A city garden

Hidden away in the heart of the city is an intimate garden with a contemporary look.

It represents the extraordinary metamorphosis of a former concrete car park adjoining a market garden warehouse, a botanical essence with an urban touch. Protected by high walls clad in thick vegetation and a long line of bamboo, the garden quickly found its soul in this tough environment. Everything here is pulled together and cleverly concentrated.

At the entrance, fine stones from the quarries at Les Baux set the scene. Behind, a wall conceals the traffic. "In such a small space, it's all about logic and tricks of the trade"...

For this recent project, Dominique Lafourcade has turned the undoubted constraints - the restricted size in an urban environment - to her advantage. She has extended perspective to the maximum, hidden the adjoining properties, made use of sculptures and water, and introduced some exotic plants while remaining faithful to local plant varieties.

Enhanced by a superb painted iron oculus, the pool, embedded in decking, is filled by water from four closed-cycle fountains. Built from simple brick, their powerful jets screen out much of the city noise, while near the house another fountain murmurs softly.

A restored marble bust draws the eye and magnifies the perspective as it emerges from the bottom of the garden between lovingly cared-for bushes pruned into globes.

Stone paving, set with succulents, acts a transition between lawn and decking.

With a sophisticated contemporary flourish, the landscape gardener opted for state-of-the-art artificial grass.

Ever consistent in her approach, Dominique Lafourcade continues to explore new avenues.