Abbey gardens

The gardens of the Abbey have reverted to their initial purpose after lengthy research and a great deal of thought by Dominique Lafourcade, devotee of yesteryear and a garden history enthusiast.

At the heart of the Alpilles, on a site particularly abundant with water, the abbey dates from the 12th century.

"At the time, the monks lived self-sufficiently, dedicating themselves to working in the fields and rearing sheep. Abandoned for many years, the property has been restored and returned to its agricultural context."

The private gardens have consequently been designed in harmony not only with the buildings but also with spirit in which the surrounding lands were replanted with vines, lavender fields and olive groves...

To soften the harsh lines of the fa├žade, Dominique Lafourcade has trained a long, blue wisteria.

In the main courtyard, a colonnade has been modified to make it a more personal space. Also wisteria-clad, the structure is reflected in the narrow fountain basin in the refurbished Lower Garden. Surrounded by hundred-year-old chestnut trees, this formal garden is laid out on a flat surface.

The impressive view is punctuated by three fountains which set the tone. Thickly-planted, lush flower beds show off their plentiful colours in an array of whites and blues.

Carefully preserved, the Private Garden is home to the pool, around the edge run elegant trellises covered with climbing roses and old varieties of vine.

Sunny, sheltered from the wind, managed using an organic alternate cropping method, the garden combines vegetables and edible flowers.

Abbey gardens, or the art of reviving ancient history.