Garden Designs Around The French Riviera  - Contemporary Delights

Garden Designs Around The French Riviera - Contemporary Delights

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The last in our online series exploring contrasts, conflicts and harmonies in French Riviera garden design on Tues @ 10 from 25 Oct

About this event

A series that moves inland from the coast but never far from Mediterranean blues whether from the sky or the sea. Fertility was created in these ancient landscapes by forming terraces or restanques which can still be seen planted with vines, olives, fruit or vegetables. The gardens that surround many of the villas we will explore have used these terraces to decorative and productive effect. Renoir understood that you don’t paint the leaves on olive trees but the play of light between them, Mediterranean light has inspired artists in every sphere. We can appropriate Homer and the Odyssey to take a journey from this landscape’s classical roots to its challenging contemporary art by way of impressionism and surrealism. The tastes are eclectic and the plantsmanship glorious set within an array of architecture and arboreal canopies.


This ticket is for this individual session and costs £5, and you may purchase tickets for other individual sessions via the links below, or you may purchase a ticket for the entire course of 4 sessions at a cost of £16 via the link here.

Attendees will be sent a Zoom link 2 days prior to the start of the talk, and again a few hours before the talk. A link to the recorded session (available for 1 week) will be sent shortly afterwards.

Due to a recent Apple decision to charge a 30% fee for paid online events unfortunately you may no longer be able to purchase this ticket from the Eventbrite iOS app. Please use a web browser on desktop or mobile to purchase or follow the link here.


Week 1. 25 October: Modernism and the Counterblast to White. First in a series of 4 online lectures, £5 each or all 4 for £16.

Week 2. 1 November: Horticultural Friendships - Lawrence Johnston and Charles de Noailles. Second in a series of 4 online lectures, £5 each or all 4 for £16.

Week 3. 8 November: Heart and Soul - Accumulation, Destruction, Shocking Tastes and much more. Third in a series of 4 online lectures, £5 each or all 4 for £16.

Week 4. 15 November: Contemporary Botanical Delight and Artistic Sensitivity. Last in a series of 4 online lectures, £5 each or all 4 for £16.


Week 4. 15 November: Contemporary Botanical Delight and Artistic Sensitivity

The roots run deep in the two final gardens, La Mouissone and Fort France, about 20 miles apart in hills above Cannes, but they are resolutely twenty-first century gardens in their exceptional seasonal planting. Both flourish and grow in private hands: La Mouissone thanks to plantsman Maggie Lockett who has worked to expand the plant repertoire whilst absorbing the influences of Villa Noailles, La Serre de la Madone and, just over the Italian border, La Mortola; the second, Fort France originally Fort Escu, is famously associated with the writings of Lady Fortescue’s Provencal and gardening adventures, the current owners are artist Valerie de Courcel and her husband Pierre. Both gardens have experimented in creating year-round interest with a profusion of planting, the glorious Mediterranean light playing through the trees, shrubs, flowers and bulbs.


Caroline Holmes is an experienced and accomplished lecturer working for a wide range of organisations including leading tour and cruise operators. She is an Accredited Lecturer of The Arts Society and is also a Course Director for the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education. Her own gardens are open to the public and have featured in many magazine articles and on television in both Britain and Japan. Since the 1990s she has been researching, writing about and lecturing on the Riviera. Caroline is author of 12 books, her latest being Where the wildness pleases – the English garden celebrated (2021).


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