When we lived in France, a must-visit in our diary every September was a flight-of-fancy wild garden, worked on for months by artists, gardeners and imaginative people of all kinds, but open only for a few days each year. Let’s revisit it today, for Fandango’s Flashback Friday.
FOR TWO DAYS ONLY: LE JARDIN EXTRAORDINAIRE AT LIEURAC
2009 was a first for us at Le Jardin Extraordinaire. This weekend, we were back, and we’ll be back next year too, and every year.
The members of Artchoum enjoy growing flowers, vegetables, plants of every kind. They relish creating beauty, fun, intrigue, from anything – a discarded table becomes a woodland creature, an ancient trainer a Grumpy Old Man, a few stones in the river a symbolic gathering. Professional artists work alongside interested members of the public for months and weeks beforehand just for this one weekend in September.
And we all turn up, in our hundreds, to explore this very special walk through woods, or along the shaded river bank, in this normally secluded spot. Families, couples, groups of friends all come to share the atmosphere – friendly, fun, joyful, peaceful, reflective. Have a look at the photos, and enjoy the walk too.
For further visits to Le Jardin Extraordinaire, look here, and here.
It’s Hallowe’en today. Time to carve those pumpkins into frightening faces, and then tomorrow … throw them away. What a pity. Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, they’re good to eat, and it’s a shame you rarely see anything but the good old bog-standard Jack o’ Lantern here. They can be large, small, yellow, red, orange, green, even bluish or black, and on mainland Europe they’re much more appreciated.
Enjoy the pumpkins on display, many of them from Le Jardin Extraordinaire in Lieurac , near where we lived in France. And then have a go at the comforting recipe I offer here because you don’t really want to scare the neighbours with an evil orange face peering out of your front window do you?
#Kinda Square.Today is the final square in Becky’s month long squares project. Thank you Becky, and thank you fellow squarers. It’s been fun. I’ve met kindness, had my interest kindled and met – virtually of course – many bloggers-of-a-kind.
In this most dreadful of weeks for British politics, I think we all need a distraction. Just now, this is it. Back in France, one of the regular pleasures of our late summer was a visit to Le Jardin Extraordinaire, open for just a few days every year as the holiday period drew to an end. Let’s go there now, courtesy of a post I wrote in 2013 …..
September 4th, 2013
Le Jardin Extraordinaire, 2013 version
Le Jardin Extraordinaire is always comfortingly familiar, yet always surprising. If you’ve been once, you’ll go again, on this one weekend of the year, to enjoy strolling round this very special wild, yet bewitchingly tamed garden. The members and volunteers of Artchoum have been working for months to create this space, just for your pleasure.
You’ll want to explore the riverside walk and exclaim at the enchanted place they’ve created with stones, trees and flower petals. You’ll go on to wander through the leafy tunnels and arches tumbling with gourds. Then you’ll amble off into the woods, where more fantastical experiences await you.
You’ll go in through a flower-filled meadow…
… then this …
…don’t forget to glance upwards.
Who’s this in the water?
An enchanted river.
A flower garden in the river.
Arches in the river.
Doorman at the river’s edge.
Last glimpse of the riverside walk.
A tunnel of gourds, topped by a sunflower.
Wandering through the gourd tunnel.
..and a little further..
… and further still …
Etched gourd in the garden.
Shower bath anyone?
View past a woven sculpture.
Look among the trees….
View from the top.
Bison on the hill.
Bison close up.
Bison’s stamping ground.
…. and their puppets…
Storks at the refreshment area.
People come from miles around to explore, smile and wonder at this very special place. But although you won’t be alone, there’s a relaxing feeling of space and of peace too. You’ll go away refreshed, invigorated and joyful.
Click on any image to view full size.
An entry for Jo’s Monday Walk. It’s an old walk Jo. But sometimes the old ones are the best. And I hadn’t ‘met’ you then.