Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Les Jardins de Sardy

Un jardin romantique en Dordogne




I've been meaning to visit the garden at Sardy for some time now. Why did I leave it so long?

Situated at the western edge of the Dordogne near Castillon-la-Bataille, in the heart of wine country, the present garden created in the 1950's was the life work of English couple Betty and Bernie Imbs.

Whilst the foundations of the domaine actually date back to the middle ages, the winery and pigeon house were constructed in the mid 1600's and finally the main house and long canal were built around 1750. However, it was the Imbs who together with an architect, Louis Aublet and garden designer, Jacques Desmartis that created a small but perfectly formed Italianate paradise with twists of English romantic charm in the heart of south west France.




Rather than bore you with an exhaustive plant list, suffice to say that prostrate Juniper, Provence Cypress and Olive gave structure to the garden. Self seeding Valerian, Erigeron and Euphorbia softened the edges. Silver and glaucous foliage provided the background for the muted tones of pink, mauves and blue, plus there was the best little wheelbarrow I've seen. So good I shot it twice.



Of the many roses growing at Sardy, I was particulary taken with Pierre de Ronsard. There's something about this rose that just suits France.



Here's another view of it growing through the railings above the old cellar entrance.



A rose I've not encountered before, 'Mermaid' really made an impression. I'd decided that I was 'off' yellow roses and that any potential new purchases will be pink or cream, you know, rose coloured. Mermaid put paid to that. She is simply the best yellow rose I've seen and appreciative my photo doesn't do it justice you'll just have to trust me on this one. The big blooms with no more than five petals together with the dark saffron stamens (do they call that a central boss?) made this a real wow. It's on my list.



I'll visit Sardy again. I sat looking at that water feature (top photo) for a good half hour in the 30 degree heat. Some gardens really just take you away.

23 comments:

  1. Rob, what a treat! Breathtaking images. I enlarged all of them and enjoyed. They have so many things that I admire - old stones, iron fences, roses, water. You are right about that water feature - I could almost feel its coolness on my skin. You are so lucky to have a chance to visit such place. I'm glad you had great time!

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  2. Funny, breathtaking was the word that I was going to use also. And then I read Tatyana's comment. But it is true, those are breathtaking photos. What a wonderful world you live in.

    Jen

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  3. Beautiful! I also enlarged all of the photos to really see the detail. The roses looked perfect growing up the railing. One day I'd love to see it in person. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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  4. I have Mermaid! The biggest, thorniest, toughest rose you'll ever meet! Such lovely yellow flowers that thank goodness are beautiful to behold from a safe distance.

    Such beautiful grounds to go along with the beautiful old buildings. Pierre de Ronsard is fantastic.

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  5. What a lovely garden Rob, and that water looks so cool. Mermaid is a lovely rose which I'm pretty sure I've grown but can't quite remember (old age!).

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  6. Hi Rob I've got to say there is indeed something about the Pierre de Ronsard Rose it is very beautiful. and it looks gorgeous wherever it grows.

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  7. Lovely photos and what an interesting garden I love the Pierre de Ronsard rose especially.

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  8. Rob,

    What DID take you so long? :-) That is a stunning garden and I just love all the little nooks and crannies of older gardens. The rose is beautiful, too

    Cameron

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  9. I love the Pierre de Ronsard rose - and the higgledypiggledy stepped path and the arch by the cellar. Really romantic.

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  10. A beautiful spot Rob. I have never seen a 'Mermaid' in the flesh as it were but I am not surprised she is on your list. What a water feature and what a wheelbarow !

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  11. Oh, I love France. Thank you for sharing this beautiful garden with us...

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  12. As always, your mini-travelogues are wonderful. Is the lighting always perfect when you visit a garden, or are you just a photography genius? Because if it's the latter, feel free to photograph any of my gardens if you ever stir from the beautiful Dordogne and visit Northern California.

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  13. Gorgeous photos of a fantastic garden Rob - I've added Sardy to my list of places to see whilst we're on holiday. First-Born ans Last-Born are going to love me!!!

    I love the water feature - even if I've had a bit too much of water these past couple of days, thanks to the downpours we've had ....but I can imaging the cooling whisper of the mist on my face as I dream of our holidays ......!

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  14. Great photos, love the Mermaid rose. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. I don't know how I missed your post but what a fantastic garden. Rob, I have to warn you about Mermaid though. It almost ate our house and I've never encountered such vicious thorns! I reluctantly shovel pruned ours. The flowers are lovely though.

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  16. Rob, thank you for leaving such a nice comment on my blog.

    Wow.


    Jen

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  17. I loved that wheelbarrow right away and it fits the personality of the setting so well. Looks very functional.

    Glad you got to go and share these photos with us. There are a great many gardens in this world that we should visit. I'll do my best if you do yours.

    I'm going to a lavender farm this weekend. The only one in NC. I'm so excited.

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  18. Stunning, Rob. I do believe I'd pinch myself if ever the chance to visit. Thanks for the heavenly tour.

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  19. I have been following your blog for a while now, and have so enjoyed all the photos and places that you have shown us. It has inspired me to one day visit. The photos are so great, I have used the canal as my wallpaper, it gives such a feeling of freshness that it seems to relieve us from the heat of our Okanagan summer.

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  20. Hoo boy, Rob, if no one has mentioned it yet, look out for Mermaid! Reading down the comments, I see others have warned you already. It is a true beauty though, just plant it away from where people might be snagged by its octopus type canes full of more thorns than I have ever seen. We grew it in Texas, and after planting it on the garage, learned it was often planted to deter robberies, no one would even be able to penetrate it. Imagine the thorny vines that surrounded the castle in Sleeping Beauty. :-)
    Frances

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  21. Wow, Rob. I had visited once before, but your blog is beautiful. I am a lifelong Francophile--lived in Lille--long ago and would love to live in and garden in the south. Thank you for making me almost feel as if I do.

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  22. Ah, the crystalline, vivid blue of that sky - La Belle France! Thanks, Rob

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  23. I love, love, love Pierre de Ronsard roses... I have some few of them and this year will have more from my cuttings... trying for the first time.
    Bello, bellísimo blog, un jardín precioso!!
    maría cecilia, from Chile

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