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Discovering the hidden treasures of Provence, old stone, enchanted ruins, pristine nature

April 7, 2016

Provence is one of the most visited places during the holiday season in France.

People come to seek peace of mind, the ‘Provencal’ sun, the scenic natural beauty and to enjoy the long days on the beach. Some also dream of walking inside the pine forests and through the lavender fields, to discover the local flora along the coast or in the back-country of France.

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One thing however, can be found on every visitor’s checklist and that’s admiring the old stone cottages, the stone ruins and the countryside villas and chateaus that have became symbolic to this part of France.

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The Provencal genre of a garden is inspired by Mediterranean landscapes. The Beige and wheat colored limestone, the green shades of the olive trees, the white and yellow fields of Marguerites, the pink flowers growing on fruit trees, the purple lavender and not to mention the clear marine blue skies are all colors that have attracted countless great painters across the centuries and from all around the world.

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Developing and cultivating the ground.

Archaeologists tell us that Europeans practiced the art of landscaping in the Mediterranean basin for more than 30 000 years.

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The picturesque and romantic imagery of a wild natural Provence is never changing, but with a continuously evolving human interpretation, which has helped expand the diversity of the Provincial ecosystem.

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In Provence, we had to adapt to the environment, the climate, and to the peculiar topography that mixes between the prairie and the mountain scene.

This fertile Provence painting encompasses sprawling Vineyards, winding olive groves, secluded almond and fruit trees that occupy every arable parcel of land. As for the forests and wild parries, they are covered with Rosemary, Marjoram, Lavender, Dandelions, Hibiscus, Arnicas, Marigolds, Irises and countless other aromatic plants competing in this melting pot of scents and colors.

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To invest in the territory and give it a natural architectural estention, man invented a new way of shaping the landscape, using the high quality stone that abounds in the Mediterranean.

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They have served to build aqueducts, bridges, terraces, stream channels, towers, walls and paths.

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The “restanque” is a term used commonly in Provence. It means a dry stacked stone wall to fence off a property line suitable for growing crops.

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The “restanque” helped to effectively fight against erosion and created a buffer zone for growing fruits, vegetables as well as local herbs.

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The water control

The Provencal garden is a piece of art where each space has its own way of bringing beauty to any outdoor space. The rich biodiversity is well flourished due to the excellent yet precise management of water.

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Pool Fountains, wells, ponds and stone canals have always been the backbone of the water infrastructure in Provence garden.

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Clearings and meadows widely benefit from the mild climate. However, the heat and dryness don’t go along with the grass. These surfaces are expensive to produce but pay for themselves in a few years’ time. They are a tremendous investment in the future since they can last for about 2,000 years!

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The Graphic Garden

The country house garden is highlighted by a regular and steady style, often symmetrical, consisting of tree-lined fairways. Local vegetation is often cut and hedged. The water is filtered and recurrent.

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Ancient Surfaces worked on uplifting and reinterpreting this country house garden.

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The use of new features such as limestone walls, pool fountains, exterior fireplaces, fire pits and ancient stone floors to build walkways, pool decks and patios makes this any afternoon infinitely more enjoyable in your next Provençal garden.

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