Cloud pruned garden design

Posted on Friday, September 05, 2014 by Mick Drower

The Marqueyssac gardens

The 17th Century Château de Marqueyssac which is built on the cliffs in the Dordogne Valley, France is home to the incredible Marqueyssac gardens.

Consisting over 150,000 thousand boxwood which have been pruned and trimmed by a small team of four grounds people into the surreal, landscape which appears to morph its way around the hillside. This garden design relies heavily on variation in shape, volume and height as the main planting element is all the same.

While this garden design is informal in nature there is a structured element of solid blocks of hedging around the perimeters providing some formality to the whimsical almost animated nature of the infill planting. The garden is given a sense of scale and proportion through the large Cyprus and Cyclamen planting. Further interest is created through the undulating nature of the site.

Sadly the gardens became overgrown for a period until the new owner in 1996, restored the gardens to their former glory and opened them to the public who can enjoy the topiary landscape over five kilometres of meandering paths.

With the garden considered to have such significance the French ministry have classified Marqueyssac as one of the most Notable Gardens of France. Definitely worth a visit and on the list of things to do for our garden design team at Think Outside Gardens.

Cloud pruned garden design in Provence France

This beautiful cloud pruned garden in Provence France combines an intriguing mix of textures, shapes and colour to create a relaxing and reflective space. The garden design is based around the use of Boxwood and Cypress as the key plants providing structure. Soft grey and green foliage has then been used to further highlight these elements.

The negative space around the planting allows the surrounding surfaces such as the mulch, stone retaining and paths to become part of the landscape. It also allows the light to add further intrigue through the highlights and shadows.

Upcoming garden design by Think Outside Gardens

Think Outside Gardens design team has applied some of these garden design principals to an upcoming project in Sydney with cloud pruned clusters of planting. Here this style of garden design relies on negative space to emphasise the cloud pruned spherical nature of the shapes.

Large blocks of morphed plants link the garden together while variation in planting species provide further interest. Scale is achieved with variation in habit as the colour pallete is restrained. This garden has just been implemented and we look forward to seeing it flourish in spring.

This style of garden design is equally at home in large planters providing an interesting sculptural element to a garden.