George Beylard created the garden little by little, planting flowers around his daughter Véronique’s house. She had fallen in love with gardens during her stay in England, and like her father prefers English gardens to the more formally arranged French gardens. The different groves came along one after the other, and as more and more friends and helpers joined in, the garden opened to the public in 2004.
The Garden is located 3km from Duras’s medieval castle in the middle of the biggest hazelnut orchard in France, in the valley of the river Dropt.
From the sky, the garden is designed to look like a rose; the main path being the stalk, winding alleys at each side forming the leaves and the rounded shape of the flower at the top of the path.
There are six little gardens, each with their own character: “To the unknown Rose, The friends’ bench, Confiding in the Lime tree, The ring of flowers, Having a break”. The alleys wind their way to the top of the garden, uncovering a variety of different scenes with every step and creating an intimate atmosphere of natural abundance. Only a few topiary bushes will betray the gardener’s hand.
The many climbing roses entwine pergolas, trees and shrubs, their colours brought out against the shades of green.
Each variety of rose has been chosen in relation to criteria of reflowering, suppleness of branches and lightness of leaves, and constant attention paid to how they fit in with the landscape.
The garden also boasts some remarkable trees: a huge walnut tree, corylus, cedars, pines and many more. Provence cypresses are dotted around the garden and contribute, along with palm trees and other often perfumed mediterranean plants, to giving the garden a distinct southern character. Decorative grasses and numerous grey-leaved plants adapted to dry soil are mixed with over 700 roses, of which we have 460 different varieties, ancient and modern, mainly climbers.
A few years ago, we became members of the Bird Protection League, and the garden is a refuge for the protection of various species. Insects run free as we do not use pesticides. We feed the birds all year round and the arrangement of the vegetation is very conducive to nesting. The garden is full of nests, making it a pleasure to the ear and for bird-watchers.