From French cornfield to English garden

The birth of English country garden

Summer 1994

Anybody driving past this ordinary farmhouse in the middle of a cornfield would not really say to themselves . . .

Summer 2002

"What a wonderful place for
an English country garden"

But, Edmond and Sylvia are not just anybody - so let them tell their story . . .

An Englishman's home is his chateau

In 1994, having retired early, we decided to move from the north of England to the Southern Touraine where we hoped to create our dream garden.

Why the Touraine? Because here the land is wonderfully fertile and the weather ideal with its changing seasons from long hot summers to short cold winters.

And after all this is where the French nobility chose to build their most beautiful chateaux and gardens.

On arrival the land was covered in wheat, in places to within a meter of the house, so it was only after harvest time that we were able to begin our task. Our geese tried to speed up the process by eating their way through but without much success. But it was fun trying.

The great escape

Our neighbour rolled an earth track though the fields to the house

Five years and a few plants later

Starting with a blank canvas we began - the driveway would be on the right edged with a long border planted with hot red and yellow colours and then on the left would be the orchard. That should keep us busy for a year of so!

Click the pictures to show them full size

From French cornfield to English garden

The birth of English country garden

Next page

Decorative and kitchen gardens

Last page

The work goes on

Wild orchids in our garden

Text, photos - Edmond
Page layout - T-T-Web


The music is the Chopin Winter Wind Etude Op 25 No11 played by Robert Finley.