Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A bit of Provence in front of the house

During the last 6 months I have focused my work on the creation of paved areas and planting lavenders, thyme and rosemary in front of the house. 

The aim of this design is to keep an empty horizontal mineral expense in front of the house, the original farmyard. The existing ground is a mixture of gravel and other aggregates accumulated over the history. A sprinkling of low vegetation softened this zone when we bought the property. It formed a very thin lawn of fine grasses and daisies. During the building work, this vegetation disappeared. We wish to encouraged this to establish again simply by mowing the zone and letting the seeds in the soil germinate.

Essentially a series of large planters edged by low drystone walls form a trough lined with pebbles at the feet of the house. When it rains, the water falls into it from the gutter less roof in parallel lines and it is drained away.  This moment is magic, the lines of water form a curtain that can be seen through the windows of the house.

The added Mediterranean vegetation has been chosen for its low height, the scents and subtle flowers and its capacity to thrive in the dry soil of the raised beds baked in front of this South facing wall.

The paving and dry stone walling has been made from the spoil of the demolished leantos of the house. A clean approach to the entrance of the house has been created using the few cut granite stone that were left. Flat, pale green stone have been used for the rest of the paving. The planters walls are made of the rougher browner stones. The pebbles of the trough are also found on site and have a rounded quartz transluscent quality in various tones of white and greys of different shades.

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