Clos du Peyronnet

Whilst Phil and I were in France and Italy William Waterfield invited us to have a tour of his garden at the Clos du Peyronnet. At the heart of the Clos is a small Italianate villa, built in 1896. Surrounding this is a one-acre terraced garden which, when purchased by Derik and Barbara Waterfield in 1915, featured formal Victorian bedding schemes and palms amidst the region’s traditional olive and cypress trees. When the Clos passed to the Waterfield’s two sons, Humphrey and Anthony, it changed dramatically. Already responsible for a beautiful Hidcote-style garden at Hill Pasture in England, Humphrey was an artist with a passion for garden design. From 1946 to 1971 he spent his winters creating a garden at the Clos, which according to Vivian Russell in Gardens of the Riviera ‘is the only remaining English enclave in a quarter of Menton that was once almost entirely British’. The garden certainly has a more ‘English’ feel to it than many of the others we visited, with many Arts and Crafts style features to be found. William inherited the Clos from his uncle in the 1970s and has added his own mark to the garden; an avid plant collector, William has introduced many unusual plants to the garden, as well as a Salvia collection and a wide range of bulbs. For more information please read Russell’s excellent book, but for now I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…

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