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Wednesday, April 23

an English garden in France

Welcome to All in the Detail… I am so glad you are here!      




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Spring has sprung and with it comes all the beauty of the Gardens. I have been searching for quite a while to find the perfectly beautiful garden to share with you and trust me; this one is worth the wait.

This garden is the most picture-perfect garden I have seen in quite some time. Disclaimer: These images should come with an oxygen tank because whether you have a green thumb or not… I promise you, they will take your breath away. (Too corny? Yes, maybe but I bet you will agree after you see them.

A French English Garden
When Dee and Pete Jackson retired to southern Burgundy from England, they purchased a large plot of land surrounding a 19th-century stone farmhouse known as “The House with Four Chimneys” in a picturesque village called Culles-les-Roches.

Ok, ready or not, here we go - (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

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One of the many highlights in their garden is a ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ rose in deep pink.    Part of this rose's palette includes blue, yellow, and purple.

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The Jacksons fell in love with the house’s vista, a wide view of the Grosne Valley. At   purchase, there was nothing in the yard to draw your eye from the view. The land fell away from the house in a steep slope, rocky and bare, past a series of tumble-down barns. But the Jacksons, who love to garden together, were looking for a challenge. They’ve visited many of the major public gardens in both England and France, mining them for ideas.

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The sloping lot, with the house set off to the side and the village church towering above, did not lend itself to formal French design but seemed ideal for a casual English cottage garden. The exuberant French vegetable gardens and geraniums spilling from window boxes of the stone houses in the village made the perfect backdrop. The couple transformed the barns on the property into a guesthouse, a workshop, and Pete’s “man cave.”

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Fitting for their new home, the purple iris is an emblem of French royalty.

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When Dee lived in England, she learned tips on growing roses from her neighbor, renowned rosarian David Austin. Here in their French garden, ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ roses cascade from Pete’s garçonnière  the French version of a man cave.

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A former biology teacher (ok,  so coming from non-green thumb person: "this whole garden thing with them is starting to make sense, right?"), Dee has “green fingers” (the English version of “green thumbs”).

Spontaneity is the nature of an English garden, even with French influences. “English gardens,” Dee says, “are loose and blowzy, with things flopping over.

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Landscaped French gardens are more structured than their English cousins, their colors more controlled. In the Burgundy countryside, vegetables are the focus. Gardeners there love flowers but plant them in pots and window boxes or next to the tomatoes.

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The Jacksons got into the French spirit by planting a large vegetable garden on a lower terrace, framed by a bank of tall lavender irises above it. Pete says with a chuckle, “We got cow manure from the local farmers and paid them with bottles of Champagne.”

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Can't you just envision sipping wine under the pergola and enjoying the views on a warm summer evening?

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The garden is built around barns even older than the house. The Jacksons converted them into a workshop, greenhouse, and garçonnière.

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Their rose in pale pink is ‘Michèle Meilland.’

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Another blooming outdoor dining area overlooks vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise wine region. The Jacksons also grow fruit and vegetables, making jams and jellies and preserving overflowing harvests.

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Small touches, like an authentically aged bust, reflect the refinement of the Jackson's property.

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Metal gates painted blue lend charming, distinctively French touches throughout the property.


Are you still breathing? I think I might have fainted a couple of times during this post but I do what I have to do for my readers and in the name of design...

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