In a small town in Brittany, on the northern coast of France about a five-hour drive from Paris, the landscape design firm Cao-Perrot Studio designed a 4,500-square-foot garden of undulating perennial grasses and flowers whose waves are a constant reminder of the nearby sea.
Cao-Perrot designers Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot are known for creating dreamy, romantic landscapes that elicit an emotional response. They won the Grand Prize in 2009 at the annual Jardins, Jardin garden show in Paris, for an installation that featured a metal tree on which “grew” 20,000 mother-of-pearl leaves.
Above: “This garden was inspired by its ever-changing surrounding landscapes and seascapes in Brittany,” the designers say. Using a restrained palette, the designers relied on perennial grasses, lavender, and a few old-fashioned kinds of flowers to create a soft, blurred effect. No matter how close you are standing, the horizon feels distant.
Above: Lavender and grasses edge the front walk. See more hardy grasses here.
Above: Perennial grasses create a frothy effect that other plants can’t replicate.
Above: With the aid of a bulldozer, Cao-Perrot created “sculpted landforms” to catch the light at different times of day.
Above: Pink poppies look completely at home in the grasses.
Above: Rows of lavender, grasses, hedge and in back—those hollyhocks.
For another romantic French garden, see A Restored Medieval Garden