The gardens of a hotel

Starting with a blank canvas, the artist-gardener Dominique Lafourcade has created gardens to delight visitors to the Château de Berne.

The owners, who had fallen in love with the iconic gardens of Les Confines, imbued as they are with charm and poetry, were keen to recreate the ambience of this Garden of Eden in their own property.

This posed an enormous challenge for Dominique as there were numerous constraints to overcome. How to design spaces that are open to all and yet retain a certain intimacy? Dominique has risen to the challenge by creating a series of gardens, some of which invite quiet contemplation while others are perfect for walking or exploring.

The gardens look down on a large henhouse filled with unusual ducks and hens, which of course acts as a magnet for children. Nearby, a vegetable garden and greenhouse provide a charming practical lesson in gardening.

Everything here is a hymn of praise to the unique flora of the Var. Even the roof terraces are adorned with a subtle composition of Mediterranean plants.

The cleverly arranged gardens link the different buildings together and blend harmoniously into the landscape. As a result, the Château de Berne has expanded into a hamlet in a lush green setting.