Friday, January 6, 2012

Notes from the Library #30

An idiosyncratic, yet increasingly influential, style of garden design emerged in Provence in the late twentieth century, developed by Nicole de Vesian.  Her passion for clipping evergreen shrubs into intricate designs was influenced by the great clipped box garden of Marquessac in the nearby region of Dordogne. This masterpiece is featured in Stephanie Alexander's delightful book "Cooking and Traveling in South West France."

Nicole de Vesian, who had established a fine reputation as a fashion designer, worked predominantly with the native shrubs of her region ... box, tuecrium, rosemary, lavender and santolina.  She soon established a devoted cult following and her work first came to the attention of the international garden design community in the early 1990's.  Her influence continues to grow with the 2011 publication of "Modern Design in Provence" which we have recently purchased for our library here.
The similarity between de Vesian's approach and the karikomi which I mentioned yesterday and which we are developing as a feature of The Hill Garden here at The Drip is obvious. It seems that the more we develop our personal style, the more we find our inspiration in the great traditions of topiary, karikomi and niwaki.  The common factor running through all these traditions is the use of plant species that are local to the area, and it is this approach which we are now exploring here at The Drip by utilizing local species such as Bursaria spinosa.

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