One weekend a year, owners of nice private gardens are encouraged to open their gates to visitors. This weekend is the one, and yesterday we went to visit two private gardens in Ernéé, a town about half an hour from us.
The first one is a realatively small garden, immaculately maintained, on soil that is acid compared to ours. There were acid-loving plants such as Azaleas in bloom. You could have played bowls on the grass (if the garden hadn't been sloped), and there was scarcely a weed to be seen in the flower beds. The Dahlia isn't supposed to be out yet, but was bought recently from a specialist nursery who had, apparently forced it. The wood-framed building houses some doves, shade being provided by numerous climbing plants and sgrubs, inside it and out.
I got the impression that maintaining the garden is a full-time job: the lady owner explained to me that they still manage to get 5 weeks' holiday a year, once the garden is sorted out.
The second garden we saw is just alongside the town centre, and situated around a lake. The water management used to be part of a mill works, although the mill is clearly no longer in use. I'm quite sure that as the energy shortage strikes harder, these old milsl will be brought back into use. It's very short-sighted that even today, the dams necessary for their function are being destroyed. However the lake and the waterfalls made a fine backdrop to the garden,
It features some fine, old, trees such at the Tulip Tree (Liriodendron Tulipifera and a blue-flowered one (Paulownia Tomentosa), and the overall effect is one of great calm. Nice to see so close to a town centre.