Monthly Archives: July 2011

Chartreuse du Mont-Dieu

Chartreuse du Mont-Dieu

Main gate still reflects its lost grandeur.

Driving around we discovered the magnificent monastery of Mont-Dieu. We’ve heard about it but never been there ourselves because it’s not visible from the main road. It’s still feels as remote as it must have been during its period.

Located in the heart of the Ardennes , the monastery of Mont-Dieu was built in an open field in the middle of an immense forest of 1123 hectares, and through which sources, feeding once numerous ponds.

This Carthusian monastery is founded in 1137 by Odo, abbot of Saint-Remi near Reims. Pope Innocent III recognised the new monastery in a bull, that same year on December 9, 1137. The inhabitant monks followed the Rule of Saint Bruno and it was used for live and pray until Continue reading

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“We didn’t start this war.”

It has been tough. We worked so hard to get the weeds under control but we didn’t succeed in most part of the garden. Every weekend that we spend in France we only had to work to get the flower garden ‘clean’. But as soon as we missed a weekend it all came back. Let’s call it green hell. It was very demotivating.

Only 6 weeks ago, when i was in Shanghai for a conference my partner and Hendrik Dekker (our friend & landscape architect) decided to take a dramatic step. They used the foil that was supposed to cover the paths and covered the squares of perennials and immediately topped it with chopped bark. I was in shock. “It’s so ugly.”

But looking at the first bed with groundcover last weekend i noticed one tiny needle trying to peek out. I killed it. “Hey, we didn’t start the war.” I drove by the garden centre in Reims to buy enough for two more squares. I truely want to enjoy the garden.

If you buy an old neglected garden do not hesitate to cover it all in March when everything is still ‘sleeping’. It saves you a lot of work in the years to come.

Fight against Weeds

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