Jardin Botanique Le Maurier

Prunelle en fleurs            Prunus spinosa     Blackthorn, sloe

Les fruits sont amères mais on peut en faire un digestif !


The berries are what we use to make sloe gin!

Antennaria dioica   Mountain Cat's Foot

(unsure about this classification)


Flowers early in Spring Feb/March.  Very tiny plant.  Widespread in sunny stony areas.  Basal leaves form a rosette, then the long stalk bears smaller leaves arranged spirally.

Clématite jasmin                                                     Jasmine clematis

(cultivée)

This heavily-scented clematis has evergreen blade-shaped leaves and a heavy perfume.  It flowers early end Feb/beg. March.

Cerisier                                                            Cherry blossom

Ce vieil arbre orne le devant de la maison.  Il a diverses maladies mais continue vaillamment à porter ses fruits d'année en année.


An old cherry tree grafted long before my time at the front of the house.  In good years it bears fat black cherries; otherwise it is a useful source of shade on hot summer days.  A large split in the trunk serves as home to a colony of small black ants.

Lithospermum arvense                                   Corn gromwell

fam. Boraginaceae


Dans la famille des bouraches.  La racine contient une teinture rouge qu'autrefois les jeunes filles mettaient sur leurs lèvres.


A delicate hairy plant with a pretty star-shaped formation of the leaves and small white flowers  Grows in a shady damp corner near the veg patch.  The roots contain a red dye that girls used to use as rouge!

Iberis toujours vert         Evergreen Iberis

Iberis sempervirens

Herbacée vivace, prostré et ligneux à la base.  Floraison en mai.


A true alpine plant.  This one is perennial, but other species may be annual or biennial.  Flowers May.  With its very pretty heart-shaped petals in rosettes, forms a nice complement in the Cool Garden under the apple tree.

Iris blanc "Evvia"                                             Wild white iris "Evvia"

Originaire de l'isle d'Evvia en Grèce, je l'ai transplanté plusieurs fois dans divers jardin.  Ici, il se plaît dans le "Jardin frais" entre les roses.  Très parfumé !


This is a Mediterranean iris, but from Greece rather than Provence.  It came originally from a hillside on the island of Euboeia (Evvia).  A large flower with a lovely fragrance, it graces the Cool Garden between the roses.

Cephalanthera damasonium  White hellibore orchid

Une espèce rare qui est arrivée toute seule dans le jardin.  Quelle bonheur !


A rare orchid that to my delight has arrived all by itself in the shrubbery and 'Cool Garden' and is slowly spreading.  It has a sister, the Red Hellibore, which is actually pink and is so rare that it forms the subject of a special study at Kew Gardens.  I have seen the pink variety on a forest track behind Gigors at about 800 m altitude.

 Ornithogalum umbellatum 

 Dame de onze heures                          Star of Bethlehem

Ce lys miniature dans la famille des asperges (!) se plaît un peu partout dans les prairies de la Haute Provence.   Ce qui ne diminue pas son charme !  Sa petite soeur jaune Gagea (voir la page Jaune) est beaucoup plus rare.


This delightful miniature lily covers the top 'lawn' (really a former threshing floor and a natural Alpine meadow) in early May.  It was the main incentive for creating this wildflower garden.  The white flower has a smaller yellow cousin, the Radnor Lily (see Yellow page of this website) which is now extremely rare in Europe but grew in this garden in 2021 and can be found on sunny banks in Turriers.

Muguet                         Lily-of-the-Valley

Tant apprécié pour son parfum et les jolies cloches blanches, traditionellement le muguet s'offre le 1 mai à sa maman.  Se trouve dans les soubois autour de Turriers.  Fleurit en mai.


One of the most lovely wildflowers of the region, Lily-of-the-Valley carpets the forest floor around Turriers in May.  Traditionally offered by girls to their mothers on 1st May.  Transplanted from the wild to this garden and grows in the shubbery between the 'Hot' and the 'Cool' gardens

Anagallis pallida                                    White pimpernel

Fam. Primulaceae

 Jolie plante basse rampante aux fleurs minuscules en étoiles, mais hautement toxique aux bêtes.  Autrefois utilisée dans la médicine populaire contre les ulcères et une gamme d'autres conditions.  La couleur peut varier: rouge, corail, bleu ou blanc.


Tiny white stars, low-growing creeping plant, flowers abundantly in the top meadow of this garden.  Flowers open in the sunshine, close in overcast conditions., which has earned this plant the folk name Shepherd's Weather Glass Formerly used in folk medicine, the plant is toxic to grazing animals.  The herb and its seed contain saponins, which could explain why fresh material is strongly haemolytic.  The root yields the triterpenoid glycoside cyclamin which is highly toxic.  The colours of the pimpernel vary widely, from scarlet through rose to blue and white.

There is a novel, The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Emma Orczy, where the hero, Sir Percy Blakeney, uses The Scarlet Pimpernel as his pseudonym


Plante grasse cultivee                                  Imported succulent

The fat almond-shaped leaves form rosettes.  The plant flowers abundantly in sprays of creamy green bell-shaped flowers with dark coral interiors.

Pied d'alouette      Delphinieae      White larkspur

This wildflower appears abundantly in my vegetable garden in June and July.  It may be blue, pink or white.  Very popular with bees and wasps!

Toxic to livestock and humans,

Silène vulgaris                     Bladder Campion

Plante comestible (jeunes pousses, feuilles) en salade, sautée à l'ail, en omelette.


Young shoots and leaves are popularly eaten in the Mediterranean region.  Flowers May/June

Clematis

(cultivated)

Placed against the northern fence of the Cool Garden to fill unsightly spaces.

Marguerite                                                Ox-eye Daisy

Chrysanthemum leuanthemum

Simple mais charmante, cette fleur des champs trouve sa place dans le "Jardin frais".  Les fleurs sont comestibles.


One of my favourite field flowers.  I have transplanted it to the Cool Garden, where it comes up in different places (including the lawn !) each year.

Hedge Bedstraw

Gallium mollugo

fam. Rubiaceae

Un nuage de dentelle parfumée en juin.  Très jolie contre les roses anciennes.  Voir aussi la page "Jaune".  Ancienne plante médicinale (asperuloside) utilisée dans le traitement d'épilepsie.


A medicinal plant, formerly used for gallstones and as a poultice to reduce swelling. Other uses include the treatment of epilepsy and hysteria! This bedstraw perfumes the entire garden in June and makes pretty groups with the old roses, particularly Rose de France.  It hybridises with the yellow variety G. verum.  In this garden the white variety is mainly on the bank between the top and bottom gardens but it likes to spread nearly everywhere.

Rose trémière                              Hollyhock

Cultivated.  I collect the seeds from other gardens all over Haute Provence.  Very popular with the carpenter bee.

Achillea millefolium          Asteraceae            Milfoil,  yarrow

Plante médicinale: antispasmodique, peptique, cicatrisante, anti-inflammatoire.


One of the famous Provencal herbs.  Common in grassland everywhere.  Flowers June-July, seeds August-September.  An old medicinal plant.

Carotte sauvage        Daucus carotta            Wild carrot

Plante médicinale : une huile est extraite des graines.

Les fleurs nourrissent une gamme d'insectes.


Also known as Queen Anne's Lace.  The seeds and seed oil have medicinal uses.  Flowers June, very attractive to bees, wasps and bugs.  Seeds August-September.

Goat's Beard Orchid

A fairly large orchid (50 cm. high) that grows singly in grassland.  In Le Maurier garden there are 2 stands on the top "lawn".  It does not flower every year.

Clématite sauvage et cultivée

Wild and cultivated clematis

Old Man's Beard and Jackmanii

La variété sauvage est détestée et arrachée partout.  Mais regardez un instant : les fleurs sont magnifiques et hautement parfumées !  Une soirée d'été sous l'arche de mon jardin est un pur plaisir !  Autrefois cette liane servait dans les campagnes pour faire des cordes : il y en a encore ici dans ma grange !


A much-despised plant that gardeners mostly rip out.  But give it a chance: control it over an arch or a sunny wall and it will reward you with a shower of gorgeous, heavily-scented flowers.  The bees and butterflies love it and you will remember your romantic summer evenings under the perfumed arch!

The tough, fibrous stems used to be worked by country folk into rope.  Some handmade ropes of this kind still hang in Le Maurier barn!



Old Man's Beard in autumn