De V sian created gardens by studying the region, its plants, its light and its agricultural traditions
After a career as a designer working for such great design houses as Herm's, Nicole de V sian (1916-96) moved to Provence and created her first garden. On the narrow terraces around her home, de V sian designed her own masterpiece in a minimal but far from austere style, composed mainly of heathland plants (varieties of thyme, lavender, rosemary, rockrose and box tree), in which she pruned all her plants to cushion shapes of varying yet superbly proportioned sizes, resulting in a breathtaking scene. Her gardens soon inspired gardeners and landscapers around the world. Today, few gardens have been imitated as readily as those of de V sian. Her most notable garden is La Louve, which is her garden in Bonnieux, a French hilltop village in the Luberon area of Provence.Nicole de V sian: Gardens is an up-to-date edition of de V sian's bestselling 2011 monograph, with a new postface describing de V sian's influence on the art of gardening. In general, the publication acts as a tribute to de V sian and her life. Her close friend, acclaimed garden historian Louisa Jones (The Garden Visitor's Companion), shares her own thoughts on the work of this atypical creator, accompanied by accounts from her friends and pupils: Christian Lacroix, the nursery owner Jean-Marie Rey, the landscape artists Arnaud Mauri res, ric Ossart and Marc Nucera, as well as the garden historians Roy Strong and John Brookes. As Louisa Jones writes, de V sian has a feeling for space like musicians have a feeling for music.