Les Columbières

Les Columbières was created by the French landscape designer Ferdinand Bac between 1918 and 1927. Bac wanted to get away from what he saw as the ‘cosmopolitan profanity’ of the French Riviera in favour of a more traditional Mediterranean style. The garden is predominately green, with few flowers but with strong geometric lines and terracotta-painted architectural features reflecting Bac’s travels in Spain, Italy and Greece. He favoured traditional Mediterranean plants and built his garden around the ancient olive, carob and cypress trees that already occupied the site – a staircase was built around a gnarled 1000 year-old carob tree and other existing trees and shrubs were adorned with architectural features. Views and vistas feature heavily, often punctuated with statuary. Phil and I were fortunate to receive not only a tour of the beautiful garden an invite to dinner there with Les Columbières’ current owner, Margaret Lickerman, so were able to see the wonderful frescos Bac painted on the walls inside too.

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3 comments

  1. Ian Clayton

    Hi Rhiannon,
    Enjoying your blogs. Wondered if you have seen the series on BBC with Christine Walkman looking at gardens from the air. Just seen the episode about Gloucestershire featuring Hidcote. Worth looking at on iplayer if you have not seen it. You will be pleased to note that all of my cuttings rooted in my new propergator I built.
    Love Ian

  2. rhiannonharris2014

    Not had time to watch that yet but I knew Hidcote were going to be featured. Glad to hear you’ve had success with the cuttings – look forward to seeing them at Christmas x

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