An English garden in Provence
Harvill, Sep 1, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 207 pages
At a young age Natasha Spender came into contact with the renowned gardens of such literary figures as Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Harold Nicolson, Vita Sackville-West, and Michael Astor. In the 1960s she and her husband, the poet Sir Stephen Spender, acquired the ruins of a farmhouse enclosed in the dramatic skyline of the Alpilles. After years of hard work the result was a unique garden. Lady Spender’s gardening friendships with the locals and neighbors, the regular and inspiring visits of friends such as John Bayley and Iris Murdoch, Francis Bacon, and the Annans, her explorations of the surrounding landscape, and passages from Stephen Spender’s unpublished journals, all contribute to this enchanting book. It is both a record of the creation of a beautiful garden in the arid hills of Provence, and a treasure trove for devoted gardeners.
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Alpilles apricot Arles arrived Barberry Walk Baux beauty bloom Bobbie and Yves border Bruern buddleias Calans Camargue canisse ceanothus charm Chateau Cistus climate colours corner cultivated cypresses Deffaut Destet early elegant England enjoy farmhouse feeling flowers foliage Fontanille Fontvieille foreground fremontodendron friends Funtington Gogh Grey Walk ground happy harvest hedge Hibiscus syriacus Hidcote high summer hillside holm oak huge imagination iris landscape later Lilac Walk limestone living looking maquis Maquis Garden Maussane Mediterranean mistral Monk's House Monsieur Montagne Sainte-Victoire natural neighbours nurseries olive orchard olive trees one's paeonies pale Petit Fontanille pine pinede pink plants pleasure Provence pruning region rocks Rodrigo Moynihan Roi Rene Rose Garden ruin Saint-Esteve Saint-Jerome scented season seemed seen shade shrubs Sissinghurst spring Stephen stone surrounded tall Tarascon terrace terrain valley varieties Vaucluse village vista wall western Provence whilst wild cherry wind windbreak winter wisteria