My Six on Saturday is planting in parks in Oviedo, and my last offering from Northern Spain. These plantings are in the Park of San Francisco in the city of Oviedo. I enjoyed a walk through the park every day and it was also well-used by local people who strolled there during the day. In the evening people dressed up and did the paseo; children played after school in the late afternoons; and it is a pleasant route from the top of the hill down into the old town. There are lots of large trees in the park but I have picked out some of the smaller plantings.
Up on the north coast of Spain, in Ribadeo, the weather continues to be glorious, with cool and misty mornings and hot afternoons. The parks here are not as generously planted as in London, and in this town the planting is not only minimal but also quite formal. Impatiens is used a lot, as are bedding begonias, and there are interesting trees in the streets. So my Six plants from Ribadeo this Saturday (sorry about the delay!) shows you what I saw in the town’s park.
I am pleased to say that, in early October, I am still enjoying summer weather in Northern Spain. Even though the trees in Northern Spain are still green, but with a tinge of gold, the mornings are quite sharp. This week my Six on Saturday is all about planting in Spanish Towns. Planting in Villafranca del Bierzo and Monforte de Lemos – plants hanging over balconies or under windows, and trees in streets.
Today’s Six on Saturday comes again from the mountains in northern Spain where the dahlias seems to grow abundantly. I don’t know what they are called but here are six wonderful dahlias as my flowers in the Picos de Europa – just beautiful!
My Six on Saturday comes to you from sunny Spain, the Picos de Europa to be more specific, where I am easing off after a difficult year. The Propagator will, I hope, allow such a breach of ‘backyard’ information! So, this is gardening in the Picos de Europa.
This year has been a scramble from the beginning – photography exhibition, two weeks in Brittany, a working trip to Northern France, and volunteering and photographing with Open Garden Squares Weekend in London. Blogging is out of order, but posting on Brittany is next and I must share with you the wonderful gardens at the Chateau of Trévarez which is situated on a hillside overlooking the Aulne Valley. I was in Brittany to photograph the Churches but took a day out to visit these gardens – and I plan to do the same next year!
The original Chateau was built in the 16C and 17C. Today’s building dates from 1893-1904 and was commissioned by James de Kerjégu, a politician The domain of Trévarez covers over 85 hectares and in the vast parklands are a classical regular garden, an Italian style garden, a picturesque garden with cascades and a recently planted contemporary garden. Trévarez also has a heather collection of national importance, apparently. The gardens feature different plants during the seasons: camellias from November to April, rhododendrons (National Collection) in April and May, Hydrangeas and Fuchsias in the summertime...’. The Chateau was occupied by German forces during WWII and bombed by the RAF, but has been restored and both the Chateau and parklands are open to the public at advertised times.
The rhododendrons were glorious! Flowers of all colours – along the walkways, hidden in the woods, in clumps in groves – unbelieveably beautiful.
I think this was the ‘Romantic Garden’, built in a quarry and with a waterfall and river. Steps from the garden lead up to a more formal vista and leat leading to the Chateau.
The woods are … beautiful
European Garden Heritage
The story of the garden began in 1897 when a Parisian businessman, Georges Delaselle, visited the island and was captivated by the exotic plants brought there by sailors. He decided to create his own exotic garden and in 1918 moved permanently to the island. As so often happens, on his death the gardens gradually fell into disrepair and were only rescued in 1987 with the formation of the Friends and the support of the Conservatoire du Littoral. Today there are more than 2,500 species in the garden, from five continents.
‘…The project then begins in the 1970s with the idea to create the first world botanical garden dedicated to the conservation of endangered plants – Jean-Yves Lesouëf The gardens were built in the Stang Alar Valley, previously a rubbish dump and quarry.
‘…The most precious treasures in the Botanical Conservatory Garden are found in tropical greenhouses: the largest concentration in France of endangered plants! …In the 1,000 m² of this area of discovery, 95% of plants are threatened with extinction, some of them are extinct in nature. That is to say, they can no longer be found here or in other botanical gardens and conservatories…’ – what a frightening thought.
The Greenhouses lead visitors through different climatic regions of the world: from the wet tropical mountains –
to subtropical oceanic islands –
through the dry tropics –
and out through the wet and steaming tropical rain forests.
The gardens themselves are stunning and there were lots of people just wandering, sitting, running, photographing and generally enjoying the transformation of a ‘derelict’ valley into a peaceful and beautiful park.
The Gunneras were amazing, growing along the River, as were the tree ferns, the bamboos, and the magnolias. It was all beautiful.
Above all there are numerous unusual and beautiful trees.
Brest Conservatoire National Botanique
The garden, even in September, was just a delight! If you are ever in Brittany do try and visit. There were hardly any other visitors apart from us and we were able to wander around at leisure, uncrowded. I certainly return plan to return. We started in the greenhouses, filled with amazing succulents, and then started following the outside route.