Expat Living and Real EstateLiving in ProvencePhoebe Thomas

Our French Riviera Garden in Spring and Beyond

By Phoebe Thomas

A while ago I was asked by the magazine “Living France” to write about my garden in the Riviera. At the time I couldn’t publish what I wrote here on the blog as the idea was that people would buy the print magazine, but all this time later I thought I’d finally share here what I wrote then. Despite these words being written some time ago, exactly the same could be said for this year’s spring.  Take a look at what goes on in the spring in our Riviera garden.

…Continue reading here for this contributor blog post published on Lou Messuogo.

French Riviera Gardener

Phoebe and family decided that their garden would be as natural as possible, using no chemicals and mostly native plants. Lou Messuogo is their home and the name of the self-catered gîte available for rentals. The inspiration for the name comes from a wild cistus varietal – messuge –  with deep pink flowers and soft leaves.

Gardening on the Côte d’Azur should be relatively easy. The climate is mild, there is plenty of sunshine and as Phoebe points out just enough moisture. However, weeds like the favourable climate too, so constant surveillance is a must. One of the first plants to bloom (sometimes as early as January) at Lou Messugo is the bright yellow mimosa. Their Almond Tree typically blossoms in February-March, these delicate white flowers are the promise (one day) of some nuts. By design or luck, the garden has plants flowering for many months a year. Enjoy her photos.

Gardens to Visit in Provence

A must! According to the Vaucluse Dreamer, the remarkable garden at Abbaye de Valsaintes in Simane la Rotonde is a Must-Visit. This garden is open to the public daily until September 30th.

Don’t miss. The mansion and sculptured garden at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild on Cap Ferrat. If you are able to catch the garden during the annual “Plants and Roses Festival” in early May for a floral display like no other.

If you need a reason to visit charming Menton…Discover the renowned gardens, some public, others private, where the Alpes-Maritimes climate generates a variety of exotic flora, not grown in other regions of Europe. Enjoy the historic gardens, e.g. the Jardin de La Serre Madone, with plants from exotic lands, or the Jardins du Palais Carnolès, containing the largest citrus collection in Europe.

In the charming perched village of  Bonnieux, make a point of booking a visit to see La Louvre –Nicole de Vésian’s vision was a garden that would be green all year using only native Mediterranean plants. Due to its position on the hillside in the Luberon, the garden is terraced. La Louve is a bit like a Hermès scarf, at first it appears like a beautiful design then you begin to see the details.

How about a lasting memory? Virginia Johnson does custom illustrations of homes and gardens. From a photograph, she produces a watercolour image of the scene. The stunning Villa Santo Sospi located on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat was the inspiration for Johnson’s book about travelling on the French Riviera

  

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Phoebe Thomas

Phoebe Thomas

Phoebe Thomas carries two passports British and Australian. She married a Frenchman and now the couple are living in Provence with their two children. This bilingual and multi-cultural family has travelled extensively to Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia before settling in Roquefort les Pins in 2007.

Read more about Lou Messugo the Cote d'Azur holiday home rental owned and managed by Phoebe and her husband here.

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