Green, nothing but green!
Gardens are also great for enjoying bucolic pleasures. Whatever their style – natural, English, kitchen garden; flamboyant and lush, or very formal – each has its own character, and I love the idea of meandering along their pathways. There’s certainly no lack of choice.
Haute couture inspiration at the Jardin de La Louve
First off, I’ll head to Bonnieux to visit the private garden of a residence in the village. There’s a touch of Edward Scissorhands about this garden, which was abandoned for years before Hermès designer Nicole de Vésian literally fashioned it in 1986. As a former textile designer she played with natural stone and local plant species to create a living tableau of textured layers, which is kept up by the new owner. La Louve is very green, spread over a succession of hillside terraces where the rounded forms of the plants give the place an elegance and a quality of softness beyond compare. Visits are by reservation only.
Be inspired by the smells and tastes of La Citadelle botanical garden
There’s a very different vibe at the Domaine de la Citadelle botanical garden in Ménerbes, which I’d heard a lot about. This verdant natural setting offers a lovely amble with magnificent panoramic views over the Luberon Valley, Mont de Vaucluse and Mont Ventoux. If you like aromatherapy, as I do, this is definitely for you. The variety of plants is impressive, with medicinal, aromatic, and wild edible species running the gamut from fragrant, and useful, to precious, or even magical… I can’t wait to visit it!
Being at one with nature
An all-mod-cons stay in the heart of nature
Les Cabanes des Grands Cépages is a lovely eco-hotel that opened last year in Sorgues. This year five new suites have been added, some of them floating on the La Lionne Lake. Choose between a cabin on stilts in the water, or one hidden along the banks, for your cosy nest after touring through the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC vineyards.
I’m going to go for the Lavender dugout cabin on the banks of a little lake, a house nestled into the hillside like a seed in the ground.
Picnic in the heart of the vineyards
Over the past few years, some winegrowers have decided to share their passion for their vineyards with people like me, who love wine and good produce, by opening their estate to visitors.
To make the experience even more authentic, Château Pesquié in Mormoiron offers a hamper of gourmet products to savour on a picnic among the vines – and all against a backdrop reminiscent of Tuscany. We love it!
Sunset – a feast for the eyes
I’m not a big walker, I must confess. But it seems to me that if I’m going to tune in to Mother Nature’s rhythms, it’s worth making a little effort for the unique and inspiring experience of seeing a magnificent sunset.
People say that the sunset over the valley and the Dentelles de Montmirail literally takes you breath away. For a number of reasons – chiefly so I stay motivated, and don’t get lost – I’m going to opt for a hike with a guide. Roc’Dentelles offers one that seems just the ticket.