In keeping with Wednesday's theme of Outdoor Spaces - we couldn't wait to share with you one of our favourite gardens - La Louve, in the Luberon area of Provence, France.
What makes this breathtaking garden even more remarkable, is that it was created over a 10 year period by Nicole de Vésian in her retirement! Nicole was a former textile designer for French design house Hermès (working alongside a young Christian Lacroix) and when she left Paris in 1986 she applied her drive and vision to turning this stony and steep terrain into the beautiful garden it is today.
The garden is built on 3 main hillside terraces, each with their own appeal and distinct design. The use of the existing stone has been fantastic - creating garden 'rooms' and this unique plunge pool, offering shade from the heat of the Luberon summers.
It is inspiring to think that Nicole achieved this both as a novice horticulturist and in the last 10 years of her life (from the age of 69).
Subsequently, La Louve was bought by an American Art Dealer Judith Pillsbury who during her time here had the task of both maintaining the gardens and adding to them as sensitively as possible (the pool above was her addition).
We love the way that the garden seamlessly appears to flow into it's surroundings and the hillsides beyond. The garden is in fact only about 500 square metres but appears much bigger because of the vistas that Nicole framed, as well as the intimate areas that she created through the clever use of stone and planting.
Judith also opened La Louve to the public on certain occasions - you are lucky if you have had a chance to visit. Currently, we believe that the property is on the market and that such open days may not continue depending on ownership changes.
A charming addition to a gate - not your average door bell!
The type of plants (a lot indicative of the region) and the way they are planted (the neat groups) is something that we could all adopt if we are lucky enough to have some outside space. The hardy planting reflects the climate of the region (quite harsh in winter and hot in summer) and it is also worth noting that there is not a neatly mowed lawn in sight - you are led through the space via stone pebbles and paving instead.
We are absolutely kicking ourselves that we didn't get to visit on our last trip and now that we are based in Australia it isn't going to be that easy either!
We would love to hear from you if you have visited this special place (or one like it ) and we really hope that this collection of images helps to inspire you in some way to create your own special outside space no matter what size!