Avant Gardener – 052713

Derek relates more of his recent visit to France to photograph Monet’s Garden for his wall calendar which he has produced every year for 22 years. In this broadcast he interviews Isabelle Vaughan, owner of Kerdalo Garden, in britanny. Derek describes Kerdalo as the most beautiful private garden in all of France and Isabelle describes how her father fell in love with the region near the coastal town of Treguier and how he cannibalized local ruins for old stone to create his vision of a 16th century chateau. Isabelle describes some of the unique plantings, including a whole grove of monkey puzzle trees that are indigenous to the mountains of Chile, also giant Chilean rhubarb, or Gunnera which likes moist soil and produces massive serrated leaves up to four feet across. Her father was also a talented painter, and after he died she decided to open the garden to the public, using a room of the chateau as a gallery to display his architectural drawings and his art. Isabelle met her husband in England when she was training to be a horticulturist at the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens, Wisley in the UK. During the email segment Derek talks more about growing healthy tomatoes, explains the difference between different kinds of lettuce, and advises a listener on gardens to visit during a tour of Scotland where Derek lived for two years at the age of 10 years.