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Visiting Le Jardin de Fortran (86)

Visiting Le Jardin de Fortran (86)

Roger Moss visits an inspirational private garden in the south Vienne

Something of the spirit of great topiary gardens like Eyrignac and Marqueyssac is present in the Jardin de Fortran. Surprisingly, though, we’re not in Dordogne, but in a tiny hamlet in southern Vienne, where for the past thirty years Alain Didriche and Michel Moquette have been transforming a hectare of dormant farmland into an enchanting secret garden.


Now the secret is out, and the garden is open to visitors, who are amazed to discover a succession of highly individual landscapes defined and divided by huge walls of hornbeam and swirling clipped box topiary. Within them are plantings of medicinal herbs, vines, a large potager plus countless potted succulents and cacti.


The site benefits from being bounded by mature woodland, which not only affords protection against gales and any wind-borne chemicals used on nearby farms, but effectively renders the garden invisible within the landscape. As the owners are keen to point out, theirs is very much a French garden, but one which visitors are encouraged to discover in their own way, “à l’anglaise...”.



On the other hand, Alain and Michel are obviously happy to discuss their passion with visiting fellow garden lovers.


Planning your visit

2 Chemin du Bois Tellier, Fortran, 86400 Linazay.

Tel: 05 49 87 06 13 / 07 82 34 90 12

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Open daily 11am-7pm for self-guided visits, by prior appointment. Adults 3€, under-13s free.


© Living Magazine -  all rights reserved. originally published in August 2014