French Decor & GardensInspireJulie Whitmarsh

The Remarkable Garden at Abbaye de Valsaintes is a Must Visit

I have always loved gardens, although I have to admit to not being a great gardener myself. A summer garden with deep herbaceous borders, filled with the scent and colour of roses is always a delight and we have some delightful ones around us in the UK, such as this one at Coombe Trenchard just outside Okehampton.

…Continue reading here for details on Julie’s visit to Abbaye de Valsaintes and its garden which certainly deserves the Jardin Remarquable label.  Situated at an altitude of 600 metres, deep in the Vaucluse between Simiane La Rotonde and Oppedette, the abbey is in the Alpes de Haute Provence. The original abbey dates back to 1180, with additions and restoration work since that time. The site has long attracted humans as evidenced by artefacts from Paleolithic, Gallo-Roman and Celtic times.

Visit the Abbey and Gardens

There are over 550 varieties of roses and some 350 other plants that can grow in the Provencal climate, including lavender of course.

Abbaye de Valsaintes (website)
04150 Simane la Rotonde
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 75 94 19
May 1- September 30th the abbey and gardens are open daily 10:30h to 19h

You can also stay on-site in the gites, which will accommodate up to 16 people. Rates include breakfast.

Other Remarkable Gardens:

Bouc Bel Air – les Jardins d’Albertas – This garden, owned by the Albertas family, is located just a few minutes outside of Aix-en-Provence

Bonnieux – 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, 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.

Cap Ferrat – Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild – Madame Ephrussi commissioned the construction of an extravagant, Italian Renaissance-style villa bearing both of her names. The project which included magnificent gardens took seven years (1905 to 1912) to complete.

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 Jardin de La Serre Madone, with plants from exotic lands, or the Jardins du Palais Carnolès, containing the largest citrus collection in Europe.

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Julie Whitmarsh

Julie Whitmarsh

Julie and her husband Andy started visiting the Vaucluse area 25 years ago & over the years have increased the amount of time they spend there with their growing family. She has a deep affection for the area, finding it is a great place to visit, where the whole family can relax and enjoy time together.

She longs for the day when she can ‘up-sticks’ from her home on Dartmoor & relocate to the Luberon and spend her days cycling, walking, visiting markets & brocante fairs and of course enjoying the local food and drink.

Her blog VaucluseDreamer gives her a space to highlight some of her favourite things about the area from places to visit to particular activities that she and her family all enjoy.

She hopes one day it will be a place where she can share the process of renovating a house in France, but at the moment that will have to wait.

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