Garden Directory / Repertoire des jardins

Gill and Cei‘s garden on the edge of Caunes-Minervois in the Aude

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General Description: The garden is about a hectare in size. We bought the property in 1995 as a ruin and a piece of agricultural land that had been lying fallow for ten years or so and have been developing the garden ever since! The garden is both a resource for the small nursery that we run and an area for us to experiment and try out new plants. There are now a number of maturing trees and shrubs as well as various borders and some wilder areas of planting. The style is informal.

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Soil and climate: We are situated by a river and are lucky to have mostly good, alluvial soil, slightly acid. Being by a river also means that one can be flooded so part of the garden is more sand and gravel – a good area to trial really drought resistant plants. We are also in a frost pocket and can easily go down to -8°C, sometimes -10°C in winter with summer highs around 35°C. Although the river dries up during the summer we do have access to river water but we use this only sparingly. Some of the garden is watered two or three times over the summer (especially new plantings) but much doesn’t receive any supplementary irrigation.

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Heteromeles arbutifolia and various oleander cultivars

Plants and Projects: With lots of space to experiment we have many different parts of the garden. Part is left semi wild (including unmown grassland) to encourage wildlife.

There is an area where plants are zoned by country of origin and a long summer border which includes many sages. More recently we have planted an area to test out ornamental grasses and two areas for testing agavaceae for winter hardiness. There are a number of specimen trees and shrubs. The most recent project is another area of mediterranean basin planting with a number of cistus.

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Lavandula dentata, Cistus corbariensis,
Cymara cardunculus
and Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’

Visits: Visitors are welcome at any time of the year. Like most gardens April to June and September & October are the best times.
Gill parle bien français.

Email: La Petite Pepiniere


Garden recognised as a refuge by the Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux