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Leading you up the garden path – happy Valentine’s day!

city of carcassone castle and vinyards

Maybe it’s the approach of Spring, maybe it’s Valentine’s day, maybe its our focus on all things green this week but this morning we found ourselves thinking about holidays and gardens.  When you’re seeking solace from your battle with rampant knottweed or the ravenous raccoons that ate my Florida based rhubarb, nothing beats a trip to someone else’s garden. We’ve already written about our favourite Chaumont Festival and we promise a Modenus at Large report later in the year, but for now we wanted to share a little about the less well known gardens of the Languedoc and a tiny plug for Hidden Gardens – Hidden France,  a company with the raison d’etre  to show you around these lovely places and on whose web site we have based this post. 

Languedoc  stretches from the Rhone to the Garonne and  HGHF, if we may reduce them to an acronym, tell us that includes  great stretches of dramatic landscape and river gorges from the Cévennes mountains to the Montagne Noire and the Corbières hills, unforgettably romantic Cathar castles, some superb ecclesiastical architecture, Roman remains, medieval towns, the Canal du Midi and, of course, the vineyards where emphasis on quality has resulted in many prize-winning vintages. And, of course one or two gardens.

This is the fortified city of Carcassonne overlooking the lush countryside of the Languedoc and the distant Pyrenees Mountains. We promise you a blog about our favourite castles (and yes, we know this isn’t a castle) very soon. More pictures of the region, and the occasional plant follow.

purple sea holly

I know this as Sea Holly, botanists call it ‘Eryngium bourgatii’. Its a European native found on beaches and other coastal areas. A bit of a toughie it may even survive the raccoons.

pink passion flower

Passion flower, of course, this one ‘Passiflora Caerulea X Rubra’, a hardy perennial that seems happy in partial shade and thrives just about anywhere.

pink lenten rose

The Lenten Rose or ‘Helleborus orientalis’, which is not, of course, a rose. But it is something that flowers round now in Europe (January / February). One of those plants which carry a promise of Spring. All of the above can be found in the Languedoc gardens.

bamboo forest

Now I confess to making the school boy error of introducing bamboo into a small bed in a garden from which it promptly not only invaded the rest of my back yard but also to colonise the neighbours little patches of paradise. No such problem here, this is the bamboo-lined entrance to the Bambouseraie at Anduze.

pont du gard

Around two thousand years old, The Pont du Gard is a  Roman aqueduct built to take water to the people of Nimes.  So when you need a break from admiring the wonders of nature you can marvel at what us humans manage to build. And no, there is nothing wrong with a break at Easter and then again in the summer.

  • Pdbfinecab

    Hi Veronica,
    Enjoyed your post. Sent Michelle your message and she said hello. Looking forward to speaking with you soon.

    Patricia D. Brown

  • Pdbfinecab

    Hi Veronica,
    Enjoyed your post. Sent Michelle your message and she said hello. Looking forward to speaking with you soon.

    Patricia D. Brown

  • http://www.modenus.com Veronika Miller

    Thank you so much, and yes, let’s get together soon. Would love it if you
    joined our new group on LinkedIn as well, always a good way to network


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