest points responding with great charm to the ups and downs, the twists and turns.

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Hellebore foliage holding its own with great cedar, Les Jardins de Clogs, June 2018

It is a very interesting use of the space- making the very best use of every small point of interest- Adrienne has a really good eye for what is around and she can make use of.  She describes the garden areas as ‘English-style’, which is an important signal to the French gardener who would then understand that there will be billowing planting, there will be some disorder and freedom and probably not a straight line.  But I would probably say that this garden is about how she is interested in space, in combinations and in creating an atmosphere- rather than being traditionally border-bound in the conventionally accepted English sense.

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Lollipop shaped trees create moments of formality in amongst the drapery of the Sassa and the hemerocallis, Les Jardins de Clogs, June 2018

Importantly, this is not a pampered garden.  Adrienne has chosen tough and beautiful plants and shrubs that can mostly take of themselves- and the established trees give a lot of dappled shade which will help with water conservation.  She is also not afraid to repeat a plant that really loves the space- there are swathes of Bergenia that are quite fabulous, a sea of large, textured leaves that look great washing through the garden.

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Swathes of bergenia, the basque red of the Nandina to the left, and sharp grass, Les Jardins de Clogs, June 2018
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An archway, lollipop tree, sharp gravel and the silver grey of Onopodum thistles, Les Jardins de Clogs, June 2018
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The labyrinth garden, Les Jardins de Clogs, June 2018

I have never been a fan of Heucheras.  But I am converted.  I loved the marmelade-apricot colouring with the plum in these two very pretty pots.

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Heuchera-filled pots on the terrace, Les Jardins de Clogs, June 2018
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The fresh yellow of the Euonymus gives way to the field next door, with bergenia again proving lush formality, Les Jardins de Clogs, June 2018

Adrienne also offers tea and a slice of cake so that you can relax and take in the atmosphere of the garden for a little longer.  A lovely idea.  I really miss that unbeatable combination of a Yellow Book garden with tea and cake- and she has re-created that right here in France.

She opens her garden from Wed- Saturday for a small entrance fee each week, with a break in the summer, all the details can be found on her website here.  Treat yourself to an afternoon visit.



5 thoughts on “Les Jardins de Clogs 65

  1. Hello Alison
    Thank you for this wonderfully atmospheric description of our garden and your photos are very good too!
    I think I may be one of the few people who have been pleased with all the rain we have had. The garden has really benefited .


  2. The garden looks wonderful, and seems to emphasise foliage rather than flowers. That Heuchera is magnificent, a real pop of colour. A lovely garden tour.


  3. ‘English Garden’ is a common theme in landscape design, but it is almost never accurate; not that anyone here notices. I think that it is nice if it happens to fit the architecture, but it can look silly, especially if poorly executed, on California ranch architecture, or Spanish revival architecture. (Yes, it happens in Los Angeles.)


  4. Looks delightful – so tranquil and green – must be a pleasant place to walk around in the heat and I love the way that it all looks so natural and wild, though no doubt a lot of hard work goes into making it look like that. And coffee and cake has definite appeal.


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