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The brief was to create a garden around five contemporary guest houses and a pool near Carcassonne in the south west of France. The area, a former farm was on an exposed and windy hillside with poor soil. We used hardy mediterranean shrubs such as lavender, santolina, euphorbias, rosemary, grasses and salvias, with cherry and apricot trees and mature olive trees and cypresses sourced from Italy. Gravel paths edged in metal, wind through the planting to a circular seating area, with a ring of large square blocks of stone, which we were lucky enough to unearth on site. The planting is very informal, beautifully scented and provides a lovely setting to enjoy the views over the rolling hills of vines, with the backdrop of the snowcapped Pyrenees in the distance.
Rachel Murphy designs and project manages the creation of gardens throughout the UK, ranging from town gardens and roof terraces to large country estates. She also designs mediterranean gardens, often working in the South of France.