Willy De Wilde

Now there's a great sounding name, worthy of a blog post title.

Monsieur Willy De Wilde is the owner of Pépinière du Lac des Joncs, a quirky and beautiful nursery near Rouffignac, some 20 minutes drive from here.

This is a small specialist business, a micro-enterprise .

It was following a recent search for various perennials that I've re-discovered Pépinière Lac des Joncs. I'd first visited last summer when they were having a doors open day. A bit like a Fête with other stall holders selling rare plants, handi-crafts and such like. I was taken with just how beautiful the place was. The honey coloured stone buildings, the little gravel garden, the complete non -manicured feel to the whole place. 'Shabby chic' as the Chelsea set might put it.

I've visited twice this week. The first time was a little strange as no one was there. I mean nobody. Karen and I walked around the place completely on our own, occasionally shouting bonjour, but nothing. It felt a little odd so we left and decided to visit again last Thursday.

Now places like this always seem to throw up something that you don't usually find elsewhere. Apart from the many succulents, sedums, grasses and assorted perennials all propagated at the nursery, it was the large and comprehensive collection of Ivies which I found so interesting.

This is beautiful stuff, delicate too. Sure Ivy gets a bad press. The common hedera we all know scrambling up trees and ripping mortar out of walls, but not this. There was just so many varied types. Large and small leaved, arrowed, cordate or pinnate shaped, sizes and shapes in many hues of green. Variegated or not, all very desirable.

Doesn't it make a great table decoration. This iron candle holder was one of just a few, all with a réservé ticket attached to them.

It goes without saying that I walked away with an armful of Ivy that day. I've put it into terracotta pots and dotted it about the place.

One other thing, If I want more , nothing is easier to propagate, I'll have lots of it.


  1. WoW! What a beautiful little nursery! At first I thought it was a print or painting. And I thought I saw lots of Sedums - guess I did huh. In the nursery picture the ivy towards the front with a lot of white and looks like philodendron leaves. I have some that looks like it - or did, don't know if it made it through this winter. I bought it from a friends' nursery because it was so unusual looking. It even had a couple of white leaves. Very different.

  2. These French people always have something so charming that make me go to France again...
    As for the ivy - absolutely agree with you - into the pots them, into the pots!
    Rob, about that potatoes pic - it's true, I never planted them. They might come with soil when I bought some plants in the farmers'market. Since then, I have 1-2 plants every year on the same place. I should write a post about it. Thanks for your comments!

  3. I am drooling.

    It is that simple. What a lovely nursery.

    Apparently my sister is very taken with one of your gorgeous cottages. She has put it on her list of places to visit......one day.

    They are absolutely beautiful.


  4. What a great way to live. I have a similar delight near me - Paxon Hill Farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in the hills above the Delaware River.

  5. Rob,

    What a wonderful place to visit! Your new container arrangements are going to be great with the spilling look of the ivy.


  6. How pretty! I love finding new nurseries, especially the smaller ones that have plants that you don't see everywhere else! The ivies are very pretty, and I like how they look in the terra cotta pot.

  7. Thanks Rob, a real 'old fashioned' fascinating nursery in a style we don't have in the UK anynmore. I like those ivies too.

  8. What a fantastic setting for a nursery - all the little nurseries round us have got scabby, tatty polytunnels and it's just not as asthetically pleasing as Willie De Wilde's - and they don't have such a great name either!

    Great plants in your nursery too - although as I am constantly doing battle with the tonnes of ivy in the garden, I don't quite share your fondness for the stuff! Although the one in the iron candle holder did look so good that it could just possibly convert me to ivy in tubs!

  9. It looks like a great nursery! I like those small ones that do what they want to do rather than the big box stores around here. Ivy is easy to propagate!

  10. What a lovely nursery. Wonderful that you have such a unique place so close by!

  11. Lucky you! The iron candle and plant holder is very unique. I have an ivy called anne-marie and it is a variegated leaf that is very classy. I will be rooting some shortly myself.

  12. A delightful adventure, Rob ~ my kind of place, my kind of day. An ivy lover, I would have wrapped myself in bolts then, like you, confined it in pots. Your photo is charming, drawing me in ... I'm sure you'll return (wish I could join you); will look forward to another post.

  13. It's funny how sometimes I just 'stumble' upon a place such as this.

    I originally found out about this one after picking up a leaflet in the local agricultural co-op. A place where you can buy everything from horse feed to manure, Jiffy 7's to Bee keeping outfits and oh, hives.


  14. Now that's looks the perfect place to while away some time and no doubt unearth some treasures Rob. You might enjoy this post on ivies : http://patientgardener.wordpress.com/2009/03/21

  15. How beautiful! Even more enticement for me to visit next year!

  16. I love the little cottage--doesn't look like any nursery around here, that's for sure! All that ivy will have your garden areas looking luscious! I do like ivy...but mine is the traditional 'english ivy' that 'digs in and won't let go'...mine does climb trees and is very difficult to remove. But I love it.

  17. I love ivys. You can plant 'em and leave 'em. They can brighten up the dullest corner.

  18. Hi Rob, what a treasure to have so close. The buildings and grounds are delightful. That is my favorite look too, a little wild and natural with some age to it. Ivy in containers is such a simply solution and looks good all year too. We have a variegated type that attached itself to the wall from a nearby container. The container is gone but the ivy remains, easily checked with a little pruning. It brightens a winter's day too.

  19. You are hysterical---horse feed to manure! I got it.

  20. my grandmere was from le mont-dore
    in auvergne. i believe the river dordogne springs from the area of surrounding mountains in
    le massif central.
    it is wonderful to see france and ner french gardens again; meme was always a fervent gardener.
    i met relatives and toured the area
    with her when i was in college.
    your blogs are a treat pour les yeux et aussi mon coeur.
    vty, johanna_lea @ ilona's garden journal blog.

  21. Ahhhhh a real nursery! I was once rather taken with Ivy and collected a few but gave them away except for a couple...Once upon a time there were quite a few 'bush' forms which are almost all gone (in this part of the world) Ivy in its running stage is 'juvenile' and once it reaches as far as it can climb it becomes 'mature' and loses its running ways..it then can flower and form berries. If propagated at the stage (more difficult) the resulting plants will be no-running and will form a slow growing bush..much loved in Victorian times.


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