Somehow after our summer holiday I just didn’t get to writing about Prieuré D’Orsan, but you may well have caught a glimpse of this gorgeous boutique hotel/garden (in Central France) on Monty’s visit for the BBC earlier this year.
This image just hasn’t left my head though, and I’ve been wondering if my wayward Solanum (scrambling up the back of the house) would take to being trained in a similar fashion. Probably not, probably a bit too loose and gangly (even if I could make it up the ladder to trim it). But I’d love to have a go at repeating the almost 2D simplicity of this heart-somewhere!There’s so much fantastic training and shaping going on at Prieuré D’Orsan. Nature has been constricted, controlled and cajoled, creating a myriad of desirable sculptural forms, whilst still providing an abundance of fruit. Quite remarkable, especially as this garden was a blank canvas only 20 years ago.
I thought I was getting a bit fancy with my attempt at training a quince tree into a fan shape, but this amazing specimen has been trained as a calming retreat over a woven chair. How bloomin’ delightful is that!
Here’s a side view, with more evidence of fruit actually being produced, ready to be plucked after a nice shady sit-down.
Visiting later in the year meant that I didn’t get to see most of the roses in flower, but I did see plenty of ideas to take away with me.
Whatever the structure, roses are twirled and twisted and this is certainly a way of training that I plan to experiment more with next year.
This ‘Seagull’ rose is a fairly rampant rambler, reaching up to 20ft high if left to its own devices,
but curling and crossing stems should supply masses of flowers within this tightly contained framework. All very labour intensive, but what a labour of love (and devotion!). I was watching Carol Klein’s cottage garden episode on the Great British Garden Revival last night (you can catch up with it here), and I must admit to being a complete sucker for loose edges and flowing ebullient borders. Compared to such gentle cottagey planting, there’s a severity to this garden (with more than a nod to its monastic past) that made me wander round in a respectful hush and a contemplative mood.
However, the supports and sculptural additions to the garden are bold and strangely playful and rather uplifting in their simple restraint.
Having said all that, there was a mini (well not that mini!) meadow tucked around the back behind the hotel, bringing in essential pollinators and a refreshing splash of colour.
The veg patch was, not surprisingly, well-ordered and contained too,
and I couldn’t help admire the chunky beds and generous supports, packed full of glossy healthy veg.
On the way out, you can pick up your own beautifully crafted rose supports,
and admire yet more trained fruit trees,vines
and even the odd invitation to nature. Prieuré D’Orsan-I’ll be back!
P.S. I couldn’t resist adding some of the gorgeous seats dotted around the garden too.
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