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A Trio of Gardens in Languedoc

Articles: A Trio of Gardens in Languedoc

Stipa gigantea and wild allium in Jardin des Rossignols dry to blond in late summer, standing out against the evergreen scrubland. Photo: Catriona McLean
My London garden is designed to thrive without watering. But a year of drought followed by record rainfall had me wondering what lessons I might learn from gardens in more extreme conditions.
You might think August is not the best month to tour dry gardens in the South of France. But I happen to consider the bleached-out colour and texture of stalks and seed heads very beautiful, contrasting dramatically with the persistent deep green backdrop of scrubby buis (Buxus sempervirens), myrtle, strawberry trees, and evergreen oaks of the native landscape. Thin veils of colourful flowers flush within a sea of summer-dormant plants.

Achillea ‘Moonshine’, Salvia sclarea, Stipa tenuissima, and lilies among wild grasses and lavender in early June. Photo: Catriona McLean
I’m sitting in a Languedoc garden with its creator Catriona McLean, who exclaims, “There’s a right and a wrong way to plant in...

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