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A Well-Loved Garden

By Melanie Dawe
Photographs by Melanie Dawe

For the full article see The Mediterranean Garden No 51, January 2008.

The devastating Great Storm of December 28th 1999 brought down every pine tree surrounding this garden near Grasse with a resounding thump. The owner recalls: “The woods all around us were torn to shreds by the storm. Enormous trees were felled in the drive leading up to the house, so they had to be moved before we could get in ourselves.” Yet the disaster proved almost to be a blessing in disguise. “We were left with a bare site to work on,” he continues.

Today the garden is once more full of trees. In the woodland garden, designed by William and James Hartley of the English Garden Centre, Valbonne, steps lead down to a pool where acers and ginkgo glow scarlet and gold in the autumn, yuccas, ancient olives and water-loving plants surround the sweep of decking area from which to admire the pool and the “mini Stonehenge”, a stone sculpture created with boulders from the mountains and put into place with a JCB.

An olive tree in front of the house.

Trees give colour to the garden in autumn.

A view of the woodland garden.

The “mini Stonehenge”.
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