Like a lot of gardeners, I peruse Pinterest and see photos that offer inspirational design ideas and plant combinations. One, a garden bed filled with Allium ‘Globemaster’ surrounded by Buxus sempervirens ‘suffruticosa’ so grabbed my heart recently that I felt the need to learn more about it.
The photo was labeled “Les Jardins Agapanthe”. Its creator is Alexandre Thomas, a French landscape architect who for the past twenty-five years has been designing private gardens which he adapts to the desire of his clients without silencing his own, powerful personality. In this way, he creates unique and original works that have brought him success both in France and abroad.
Firmly established as a non-conformist landscape designer, Alexandre Thomas rejects clichés, marrying classicism and exotic fantasy with audacious rigor, and approaching the garden as a single whole, with stones, fountains, sculptures and lighting.
Similar to an antique dealer, he hunts out his plants, searching for rarities. Rigorous in his research, he tends to favor mature plants and trees which are already several decades old and provide a sense of identity to a place.
His strength lies in the use of striking plants—in terms of shape, size, age and originality—which provide immediate results, in the image of his Agapanthus Garden, which is a living showcase of his know-how.
The Agapanthus Garden is above all the laboratory of the landscape architect and designer. The subject of constant research, it is continually evolving. To present an idea of his work, Alexandre Thomas freely opens his garden to visitors. Enthusiasts from around the world eagerly travel to discover this unique example of garden art.
Over more than 9,000m² of gardens without lawns, visitors can enjoy the assembly of the designer’s favorite plants. This contemporary garden is defined by its powerful structure. The combination of strongly emphasized ground works, a maze of terraces and walls, watercourses and pools creates a succession of moods.
It is covered by a fine layer of sand that enhances its qualities. Surprising in every season, the Agapanthus Garden has become a true source of inspiration. This profusion of plants also incorporates decorations, furniture, fountains and animals that bring it to life as a unique and human space.
There are two parts to the garden: Alexandre started working on the first phase in 1980, when he was young. It offers a lot of different atmospheres and has the feeling of a shadow garden.
He began the second phase in 2008: It took 5 years to create this garden and open it to visitors. Today Le Jardin Agapanthes looks like an old garden with big trees and a lot of flowers. It’s more like a sunny garden filled with specimens such as: salvia, Pinus nigra, paeonia, thalictrum, erica, Eremurus robustus and dozens more.
Almost 10 days is needed to cut all the topiaries that embellish this jewel of a garden.
You can learn more about, Le Jardin Agapanthe by clicking on: www.jardins-agapanthe.com/.
And a big thank you to Alexandre’s associate, Antoine Mazy, whose sent me the well crafted words and thoughts about Alexandre’s work as a designer and his garden.
from Gardening Gone Wild http://gardeninggonewild.com/?p=29859