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Cap d’ail

This garden belongs to a restored art-deco residence from the early 20th century located on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The exterior space possesses three parts: a first garden around the residence, a second one with a swimming pool near the cliff and a third one, a man-made cave at the lowest point of the site. We decided to preserve some of the elements from the original setting, such as the grotto. It was of great importance to redesign the entire site to ensure that it gains its own personality. Our interventions have been made in a contemporary way, maintaining respect for the historic character of the site and the Mediterranean environment throughout the whole project.

In the garden around the house, which offers magnificent views towards the sea, we chose to keep the existing lawn and to introduce a selection of flowering plants to allow this part of the garden to become more elegant.

The artificial grotto at the bottom of the cliff has been restored to its original state.

Nonetheless, we gave it more character by planting a selection of rock plants, such as Plumeriarubra f. acutifolia, Tetrapanax papyrifera, Acca sellowiana, Philodendron monstruosum, and various bromeliads such as Alcanterea vinicolor, Billbergiadistachia, Heliconia rostrata and Vriesea zamorensis.

The use of the lemon fruit for the restoration of this garden is a tribute to the landscape and to the Mediterranean terroir.

The lemon fruit creates a sensory library.

It awaken the senses with aromas and flavors exhibited by the skin of the fruit, the flower, the zest and the leaves. Every season witnesses the stimulate curiosity from the garden to the kitchen.

Behind the relationship between citrus and the garden exists the desire to preserve heritage by enhancing old varieties such as lemon ‘Eureka’ (Citrus limon ‘Eureka’) and lime from ‘Corsica’ (Citrus aurantifolia ‘della Corsica’) or exploring new flavors such as lemon caviar (Citrus australasica) or the Digitalis Lime (Microcitrus papuana).

Sometimes, you only need a few varieties to reflect the importance of diversity to preserve the biological, sensory and culinary richness. This garden offers the waiting pleasure for a scent or a flavor that only nature can offer.

Cap d’Ail, France
2010
In collaboration with:
Luc Svetchine architect
Patrice Acchiardi interior architect

© 2021 Erik Dhont