Inspired by holidays to North-West Brittany the Home Away garden reimagines a neglected garden I discovered nestled amongst the stone cottages and barns near our family’s second home. Set within the footprint and remains of an old stone barn where swallows nest and play, the garden recalls the diverse landscape beyond through its features and plants: rocky headlands where huge Agave cliffhang, sandy verges and dune pathways peppered with wild fennel, town squares where seats under ancient Persian Silk Trees offer a place to rest and watch the world go by. Traditional stone walls in private gardens offer enticing glimpses of exotic plants and gates you just want to walk through.
The layout of the garden is a revised pattern from a stained-glass window in the cathedral in Dol-de-Bretagne -a formal shape looped with a fleur-de-lys. While the formal aspect of the garden’s design is a nod to classical formal French garden design, the planting pockets are drawn from elements of Brittany’s wilder places and allowed to swirl and soften the space. Fractured remains of walls are embraced and left for wildlife habitat.
The garden is designed for a second homeowner, who needs a garden that can survive and thrive periods of absence, drought and where maintenance is low. A simple rainwater harvesting system provides water when needed while the remaining drought tolerant plants are self sufficient.
Follow me on Instagram to find out more about the garden and my sponsors.
Below is a list of materials and items used on the garden loaned or repurposed for future private garden projects.
Welsh Pennant Building Stone – Cawarden Reclaim
Self binding gravel Gold Path, Scottish Pebbles and Boulders, Glacial Boulders, Brittany Sand – Stone Warehouse
Barn section construction materials – County
Southwold 1.3m Round DiningTable and Chairs – Harrod Horticultural
Handwoven Hardwood Daybed The Daybed Company – The Daybed Company
Whelk Shell Mulch – Shell on Earth
Aloe Sculpture – Simon Probyn
Agave americana 'variegata'
Armeria caespitosa/ Armeria maritima splendens
Echium fastuosum / candicans
Echium pininiana ‘Blue Towers’
Westringia fruticosa Mundi/Smoky
Hydrangea Mophead/Macrophylla Blue