I’ll be honest; I’m a jack of many trades. However, in my opinion, only a few trades make life worth living.
What trades am I referring to? Writing and french-style landscaping…emphasis on the french-style landscaping.
Now I know what you’re thinking: Pierre, you’re French. Of course the French thing is gonna be your favorite thing. Now to some extent, you’re not wrong. I take great pride in my country, and I can’t help but reflect that in my work. But it’s not often I am hired to channel my love for France into my work…that is, until this past month.
One of my past clients referred a lovely French couple to me, and they gave me the task of my dreams: to design a “French-style vineyard” on their three-acre property. They might as well have said, “Pierre you’ve won the lottery. And 12 million croissants.”
But all jokes aside, this was one of the most incredible projects I’ve ever worked on. They specifically asked for their vineyard to be specialized for Bordeaux wine production, which gave me plenty to work with. Since Bordeaux is typically made with a mixture of several different grapes, I had to place the vines to maximize efficiency while not risking cross-breeding of the grapes. As this couple had a delightful attitude towards their budget (they didn’t have one), I gave them only the best of the best.
Let me paint you a mental picture so we can look at my “canvas” together. The vineyard is about a
This is where I take out my “oils and paints,” so to speak. I’m planting non-invasive moonflower seeds at the foot of this arbor (the wife mentioned an aversion to bees, so I chose a bloom that only unfurls from dusk to dawn). Then, vines of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes will extend from either side of the small cottage, with vines of Merlot and a few Malbec extending into the backyard design.
But won’t that look kind of awkward without a fence to fend off peeping toms? I’d agree, but I’ve always found fences hostile, despite the privacy they provide. This is why five feet or so of raised earth will encompass the entire property, lined with Italian cypress trees to provide extra privacy.
To finish off the masterpiece, quaint fountains adorned with baby Dionysus (the Greek god of wine, theater, and fertility) will be placed in the two vine-less corners of the property. My client has permitted me to surround these fountains with lavender; these flowers will attract the bees away from the living quarters and toward the plants that need pollination.
If all goes as planned, the entire landscaping process should be 100% completed by mid-April. The clients are considering renting out the space as a small wedding venue, so it should be ready right in time for the season.
It’s not often you get a project as enticing as this one, especially when it involves such creativity and artistic freedom. But I can tell you this: no matter what job you choose, make sure it has some projects as thrilling as this one; you will not regret it.
Credit for inspiration to:
Torrey Pines Landscape Co.
San Diego, CA