La Louve

La Louve
La Louve...Garden of the She-Wolf, Bonnieux, France. La Louve is a private French contemporary garden, open to the public, in the town of Bonnieux in the Vaucluse Department of France. It was created beginning in 1986 by Nicole de Vésian, textile designer for the Paris fashion house of Hermès. It is classified by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France.


The Incomparable Hubert de Givenchy

Born an aristocrat (he holds the French title of Count) in Beauvais, France in 1927, Givenchy came from a creative family. His maternal grandmother was married to Jules Badin, a director of the Gobelins and Beauvais tapestry factories. After apprenticing with Jacques Fath, Dior and Balenciaga, Givenchy opened his own fashion house in Paris when he was only twenty-five years old. He quickly rose to fame when he met an equally young Audrey Hepburn and designed her wardrobe for "Sabrina". Both went on to become great in their respective careers.

And, yes ...apparently Givenchy loves green!

Watercolor of the Green Salon in Paris

In 1975, Givenchy acquired Le Jonchet near Tours. Working with American gardener Bunny Mellon, he created extensive gardens and landscapes. Over the years, while working with the World Monuments Fund, he slowly brought the manor back to its original glory. The small pavilion below was created from plans found at Mount Vernon.

Small pavilion at Le Jonchet

Interior of the Orangery at Le Jonchet

Exterior of the Orangery

One of Le Jonchet's towers seen from the parterre beside the Orangery

Givenchy also had a second home outside Paris in the South of France overlooking the Mediterranean,  A onetime bastide (or fortified farmhouse), it rests on the foundations of a redoubt designed by Vauban, Louis XIV's great military architect. The house, Clos Fiorentina, originally belonged to Roderick Cameron, a great decorator and gardener of his time, who put extensive work into creating a series of three terraced gardens.

Clos Fiorentina

The Clos gardens overlooking the Beaulieu-sur-Mer-Bay

An allee of lemon trees on one of the terraced gardens, under-planted with alum lilies. Notice the lime-washed trunks of the trees.
Note: All pictures were taken from Givenchy's book, "The Givenchy Style" published by The Vendome Press.
Second watercolor of the Green Salon

Watercolor of the Green Salon in Paris


Doorways and Windows of Provence

While they're not green, they're all quite typically and beautifully French!

A River Runs Under It

This past May, a friend and I had the pleasure of staying at a restored mas in a small village north of Avignon. The river shown actually ran under my bedroom! Imagine falling asleep to the sound of gently flowing water....