In France today, the heritage of classic parterres and landscaped parks, of botanical enquiry and family kitchen gardens, provides an inspiration for fresh delights and creativity.
Louisa Jones has been exploring this heritage ever since she acquired an old farmstead in southern France nearly 30 years ago.
For this book, she invited the hugely talented French photographers Gilles Le Scanff and Joelle Caroline Mayer to join her on an odyssey that took them from Normandy to the Riviera, the Loire to the Pyrenees, to reveal the full extent of the Renaissance in French country gardens.
Richly diverse, these gardens have been sensitively organised into six themes appealing to every taste.
Highly fashionable `Grandmothers'Gardens' combine fruits, herbs, flowers and vegetables in seemingly haphazard displays to offer nostalgic visions of cottage-style family life.`Gardens for the Five Senses', inspired by the medieval and Renaissance past, focuses on sensual stimulation.The `Passion for Plants' is exhibited in exotic, beautiful and novel planting schemes. `Formal Fancies' take the elegance of the classical parterre but endow it with contemporary wit and fantasy. `Nature'sWays' emphasizes the protection of natural biotypes and regional landscapes. And `Planetary Perspectives' shows how French gardeners are giving their own creative gloss to worldwide exchanges of knowledge and resources.