Tuesday, June 19, 2007

No Water, No Problem

(Clockwise) The micocoulier on the terrace. A wildflower keeping
the Helichrysum italicum company. Helichrysum microphyllum
'Lefka Ori.'
One of my potted gazanias.

They say the apple never falls far from the tree, and while I'm sure there are exceptions, this particular Apol has landed right at the entwined roots of the trees Gerry and Priscilla. Just like my parents, I've turned out addicted to gardening. Not a very easy thing to be, given the very special environmental conditions found in the Camargue--very hot summers, strong winds beginning autumn, the air salty, the earth poor and sandy. After a lot of experimentation, I've had some success with succulents, ornamental grasses, and hardy herbs, my favorite being santolina.

Then just when everybody was saying the garden looks jolie, this spring I began some serious digging, for four days turning the earth on the rectangular piece of land facing the marsh. Inspired by the work and research of Olivier Filippi, I am going to try to make un jardin sans arrosage, a garden that doesn't require watering. The experts say that water is going to be a big problem in the very near future, but I'm not the hardheaded creature that I am if I'm going to let that stop me from enjoying my plants.

If you live in Europe, Pépinière Filippi can deliver their drought-tolerant plants to you by mail. If you read French, and you'd like to try making a dry garden yourself, I suggest you buy the book (you can get it through the website). Good luck digging!

Now, time for a Before shot of my project. As one of the things you have to learn about gardening is that it requires patience, the After photos will come in a year.

6 comments:

Makis said...

WOW! Your garden has really changed since, um, the last time we visited you (er, feels like ages ago)! It looks great!

tommpouce said...

the pictures are stunning. It looks very simple, and yet very refined. And you destroyed it? I just can't believe it... It seems you found what stays alive with your climate and the limited soil.
Will it still be enjoyable this summer, it can't all have turned into compost, right?

haze said...

haven't seen your garden but the photos shows it.....refreshingly good! Hhhmmmm madalaw ka nga namin minsan...road trip gusto mo ?! Belated Happy Anniversary to both of you !!!

mcsister said...

How impressive.

Good Housekeeping meets Better Homes and Gardens... Galing!

apol said...

MAKIS, It's been a year! And you never did go back to Le Grau du Roi to do your shopping.

Don't worry TOMMP, all the stuff in the pictures are still there. I basically just extended the plant beds so I can install more aromatics, and built garden paths with these stones lying all around the land.

Hey, HAZE, whenever you want, sabi ko naman sa iyo. And when you come drag Makis along, dahil tinatamad yata siya mag-drive all the way to here :)

MAYA, ayan na nga, certain people kept asking me while I was editing GH, "Aren't you bored by it?" Shows that they didn't really know me. I'm GH to the core!

mitsuru said...

hmmm, so you're a gardener too eh?

bakit pala tumba yung paso? he-he. just kidding.

try some "hardy" perennials for more color.:)